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The Newsletter of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies
November 2011

Message from the Dean

The reasons a person may wish to pursue an advanced degree are probably as varied as the number of people pursuing such a degree. In other words, each quest for advanced learning is unique and personal. That being said, we can offer some general motivations that would explain some portion of an individual's decision to spend the time and resources necessary to attain an advanced degree.

I would think these broad motivations would include professional advancement, income considerations and personal growth goals. While the last motivation is purely individual, the others—vocational and income—are open to empirical analysis.

So the question of interest is, "Does advanced learning lead to greater vocational attainment and higher incomes?"

Last year the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce released its monograph "Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements through 2018." This is probably the most cited source for those looking at the real future demand for educational credentials and the impact of credentials on earning power.

In looking at what the growth rate is for individuals with master's degrees or higher by the year 2018, one gets a sobering picture. For the fastest-growing employment sectors, the demand for post-baccalaureate education looks something like this: In health care professions and health care support, the demand for individuals with post-baccalaureate credentials increases by 22 percent and 38 percent, respectively, from 2008 to 2018. In the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) the increase in demand is 19 percent and for education, 15 percent. Overall, in looking at the t10 fastest-growing employment sectors, the demand for individuals with advanced training is estimated to be 16 percent above the current demand.

The take-away from the data is fairly clear: The opportunity for those with advanced degrees is growing quickly and extends across the growth sectors of our national near-term economic future.

The trend for earnings potential is also clear. The estimated lifetime income of a person with a high school diploma is about $1.8 million. A person with a bachelor's degree earns about $3.4 million, while a person with a master's degree earns about $3.8 million. That same person with a professional degree will earn about $4.7 million during a life. Expressed as a percentage, the lifetime earning potential for a person with a professional degree is almost 40 percent more than a person with just the baccalaureate degree. The implication is obvious: Education pays, and advanced education pays even more.

While we all appreciate that advanced education has its own intrinsic worth, it is reassuring to know that advanced study also has some practical and instrumental value. Those with advanced degrees will be in greater demand in our future economy, and they will have greater earning power in those future jobs. Even though this makes intuitive sense, it is nice to have that conventional wisdom supported by rigorous economic analysis.

As always, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies stands prepared to meet these challenges of the future. We recently launched major initiatives in the health care arena and are in the planning stages of advanced degrees in the STEM areas.

The one guiding principle that undergirds all of these efforts is the quality of the degree. Through rigorous curriculum reviews, faculty credentialing and accreditation efforts, we guarantee that a person who leaves Radford University with an advanced degree meets the highest qualifications of his or her profession. That is our tradition, and that is our promise.

Yours for a bright Radford University future,

Dennis Grady, Ph.D., Dean

psychology professor receives nih grant
Mark Whiting, an assistant professor in Radford University's Department of Psychology, has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health for research on potential treatments for traumatic brain injury. Read more.

grady helps pave the way for future professors
Dennis Grady, dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, is part of a group planning and strategizing the most effective methods of recruiting, retaining, graduating and securing jobs for minority students who aspire to be professors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Read more.

ru honors first doctoral recipients
Radford University's first doctoral recipients were honored at a September banquet for them and their families with the university's top administrators and School of Nursing personnel. Read more.

university now an all-steinway school
Radford University has been recognized by a world-renowned piano maker as an All-Steinway School. For an institution to achieve the designation, at least 90 percent of its pianos must be Steinways. Radford's Department of Music now owns 37 Steinway & Sons pianos, with 16 of those being grand pianos. Read more.

scottish rite awards six fellowships to grad students
Six graduate students in the Radford University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders have been awarded fellowships totaling $33,472 by the Scottish Rite Foundation of Virginia. Read more.

graduate student's work featured at floyd library gallery
Works by Radford University graduate art student Shaun C. Whiteside have been chosen for display in the art gallery at the Jessie Peterman Memorial Library in Floyd. Read more.

alumna on magazine's 'artists to watch' list
Radford University alumna Mary Chiaramonte, M.F.A. '10, is listed among 25 Artists to Watch in the fall 2011 issue of "American Artist Watercolor" magazine. Read more.

radford shows its light side at fall convocation
In an exuberant celebration featuring poetry, music and dance, President Penelope W. Kyle and Provost Sam Minner on Aug. 25 led Radford University into its new academic year at a jubilant Fall Convocation punctuated by laughter, applause and ovations. Read more.

'the lady with the ducks'
Ashley Holt, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from Radford University, was instrumental in setting up the first class for licensed practical nurses at The Franklin Center in Rocky Mount. And, yes, she keeps a collection of rubber ducks in her office. Read more.

alumnus brings photo exhibition to campus
Tom Pallante returned to Radford University recently to display a collection of his photographs in the Beyond the Tartan Series, which offered audiences a variety of original photos and mixed media. Pallante, who earned his M.F.A. from Radford University in 2004 and now teaches photography at Miller School of Albemarle in Charlottesville, displayed "The Great American Experience," which he said explores the architecture and archetypes of circuses, carnivals and county fairs. "I was honored to have the opportunity to return to RU and share my work," Pallante said. "There are a number of people there and retired who played a critical role in my creative development."

mine expert talks mountaintop removal impact on appalachians
Environmental activist Jack Spadaro, a mine safety investigator for more than 40 years, spoke at Radford University in October about the growing impact of mountaintop removal coal mining on the people of the Appalachian region. Spadaro has spent much of his life in public service, educating people on the importance of protecting coal miners and their communities from environmental and health and safety hazards caused by mining operations. The College of Professional and Graduate Studies cosponsored Spadaro's lecture.

why choose radford?
There are as many reasons to make Radford University your choice for higher learning as there are students enrolled here! We rely on the diversity of our student body, faculty and staff as well as our common bond of pursuing knowledge and deeper understanding in an open and nurturing intellectual environment shared by all. Below are three students who made Radford University their choice for pursuing graduate education.

Jedidiah Stalker's dream is to teach English, either in the United States or abroad. While researching graduate programs that would help him achieve that goal, he discovered that Radford University's English Department offers a robust graduate teaching assistant program, making it the best choice for his master's degree. Read more.

After completing her undergraduate education and wandering from job to job on the East Coast, Hannah Weiss decided it was time to head back to school to pursue the master's degree she always knew she wanted. Read more.

As an undergraduate student, Tori Robeson majored in accounting and minored in psychology. After graduation, she decided she wanted to enhance her business knowledge and broaden her career possibilities. She soon discovered that Radford University's MBA program would give her the education she needed to make her ambitions become realities. Read more.

in the mood for a video?
If so, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies has plenty to offer. Videos can be found on the CGPS website focusing on nine Radford University graduate programs, including MBA, Health and Human Services,The Arts and Education and Human Development.

graduate students of the month
Each month, the College of Graduate and Professional Studies features on its website a graduate student of the month. Click the links below to read Q&A interviews with students of the month from October and November.

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