In May 1995, the Utah Board of Regents granted Southern Utah University its own master's degree program in education, despite opposition from Utah State University and the University of Utah.
The program began in the fall of 1995, with SUU determined to prove its detractors wrong, said program director Quenton Bowler.According to Bowler, the program at SUU has passed projections and been an instant success.
Currently there are 355 applicants for the program. "Of all the applications I have read, and that has been most of them, I haven't seen any that would be rejected," he said, indicating he also has eleven applicants for graduate studies.
Bowler indicated that to gain entrance into the master's program, candidates are required to:
- Complete and submit an application form.
- Collect and submit three letters of recommendation.
- Complete the Miller Analogy Test (MAT).
- Receive a score of at least 43 if they lack teaching experience.
Bowler said students can apply for admission any time during the year, and once accepted, they will continue through the six-year program. He said the program's success can be attributed to several things, but the main reason for interest is the increase in salary a teacher can expect with a master's degree. Another benefit is the extra teaching knowledge gained.
"Learning is important and should never cease," he said. "Intelligence is something that can take us to great places. A master's degree can also be beneficial to non-education majors who may have decided to get a teaching certificate."
Now that SUU has its own master's program, the university is able to offer the program to other Southern Utah residents through the off-campus center in St. George, Bowler said. The SUU Center at Dixie College is the only off-site campus approved to offer the program at the present time.