Online Path to Success

By Kate Trotter ’14

With online education making it easier than ever for people to get their degrees, the regional accredited online graduate programs at Loyola University New Orleans are designed for personal and professional growth, as well as success.

Loyola University New Orleans offers several graduate online programs that are designed with flexible schedules for students with busy lifestyles. The online graduate programs give students the advantage of learning from award-winning faculty and a nationally recognized university, along with the convenience of learning from anywhere they choose.

School of Nursing

The Loyola School of Nursing Online Program was recently named one of best online graduate programs in the country by the 2012 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Top Online Education Programs rankings guide. Loyola was one of only five nursing schools in the country and the only Jesuit institution to receive the honor roll designation from U.S. News & World Report. Currently, the School of Nursing offers three different online programs: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) online program requires 121 semester hours to complete. In order to be admitted to the program, a student must be a registered nurse with a current license to practice in the United States. Many graduates of the BSN online program go on to get their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from Loyola as well.

In addition, registered nurses who have received a non-nursing bachelor’s degree can also participate in the MSN program at Loyola through the BLEND Program. The MSN has two non-clinical tracks: Health Care Systems Management and Adult Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner.

Living in Lafayette, La., Warren Hebert is chief executive officer of the HomeCare Association of Louisiana. As CEO, a husband of 32 years, and the father of five children and soon to be five grandchildren, Hebert graduated from the BSN program and is now in the MSN online program. At 55 years old, Hebert will graduate in May 2013, specializing in Health Care Systems Management.

“My life has been enriched through the Loyola online nursing programs in that I have been exposed to new concepts, reinvigorated by sharing ideas across the state-of-the-art and evidence-based work in both leadership and nursing,” says Hebert.

Along with his wife, who is also in an online education program, Hebert knows exactly what online education can bring that a standard campus classroom setting cannot.

“One of the most exciting experiences of online learning is the opportunity to engage classmates from the nation’s leading health care systems...I have had classmates from Mayo Clinic, Geisinger Health System, the Cleveland Clinic, the Veteran’s Administration, and others,” explains Hebert.

The Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP) program at Loyola includes three tracks. The post-master’s to DNP tracks are for currently certified Nurse Practitioners who want an emphasis in integrated health behavior or master’s-prepared nurses seeking executive leadership. The post-BSN to DNP track prepares BSN nurses to be family nurse practitioners with an emphasis on incorporating comprehensive behavioral health components.

Donna Poirier lives in Ontario, Canada, and is enrolled in the DNP program at Loyola. Poirier travels to Loyola once a year for further instruction and to meet with other students, but remains in Canada with her family as she continues her online education. When choosing an online program, Loyola was the best choice.

“The program has already taught me some very important values to life,” says Poirier. “It has caused me to believe in myself more than I ever have before.”

As soon as Poirier graduates from Loyola, she plans on opening her own practice in Ontario, positioning her practice in an underprivileged area where health care is much needed.

Department of Criminal Justice

The Department of Criminal Justice offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration (MSCJA). The program includes two specializations: Justice Administration and Forensic Science Administration. The Justice Administration specialization focuses on innovative ideas and state-of-the-art practices in public law enforcement. The Forensic Science Administration specialization is centered on learning advanced management skills required to lead forensic labs and crime scene investigation departments.

Residing in Gray, La., Cedric Myers, a retired Unites States Marine, is a full-time graduate student in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration program at Loyola. Myers understands the career advantages this degree will give him and the convenience of taking his courses online.

“The structure of the program is easy to adjust to and the curriculum coincides with real-life applications that I may be faced with in the career field of criminal justice,” says Myers. “The online program allows the classroom to be brought to the student and makes learning much easier for the student.”

Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM)

Students can select from two master’s programs through the Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM): Master of Pastoral Studies (MPS) or Master of Religious Education (MRE). A variety of students with all ranges of experience come to Loyola to study under LIM, and with its degree fully online since 2010, it has been offering programs that are Ignation, practical, and affordable. Both online master’s programs provide a comprehensive study of theology and ministry along with incorporating students’ personal experiences as people of faith.

Students in the MPS program work to develop the theological and spiritual grounding necessary to become wiser and more effective ministers and leaders.

In the MRE program, students are provided with a set of multi-disciplinary perspectives and methodologies to enrich their practice and promote within them a sense of identity, reverence, and responsibility for life and the sacred.

Taking care of a family and working a full-time job that requires travel, Steven Botsford of Woodstock, Ga., is enrolled in the MRE program at Loyola and says it has been one of the best decisions and transformative experiences of his life. With a goal of developing and bringing supplemental catechetical materials to the market, Botsford has been very grateful to the education he has received so far from Loyola.

“Attending the program has not only given me the tools necessary to continue my path in education, but also add to my experience in youth ministry,” explains Botsford. “Personally, my soul was inspired and my faith was reignited as I moved through the coursework.”

Loyola’s online programs continue to prove successful to their graduates and are a smart solution if coming to campus isn’t ideal. While online degrees make it easier for students to receive education, Loyola makes sure its online programs do just that and more. At Loyola, the Jesuit mission to educate the whole person can be seen on campus and online.

Kate Trotter ’14 (marketing) worked as the publications intern for the Office of Marketing and Communications during summer 2012.

View the complete fall 2012 issue of LOYNO.

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