Q: What is the orientation of the Youth Development Leadership Program?
The Youth Development Leadership Program is organized to provide knowledge and experience to students who desire to advocate for, and directly support, the positive youth development of all youth in communities. Students will develop skills to collaborate with professionals and the public for the well-being of all youth. Finally, students are provided skills that will allow them to position themselves uniquely in the professional network of youth development that will allow them opportunity to promote youth development and attain career success in this chosen field.
Q: What can I do with this degree?
Students use this degree and the knowledge they gain in the program to prepare them for many opportunities. They may take positions of leadership in youth development organizations, agencies, and institutions such as schools, 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, non- profit organizations, faith-based organizations, recreation/community agencies, land grant extension services/programs, and many others. They may be supervisors of youth development staff including education and social service work environments, faith-based advocates for youth well-being, program evaluators, fundraisers and grantwriters, administrators, and supervisors.
Q: Who are the students enrolled in the Masters online Degree Program in Youth Development?
Current students range in age from 25-50, and are working in varied professional environments, including schools, 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, non-profit organizations, social services, summer camp organizations, and the military. Given the online feature of this Masters Degree Program, they are geographically located throughout the United States.
Q: Who are the faculty?
All instructors are tenured and tenure-track faculty with academic appointments in departments and colleges within Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. They are affiliated with a cross-section of academic units, including the College of Health, Education, and Human Development, Department of Sociology, Dept. of Applied Economics and Statistics, Institute for Family and Neighborhood Life, and the National Drop-Out Prevention Center.
Q: How is this program set up and how long does it take to finish?
Each course is taken consecutively (one course at a time) for 6 weeks to allow the part-time or full time worker to enroll and complete a graduate degree program. Yet, a student completes the Masters degree in the time typical of most on campus residential masters programs, two years. Thus, a student that enrolls in January completes the degree the next year in December.
Q: What exactly happens in an online course?
Activities and requirements will vary across instructors. However, there are some common activities in most courses. For instance, Blackboard is the software that serves as the basic structure of every course, including the location of the syllabus, instructor communication, course assignments, grades, discussion boards, and external links. Clemson University provides support for this technology through its Distance Education Center for Instructional Technology, an array of resources for instructors and students. Breeze Live is the software that allows instructors and students to be online together (synchronous learning) to participate in lectures, student presentations, and discussion. Often, instructors schedule a weekly block of time (60-90 minutes), often one night a week, for Breeze Live. Students can schedule all other course activities at a time of their own choosing and in congruence with other students for team presentation preparation.
Q: What have students experienced in the Youth Development Leadership Masters Degree Program?
A survey was conducted in 2006 requesting student comments about their current experience in the program. The value of the program was clearly evidenced by the responses to the following question: ‘Would you recommend the Youth Development online Masters Program to a colleague interested in this degree?’ Students unanimously responded: ‘yes’! Students also provided some open-ended feedback about the program. One student stated: I really enjoy this program! I know we have only completed 3 courses so far, but I have learned much about Youth Development Programming..’. Another student wrote: ‘ I have been very impressed with the organization of the program and the orientation process. Being away from campus, the orientation gave me a feeling of being a part of Clemson University. There are so many long distance courses out there and the reputation for getting a degree online is worrisome. The orientation dispelled any thoughts of the devaluation of the program due to the online delivery system.’ Finally, another student wrote, ‘I must say that I have been more than pleased with the quality of instructors for this program! From Dr. Allen forward, it has been a busy and rewarding trip. (Trip as in good trip!). I am excited about the remainder of the ride and I have no desire to ask, ‘Are we there yet?’
Q: Can you tell me about Clemson University?
Thomas Green Clemson’s founding idea more than 100 years ago was to create a ‘high seminary of learning’ and the Graduate School’s mission is to ‘promote superior research and scholarship and to provide the highest levels of education and training.’ Clemson University has over 100 graduate programs in over 70 fields of study including education, human services, the arts, architecture and the humanities, life sciences, agriculture, engineering, business, and behavioral and social sciences. . It is in the top 30 of best public education universities in the country (US News and World Reports, 2006) and is considered a Research I university attracting more than $125 million in externally funded research and sponsored programs in 2004-2005. The Scientist magazine ranks Clemson as the No. 1 place to work in academia, and Forbes publisher Rich Karlgaard has dubbed the town of Clemson a ‘telecommuting heaven’ on his list of America’s 150 cheapest and greatest places to live.
Q: Is the GRE required?
Yes, it is required of most graduate programs at Clemson and is considered one of several pieces of information used in consideration of your application. You can find information about the GRE and how to take the test at www.ets.org.
Q: Is there a rolling admissions process in the Youth Development Leadership Program?
No, students are admitted for a January start date of each year and come to campus the last weekend of January (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) for 3 days of student orientation. They also begin the first course while on campus for orientation.
Q: What happens at student orientation?
Many things. Students get a chance to meet the other students in the program as well as the faculty who will be teaching the courses. They will also engage in some team-building activities that will help them become ‘fast friends’ and prepare them for working together throughout the program. Students will have a seminar with DCIT (Distance Center for Instructional Technology) on how to take courses on line. They receive instruction on the availability and use of library services. Students will also begin their first course while on campus to get comfortable with the technology.
Q: What financial aid is available to cover the costs of the program?
Clemson University has a financial aid office that is available to all students whether on campus or enrolled in distance education programs. You might also investigate in your own community, through community foundations or your employer, to see what financial support might be available.
Q: Who can I contact for further information?
You can contact William Quinn (firstname.lastname@example.org), Youth Development Coordinator, for information about the degree program content and policies, and April Bowen (BOWEN2@clemson.edu) for information about applications and registration.