Mount Olive College to offer new degree
By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 15, 2013 1:46 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College will offer its first graduate-level course beginning in January.
College President Philip P. Kerstetter announced the addition of the master's in business administration program during a recent meeting of the college Foundation Board.
The 30-hour program will be offered completely online.
More graduate-level offerings could be on the horizon, college officials said.
The MBA will be the only graduate-level degree offered initially. However, during presentations about their respective programs, college department heads and professors said they hope to see graduate degrees extended to their programs as well.
"This is the first graduate degree at Mount Olive College," Kerstetter said. "It is a logical sequence. If you go back to 1951, we were established as a two-year junior college. Then in the mid 1980s, we became a four-year institution. So it is really right and proper and appropriate, time wise, for us to take that next step as to be able to go with the graduate-level programming.
"We have the authority to look at a couple of additional degrees, but that (MBA) is the one that we will start with. I think it is an exciting time, an appropriate time for Mount Olive College accordingly for that."
Kerstetter said that the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges had informed the college in June that it now has the authority to present a graduate-level degree.
"We have gotten authority to do a RN to BSN program, which is an exciting opportunity as well," he said. "So when you look at these things coming together, we are opening up the opportunity of showing our status, showing our ability to grow, and our ability to serve with innovative programs that are really going to be meeting the needs of people from across the country, but primarily with a focus on eastern North Carolina.
"Our finances are good. Our enrollment is strong. Our reputation in the community continues to grow and mature. Those are all indications of the growth and development of this institution that has the benefit of being able to build on what has happened before us. Through the Rapers, the Byrds and other people, Mount Olive College has continued to be that kind of institution that I think was dreamed about and envisioned about more than 60 years ago," Kerstetter said.
Several guests were on hand for the announcement, including former college president Dr. Bill Byrd, Rose Raper, the widow of Dr. Burkette Raper, who served the college for 40 years as president, and former Gov. Jim Hunt, a longtime Mount Olive College supporter.
"This college is so special and so good, and doing so much good. It is excellent. I listened carefully. I know something about excellence in academics. I am thrilled to see that we are continuing to build. This is a jewel, folks. I cannot tell you how much it means to us in eastern North Carolina and us in North Carolina and as was recently said, across the country," Hunt said.
Mount Olive College is now a Level III institution, which means that it is authorized to award a limited number of graduate degrees. Also by commission board action, Mount Olive College is authorized to deliver full degree programs online.
The college has been working towards the goal since the spring of 2011, when a strategic team was formed consisting of college administrators and faculty members from a variety of disciplines. Kerstetter praised the group for its leadership and foresight.
For more information about the MBA program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-855-MOC-GOAL. An online application is available.