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College of Graduate and Professional Studies newsletter

Greetings Alumni, Students, Faculty and Friends,

This summer the university began undertaking the two-year process that will eventually result in Radfordís 10-year reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), our regional university-wide accrediting agency. While this process and recognition is essential to the continued viability and success of Radford University, it represents just one (though perhaps the biggest) of many accreditations we pursue. I thought it might be useful for our larger community to understand why we devote so much attention to accreditation.

Academic accreditation represents acknowledgement that oneís professional peers recognize that the quality of the education our students receive is at or above national standards. While SACS accredits entire universities, most accrediting agencies accredit specific programs. For example, over the past two years our College of Business and Economics was reaccredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), our Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders was reaccredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, and our Criminal Justice Program was accredited for the first time by the American Criminal Justice Society. These are but a few of the accredited programs on campus. Currently, we are in the process of pursuing accreditation of the Doctor of Psychology, the Doctor of Physical Therapy, and the Master of Occupational Therapy programs. Why do we do this?

While we would all like to think that we do an outstanding job teaching and mentoring our students, it is useful to get a neutral, professional, and rigorous verification of that perception. Accreditation requires that a program go through a careful self-examination of its strengths and weaknesses, an application that speaks to how the program addresses the professional standards for a particular discipline, and a site visit by peers from other universities who evaluate the programís academic quality, resources, students, and administrative support. This process may take several months or even years. Only after it has been judged worthy by the accrediting agencyís recognition may a program know its educational offerings are second to none.

We know that the value of your Radford degree depends upon our continual efforts to improve its quality and reputation. Through the accreditation process we strive to assure our alumni and friends that we are ever aware of that responsibility. You may be sure, to that end, we are deeply dedicated.

Yours in the spirit of Highlander excellence,

Dennis Grady, Ph.D., Dean

Greetings from the Graduate Student Council

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) is proud to announce the range of progress thatís being made within the council. We encourage all graduate students to join us during our general meetings to get a feel for the types of projects GSC is working on, or even just to share your experiences in graduate school with us. Remember, if youíre a graduate student then youíre invited!

As all of us were busy crunching to work on papers, projects, exams, research, and finding space for "life," GSC, alongside the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), put together the annual Graduate Game Night, held at the Bonnie Game Room on Nov. 11. Free and open games of pool, bowling, and food were arranged for all.

Mr. Chris Tunstall, an alumnus from Radfordís I/O psychology program, gave an exciting presentation about learning what employers are looking for in talent, why they want it and how you can develop it. Mr. Tunstall is currently a leadership developer with SAS, the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market and has gained the respected title of being the No. 1 best employer in 2010. Again, we encourage the entire graduate student body to join us for the events occurring in the future.

A big thanks to our E-board, SHRM, and all who contributed in making this happen.

I wish everyone a great, safe winter break and happy holidays!

Paul Park

letís talk: an inside look at our programs

Corporate and Professional Communication Profile Q&A with Dr. Kristin Froemling

Describe the Corporate and Professional Communication curriculum.
Our curriculum is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers in which communication is central to the success of the organizationís goals. We have a 30-hour masterís program consisting of five required courses and five elective courses. The required courses include Communication Theory, Organizational Communication, Training and Development, Public Relations and Applied Research Methods.

What are the career prospects for students in the program?
Our graduates are employed in a variety of fields, including public relations, corporate training, management, teaching, sales and marketing.

What characteristics do you believe help make someone successful in the program/career path?
A successful graduate of our program has the ability to effectively communicate organizational goals and messages to others in a variety of contexts. The successful student must be able to think strategically about why and how the communication takes place. Internships can provide students with additional work experience, and can be taken for course credit if approved. Study abroad opportunities (most recently in Southeast Asia) allow graduate students to learn about cross-cultural issues and communication in international organizations.

What do you believe sets this program apart from others?
In a 2005 report, the National Association of Colleges and Employers listed "communication skills" as the most important characteristic employers consider in hiring an employee (NACE, 2005).

The program offers practical and professionally-oriented class work framed by a strong underpinning in the theories relevant to the field. Faculty make themselves accessible to students. Classes are conducted in the evening to accommodate full-time employees who want to obtain their degrees part-time. The program is open to applicants with many undergraduate majors. An undergraduate communication degree is not required to succeed in our program.

What is the future of the Corporate and Professional Communication program?
As our program grows, we plan to offer additional concentrations related to corporate and professional communication, such as integrated marketing communication and, perhaps, media-related concentrations.

Criminal Justice Profile Q&A with Dr. Mary Atwell

Describe the Criminal Justice curriculum.
The curriculum for the M.S. and M.A. in criminal justice requires 36 credit hours. Eighteen credits are required courses, intended to provide a foundation in the issues and skills needed for successful graduate work in criminal justice, the other 18 credits are electives. Students seeking an M.A. use six of those elective hours to produce a thesis.

What are the career prospects for students in the program?
Many federal agencies require that successful applicants have a degree beyond the bachelorís. Thus a masterís in criminal justice can open doors in such agencies as the FBI, U.S. Marshals, Secret Service, etc. A number of our students find that a masterís also improves their chances for administrative/management positions in state or local agencies. A number of them go onto law school or into a Ph.D. program and find that a masterís helps them get into a more competitive program.

What characteristics do you believe help make someone successful in Criminal Justice program/career path?
A successful graduate student needs a strong work ethic. He or she also must have good reading and writing skills. I think individuals develop better research skills and knowledge while in graduate school, but the more critical thinking ability they bring into the program, the better they will do.

What do you believe sets the Criminal Justice program apart from others?
I believe we have several outstanding characteristics: the combination of theory and practical courses, the accelerated program (allowing RU undergrads who qualify to complete both a B.S. and an M.S. in five years), and off-campus programs designed for working professionals.

physical therapy professors help individuals make informed, healthy decisions
Making the commitment to be physically active is one of the best ways children and adults can prevent or combat obesity and its consequences, according to Ed Swanson, the founding chair of Radford Universityís doctoral program in physical therapy. Swanson, an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) member and physical therapist, spread the word throughout October Ė National Physical Therapy Month Ė about how physical therapists can help individuals reap the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle. Read More.

ru partners with carilion, jefferson college of health sciences to base doctorate of physical therapy program in roanoke
Radford University, Carilion Clinic and the Jefferson College of Health Sciences have announced that RU will base its new Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program on the campus of the Jefferson College in downtown Roanoke. The DPT program, considered one of the most sought-after graduate programs in the health sciences, is expected to begin training its first cohort of students in June 2011. Read More.

radford university welcomes first doctorate of nursing practice students
A new type of nursing student recently set foot on the campus of Radford Universityóone of the few times they will do so. This fall, Radford University welcomed its inaugural class of Doctorate of Nursing Practice students for their day-long orientation. The program is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be offered in an online distance-learning format and to be offered to both post-baccalaureate and post-masterís degree nursing students. Read More.
Watch the video on WSLS 10.

alumna named top teacher
Radford University alumna Lisa Taylor Ď05 was named Virginiaís Region 6 Teacher of the Year in September. The honor placed Taylor, a second grade teacher at Belview Elementary School, among the eight finalists for Virginia Teacher of the Year. Read more about Taylorís honor in the Roanoke Times from Sept. 16.

ru students go behind the scenes for emergency management experience
From their unique perspective as observers, members of Stephen Owenís emergency management class gained first-hand experience about managing an emergency. The 31-member seminar class participated in the training exercise held by RUís Office of Emergency Preparedness that simulated a bomb threat and required the evacuation of approximately 140 students and staff from McConnell Library. "Now that I have seen how it works, it is amazing to see the many agencies work together," said Anthony Rowlette, a criminal justice graduate student. Read More.

a culture of suicide
James Werth, director of RUís Doctor of Psychology program, is quoted in this Time blog post about suicide patterns in America. Time Magazine

visual and performing arts season begins with alumni exhibits
Two RU alumni kicked off Radford Universityís 2010 - 2011 Visual and Performing Arts season with two exhibitions: "Beyond the Tartan: Stanley Bermudez," and Jennifer K. Martinís "The Nature of Color." The exhibition by Bermudez, an RU MFA alumnus, united politics, diaspora and pop art, creating a combination of paintings, flags and retablos. The exhibition by Martin, also an RU MFA alumna, featured a mixed media show demonstrating the artistís use of nature as a model, inspiration and source for her inventions in metal and paint. Visit the Visual and Performing Arts online calendar for more events.

south african graduate student earns international scholarship
From the shimmering shores of South Africa to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, Oratlie Malapile has never let distance stand in the way of higher education. "I intend to serve as a role model of success for women and girls in my country," said the married mother of three, hard at work earning her masterís degree in corporate and professional communication at Radford University. Malapile was recently honored with the P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship. Read More.

grant boosts ru's literacy efforts in roanoke schools
In recognition of its ongoing efforts to increase student achievement in Roanokeís public schools, Radford University recently received grant funding for its project "Teach for Achievement: Data Driven Instruction for Grades 3-5." The project is geared toward building efforts to increase teachersí knowledge in reading instruction in a way that impacts student achievement in reading, science, social studies and math. Read More.

social justice, holistic mental health explored at psy.d. conference
Radford Universityís Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program hosted the Southern Regional Counseling Psychology Conference in late October, with two high-profile speakers in the field discussing issues involving social justice and holistic mental health. Read More.

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PO Box 6928
Radford, VA 24142