ACU employees can pursue an online graduate degree from ACU Dallas Online Programs and receive 100% refund of their tuition.
Beginning in October, ACU employees can choose to enroll in six different online graduate programs: Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership (EdD), Master of Education in Instructional Leadership (MEd), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT), and Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA).
According to an email sent to faculty and staff members, “Fall 1 term will see the largest entering class of online graduate students for ACU Dallas.”
Jaime Goff, dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at ACU Dallas, said she saw an increasing interest coming from faculty and staff members after the first week an email was sent out about the details of the new employee tuition benefit program. Goff said ACU Dallas focused on growing their new online graduate programs about a year ago and has been adding more over the past year and a half.
“We are up to around 500 graduate students only in online graduate programs or our ACU online programs here over the past, maybe within a year, eventually when we have been in operation,” Goff said. “That’s in addition to any graduate students who are in residential programs in Abilene, that’s a pretty significant growth overall for ACU’s graduate students.”
Goff said she hopes ACU employees will take advantage of the benefit and share the news with other faculty and members.
“It’s a great benefit for them and hopefully it will help a lot of people advance in their careers or profession,” Goff said.
However, the programs offered can only be taken online from the ACU Dallas Online Programs. Lynette Sharp Penya, assistant provost for graduate programs, said she doesn’t foresee a tuition discount being offered to ACU employees for the residential graduate programs.
Applying for the benefit doesn’t guarantee admission nor does it guarantee an exact start term. There are also eligibility requirements and academic progression requirements.
Jenni Williams, enrollment and student development manager in the School of Information Technology and Computing, said she received her Master of Higher Education online a few years ago prior to the new benefit. She said for people who take online classes it’s recommended to be determined, self-motivated, and can work independently.
“It wasn’t a challenge out of the normal classroom,” Williams said. “It was a great experience, I definitely enjoyed it.”
Williams said she believes ACU is making an investment in their employees by offering the benefit.
“The reality is anyone who pursues higher education in this field at ACU, it’s an automatic opportunity for us to give back to our students and to invest in them further about what we’re learning in the classroom,” Williams said.