NEW BUSINESS PROMOTION D.B.A. PROGRAM TO CHANGE WAY AMERICA DOES FOR AEROSPACE MANAGER AFTER EARNING M.B.A.

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1 ISSUE NO.2 A MAGAZINE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS OF SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY S ONLINE GRADUATE PROGRAMS D.B.A. PROGRAM TO CHANGE WAY AMERICA DOES BUSINESS PROMOTION FOR AEROSPACE MANAGER AFTER EARNING M.B.A. NEW CYBERSECURITY M.S. PROGRAM ONLINE EDUCATION IMPORTANT ASSET FOR FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE DR. NASTANSKI PHOTOGRAPHED ON THE DECK OF THE DONALD R. TAPIA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS BUILDING ON THE SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY CAMPUS

2 Welcome to Achieve! Within the following pages, you will have an opportunity to read about Saint Leo University graduate students, faculty, and alumni. Despite the diversity of their backgrounds and experiences, their stories share common themes of professional achievement and dedication to Saint Leo University s core values of Excellence, Community, Respect, Personal Development, Responsible Stewardship, and Integrity. Both faculty and students bring a wealth of experience to the classroom, and it is within this collaborative environment that students deepen their knowledge, hone their critical thinking, and develop as leaders. Although firmly grounded in a history that began back in 1889, Saint Leo University provides innovative programs that address current and emerging issues in their fields. From globalization to critical incident management to gerontology, students complete their graduate degrees prepared for the future and the challenges and opportunities it provides. If your goals align with the rigorous and engaging learning opportunities available at Saint Leo University, take the next step and contact us. We are here to assist you on your educational journey. Kathryn McFarland Vice President of Enrollment 1 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE Issue No. 2 contents What s the Value of a Graduate? Hire Calling Values-based D.B.A. out to transform the way America does business Delve Deep with a D.B.A. Career Evaluation Aerospace program manager takes his capabilities to new heights with M.B.A. The Queen of Data M.Ed. graduate helps her district make sense of educational data Digital Defense Master of Cybersecurity Program answers call to combat growing threat of cyber crime Head Business of the Class Development Partnership One M.B.A. student shares how Golden she does Opportunity all Former Marine advises military students to take advantage of the Yellow Ribbon tuition program Positive Direction Theology student forms strong ties in intimate and convenient online program MISSION STATEMENT Financial Aid What you'll need to know Saint Leo University is a Catholic, liberal arts-based university serving people of all faiths. Rooted in the 1,500-year-old Benedictine tradition, the university seeks balanced growth in mind, body, and spirit for all members of its community. At University Campus, at education centers, and through the Center for Online Learning, Saint Leo University offers a practical, effective model for life and leadership in a challenging world, a model based on steadfast moral consciousness that recognizes the dignity, value, and gifts of all people. To accomplish its mission, the university community creates a student-centered environment in which love of learning is of prime importance. Members of the community are expected to examine and express their own values, listen and respectfully respond to the opinions of others, serve the community in which they live, welcome others into their lives, and care for all of God s creations. The Graduate Admissions team looks forward to helping you take the next steps in achieving your goals. Contact your enrollment counselor today at or WHAT S THE VALUE OF A GRADUATE DEGREE? There are many reasons to earn a graduate degree or certificate PERSONAL GROWTH INTELLECTUAL FULFILLMENT CAREER ADVANCEMENT 43% growth % more growth by AND-OVER STUDENT POPULATION A graduate degree can provide other important benefits such as increased income potential and offer earners an edge in a weak job market. In fact, graduate degrees have become a requirement for entry into a growing list of professional fields. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of jobs typically requiring a master s degree for entry is expected to grow by 22 percent. 22 UP PERCENT HOW MIGHT A GRADUATE DEGREE OR CERTIFICATE FROM SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY BOOST YOUR INCOME POTENTIAL AND CAREER PROSPECTS? ,000 master s degrees awarded in the U.S. 60% Women earned about two-thirds of the graduate certificates awarded in as well as 60 percent of the master s degrees. Average: 7.6% up 50% from UNEMPLOYMENT RATES 14.1% In 2008, those who completed advanced degrees earned an average of $24,531 more than those with bachelor s degrees sources: Sommers & Franklin, 2012; US Census Bureau; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Council of Graduate Schools; National Center for Education Statistics; Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce 2.5% 2.4% 3.6% 4.9% 6.8% 8.7% 9.4% Master s degree holders on average enjoy higher incomes and lower unemployment. Doctoral Professional Master s Bachelor s Associate Some College, no degree High School Diploma Less than High School Diploma 2011 MEDIAN ANNUAL EARNINGS $80,600 $83,700 $66,100 $54,000 $39,900 $37,000 $32,600 $23,100 Average: $41,400 Issue No. 2 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE 2

3 SAINT LEO FACT Ranked one of the Top Universities in the South, by U.S. News and World Report. DELVE DEEP WITH A D.B.A. DEGREE Take your education to the next level and widen the scope of your professional opportunities with Saint Leo s Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) degree. The D.B.A. program offers an exceptional curriculum with solid course requirements that provide essential business knowledge. For example, you will study at an advanced level the significance of values and ethics as they relate to global leadership, human behavior in organizations, business innovation and entrepreneurship, analytics for decision making, human resources in multinational organizations, and strategic management. PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: May take three to four years to complete, no more than seven Requires 57 credits All courses are online, except for three separate one-week intersessions held at University Campus Learn more at online.saintleo.edu or call a graduate enrollment counselor at (800) Values-based D.B.A. out to transform the way America does business Hire Calling You don t need to look hard to see striking examples of business leadership gone bad in recent years, from banking to real estate, the reputation of the country s businesses has taken a hit, says Dr. Michael Nastanski, dean of the Saint Leo University Donald R. Tapia School of Business. We ve had a number of challenges where I don t think leadership lent itself to creating sustainable businesses, he says. You could take a negative view on that, but I tend to take a positive view. I m passionate about the value of business. I believe businesses create local environments where people can thrive economically. I m a firm believer that people who are economically connected tend to be connected in other ways as well, and that business is critical to world interaction and world peace. Dr. Nastanski is out to change the way America does business by educating the next generation of corporate leaders with the university s first doctoral degree program, the Doctor of Business Administration, which began with an initial cohort of 20 students in December Designed for working professionals, the D.B.A. offers a hybrid of online and in-class instruction. Students meet for one week of classes at University Campus and continue online, supplemented by two weeklong intersession meetings each term. It s all about quality, value, and convenience, says Dr. Nastanski. You can study in a classroom or online with a faculty that understands the conflicting demands of the working adult. Students can choose one of three areas of concentration: academics for those who want to teach business at the college or university level; research for mid-career professionals who are transitioning to new fields or roles; and management for independent consultants and executives. The D.B.A. serves as an extension of the university s highly acclaimed M.B.A. program that offers eight concentrations of study also with a focus on effective decision-making, leadership, and ethics. Dr. Nastanski says the D.B.A. program is uniquely positioned to make an immediate impact on the business community because of the age of its students and the university s online courses and nationwide network of Education Centers. The average age of our students is 37. Over 80 percent are already working in some type of organization be it military or private, for-profit or non-profit that must run well. And because of our reach with online distribution, nationwide Education Centers, and the traditional campus, we can have a tremendous impact on business leadership in this country. VALUES IN THE WORKPLACE During a recent meeting with executives in various industries, Dr. Nastanski inquired about the skills and personal qualities they want in a Saint Leo University graduate. One of the first points they made is that they want to see values in the program. They need people with complete integrity who understand that tough choices have to be made while following ethical practices. In our program, the hard skills, soft skills, and values all intertwine to help students develop as leaders. Additionally, the focus on the application of values-based leadership sets the program apart from other research-based doctoral programs. That s not who we are. We re a place where we can take the best theory and best practices and have students who will extend them within their field. It s a hands-on program, particularly as students enter the dissertation. The D.B.A. is expected to take three to four years to complete, though students are permitted to take a maximum of seven years. Dr. Nastanski cites the sobering static that 50 percent of all doctoral candidates never complete their degree because they don t finish their dissertation. Here, the goal is 80 percent completion, which the university aims to achieve by pairing each student with a mentor to assist in gaining hands-on experience teaching in the classroom, researching, or consulting, depending on their concentration. Since opening enrollment for the December cohort during the summer of 2013, the program has attracted high caliber students from a variety of business backgrounds. Because of the remarkable response, the program expanded with the launch of a second cohort in May 2014, with the next one to start in December He encourages students who need help deciding if the D.B.A. is right for them to call him directly, but don t expect a sales pitch. I m not here to sell because I think the program sells itself. I want to understand what they re trying to achieve. It s changed my life every time I ve gotten a degree. It s a real commitment, but the potential for the student willing to commit to the program is limitless. GET TO KNOW Dr. Michael Nastanski formal title Dean of the Donald R. Tapia School of Business; Professor of Management & Marketing education Bachelor s, Master s, and Doctorate family Wife Nora and sons Brandon and Bryan can t live without Coffee in the morning and sports in the afternoon music listening to Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Eminem (He s from Detroit.), Alicia Keys, and most in between favorite quote Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Mahatma Gandhi We can have a tremendous impact on business leadership in this country. DR. NASTANSKI IN FRONT OF A SMART BOARD AND IN HIS OFFICE ON THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS 3 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE Issue No. 2 Issue No. 2 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE 4

4 BAUER HARRIS AT CENTENNIAL OLYMPIC PARK IN ATLANTA, GA Career Elevation Aerospace program manager takes his capabilities to new heights with M.B.A. SAINT LEO FACT Saint Leo University was founded in 1889 and first offered online education in GET TO KNOW Bauer Harris current residence Douglasville, GA (Atlanta suburb) profession Logistics Program Manager at UTC Aerospace Systems family Wife, two sons, daughter, two daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren saint leo education B.A. Business Management, 11; M.B.A., 12 biggest influence First cousin Rear Admiral Earl Gay (USN-ret.) advice for those starting online degree Discipline is a must, and your social life takes a backseat until the goal is complete. A very strong dedication and commitment is needed to complete online courses; so be certain this is what you want before committing. Bauer Harris knows first hand how a degree opens doors. After a 20-year career in the Navy, he went to work in the private sector and decided to earn a bachelor s degree in business at Saint Leo University. He graduated in May of 2010, and by November, he had accepted a new position that paid well and offered a greater opportunity for advancement. All because I had a bachelor s degree and the experience, he explains. For Harris, the road to graduation took a few twists earlier in life. The son of a middle-income family in Atlanta, he accepted a football and academic scholarship to Morehouse College after high school in Looking back, I probably should have gone to school outside the city, he says. I didn t do all the right things. After football season, I didn t go to class as much. His grades suffering, Harris transferred to a university in Alabama, but he still wasn t making much progress. By 1985, I said, Forget this playing around. I joined in the Navy in 1986, and it was one of the best things I ve done for myself. It forced me to seriously grow up. Once in the Navy, Harris quickly made rank. Now I had people underneath me that I had to account for and teach and train. It was a big change in my life, he says. Harris moved away from Atlanta to the West Coast for a time. He married and he and his wife had three children. He says he regretted not completing couple of times, he says. By the time graduation came in 2010, Harris felt he had the right mindset to continue on and immediately enrolled in the university s online M.B.A. program. I got the bachelor s for my mother and the M.B.A. for me, he explains. It was personal, something I wanted to achieve for myself. I wasn t really thinking about the opportunities until I was close to finishing. I updated my resume, and the recruiters started calling. Then the light went on that I could make a lot more money. That s not why I wanted to do it, but that became a nice benefit. Harris finished his M.B.A. in March 2012 and shortly after received a promotion from program support manager to program manager at UTC Aerospace Systems. There, he manages a contract worth $54 million to sell cargo airplane parts to the military. He says the skills he learned in the M.B.A. program have been crucial to his ability to lead and manage on the job, and he often goes back to reference his books, particularly material pertaining to strategic management, time management, and organizational behavior. Time management and organizational behavior are critical in my field because I m dealing with so many different aspects customers, contractors, orders, forecasting, and logistics, he says. I ve got to be organized and understand the business itself. I updated my resume and the recruiters started calling. PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Master of Business Administration 36-credit program with elective internship course Take up to two courses per eightweek term and complete program in as fast as one year, or extend your studies for up to five years Choose from eight business concentrations, including accounting and marketing LEARN MORE At online.saintleo.edu or call a graduate enrollment counselor at (800) Ready to take the next step? Apply today at online.saintleo.edu using the code achieve14, and your $80 application fee will be waived. his degree before he left the Navy in If I had come out with a degree, it would ve been better. By then, I had 20 years experience in logistics and [with a degree] I could ve had a lot of choices. I heard about Saint Leo while I was in, but I kept putting it off, he says. ON THE ROAD TO A DEGREE At the urging of his mother, Harris enrolled in the bachelor s program under the GI Bill and took classes at the Saint Leo University education center at Fort McPherson before it was closed in SLU now has four education centers throughout Georgia. After a few semesters, he transferred to the online format. By then, Harris was pushing his children to attend college and even started a contest to see who could achieve the highest GPA each semester. I was winning because I d been on honor roll a In his free time, Harris continues to mentor those he worked with in the Navy and is also a member of his local Mason lodge and a mentor with the National Black MBA Association. Recently, he was accepted to the prestigious group of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc, a chapter of 100 Black Men of America, Inc, which provides mentoring for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. Through 100 Black Men of Atlanta, he plans to mentor students from his old neighborhood students who remind Harris of himself at that age and who may need help finding a path to successful careers and lives. It s rough for our kids right now. I want to show them that they have opportunities and choices. I want to be able to reach them with my story and where I came from and what I ve done. It s my way of giving back to those who kept me on the straight and narrow. 5 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE Issue No. 2 Issue No. 2 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE 6

5 ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL MICHELE ALVAREZ-HARDEN GETS READY TO WELCOME STUDENTS TO A NEW DAY AT BURNETT MIDDLE SCHOOL The Queen of Data Burnett Middle School Assistant Principal Michele Alvarez- Harden has found joy in the everyday moments of her job. From working with teachers to develop curriculum to devising a master schedule for the school s teachers and 900 students, what she appreciates most is the relationships among teachers, students, and the community. I love this age group. Some days are great and some are a challenge. It s the little everyday wins that are really rewarding, says Alvarez-Harden. Since 1997, Alvarez-Harden has taught in Hillsborough County Public Schools, a district based in Tampa and characterized by its large and diverse student population. In 2002, the district faced a shortage of teachers with leadership training, and she was encouraged by her mentor to earn a master s in leadership. An assistant principal at her school was a Saint Leo University graduate, and she decided to look into attending the university s Master s of Educational Leadership Program. What attracted Alvarez-Harden initially was the accessibility of enrollment counselors. Another selling factor was SLU s weekend cohort model. She was familiar with the model having attended a small university that also structured majors into cohorts. She enrolled in the two-year program, a hybrid of Saturday classes, group projects, and online assignments. As a full-time teacher and mom to a young daughter, the program s weekend classes and flexible schedule made going back to school possible, and the cohort model offered camaraderie and support from other working adults in her class. The cohort was appealing because it s the same core group of students. We had lots of group work, so the fact we were together so much really strengthened the academic community. When you re an adult student with all these things going on in your life, you really support each other. You push each other to make sure you re meeting your deadlines. LESSONS IN DATA Looking back, Alvarez-Harden still marvels at the caliber of the program s professors all experts in their fields. One of her most challenging courses was one in which she learned how to use instructional data, a practice that was not as common a decade ago. Today there s all this talk now about using data to drive instruction, she says. Now, if programs don t offer it, they re not worthy. Ten years ago the talk was there, but no one really knew what to do. The course required that she analyze her school s data to see trends in areas such as attendance, discipline, and test scores. She went on to use the data to develop tutoring programs for her school. She soon caught the attention of her principal who asked her to meet with district administrators and explain how to apply data analysis to the classroom. To this day, she s known as the data queen. I m still the data queen, but more graduates are finally catching up. Data back then wasn t as accessible, and people didn t know what to do with it. The fact that I really understood it helped me make a name for myself and get an assistant principal job very quickly, she says. I still have a lot to learn, but even though the data is changing, I have that mindset and know the right questions to ask, what the data means, and how to apply it. As assistant principal, she uses data to make predictions and provide the right resources to help students make gains. She also advises teachers how to use data and translate the big picture to the individual student, breaking down the jargon so that they can focus on teaching and not get bogged down in the numbers. She has worked to further leadership not just in her district, but also in the corporate and nonprofit sectors through her involvement with the Florida Leadership Academy, an organization that identifies and prepares undergraduate college students for leadership roles. Back at the district, she has served on a committee to identify leaders in her district and develop educational materials. Time and again, she recommends Saint Leo University. Her brother and several coworkers are now graduates of the program. I feel strongly about what I got out of it, and it was a great education for your money. It works for people who can t take off work for school or have a long internship and need to work it into family life. I ll continue to recommend Saint Leo. M.Ed. graduate helps her district make sense of educational data SAINT LEO FACT There are more than 74,000 Saint Leo alumni worldwide. PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Master of Educational Leadership 36-credit degree program Designed for full-time teachers holding K-12 certification who can complete the curriculum s practicum requirement in the state of Florida The degree is for students intending to seek Education Leadership certification through the Florida Department of Education GET TO KNOW Michele Alvarez-Harden current residence Valrico, FL profession Middle School Assistant Principal saint leo education Master of Education, Educational Leadership family Two daughters Cecilia and Lucy approach to balancing work, school, and life Had to learn how to say "no" to people, which is harder than it sounds can t live without Humor favorite quote Just keep swimming. Dory in Finding Nemo LEARN MORE At online.saintleo.edu or call a graduate enrollment counselor at (800) Ready to take the next step? Apply today at online.saintleo.edu using the code achieve14, and your $80 application fee will be waived. Even though the data is changing, I have that mindset and know the right questions to ask, what the data means, and how to apply it. 7 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE Issue No. 2 Issue No. 2 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE 8

6 Digital defense SAINT LEO FACT Saint Leo enrolls more than 16,000 students from all 50 states and more than 60 nations. Master of Cybersecurity Program answers call to combat growing threat of cyber crime Massive company data breaches have become a mainstay of the news cycle. As more and more businesses conduct transactions online and store user data, that data is worth big money, attracting hackers and multinational cyber crime syndicates. According to Symantec, the makers of Norton anti-virus software, cyber crime in the United States totaled $38 billion in 2013, representing a 50 percent increase in the cost per victim compared to the previous year. Worldwide, more than 1 million adults were cyber attacked per day in 2013, costing $113 billion for crimes such as fraud and identity theft. Those who are knowledgeable in cybersecurity have outstanding job opportunities. Protecting data assets is getting increasingly critical. The importance of having people trained to provide that protection to companies is accelerating at an unbelievable pace, says Dr. Vyas Krishnan, chairman of computer science and information systems. He says there s a shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals and that was part of the urgency to create the new master s degree program in cybersecurity, a 36-credit-hour program for IT professionals. DR. KRISHNAN AMONG THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE CYBERSECURITY CAMPUS CLASSROOMS AN EVOLVING FIELD While the university has offered an M.B.A. with a cybersecurity concentration for the last eight years, the new program is different in many ways, starting with the technical depth. Prospective students must complete a computer science or engineering degree or be a current cybersecurity or IT professional. Students will learn how to take a managerial as well as highly technical approach to cyber crime prevention and defense. This includes understanding legal and compliance issues, strategic planning for information security, discovering and correcting network weaknesses, testing the system to identify whether breaches have occurred, and designing infrastructure that keeps up with new cyber threats. The program will teach students how to adapt to changing technology and outsmart hackers that have become increasingly adept at exploiting weaknesses to gain access to sensitive data. Cybersecurity is an evolving field. It s a constant arms race that happens between the hackers and the information technology team that oversees the infrastructure of a company, says Dr. Krishnan. THINK LIKE A HACKER There s a saying in the cybersecurity industry: To beat the hacker, think like a hacker. One factor that sets the Saint Leo University program apart from others is the strong focus on practical skills and hands-on projects, where students will learn how to think like and defeat hackers through role play. The university recently constructed a state-of-the-art cybersecurity lab wherein students will be divided into teams and play the part of hacker and system defender within the lab s isolated networks. Trying to break in is a classic way to test to see how secure the system is and also make one aware of the weaknesses. If you are administering a network, you become aware of the types of symptoms that give away someone trying to break in, says Dr. Krishnan. In addition to the strong practical focus, the program is unique in other ways, namely that it was built from the ground up to focus specifically on cybersecurity. No time is spent on foundational computer science concepts. In researching other programs, Dr. Krishnan found many programs start with a master s of computer science and add electives that cover cybersecurity, which essentially becomes a specialization. At SLU, the technical perquisite means students are on the same level technically, which enables all 12 courses to focus on cybersecurity. To ensure a robust curriculum that meets today s cyber threats, courses adhere to the NSA s guidelines for cybersecurity programs. The curriculum is also structured to cover skills required to obtain various professional certifications students may need to advance in their workplace or to attract future employers. Classes will meet on Saturdays at University Campus. Starting in 2015, students will have the option to complete the program entirely online. Dr. Krishnan says the multiple modes of delivery are particularly attractive to local IT professionals. We see a huge market in the Tampa Bay area. We ve been getting a lot of inquiries from working professionals. Right now, demand far exceeds supply. Those who are knowledgeable in cybersecurity have outstanding job opportunities. PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Cybersecurity 36-credit degree program Curriculum is aligned with the core curriculum for graduate information assurance degrees set forth by the National Security Agency (NSA) Program aligns with the knowledge units covered in industry recognized professional certifications in information security, such as Security+, CISSP, SSCP, CSSLP, and CISM BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP In the fall of 2011, Denise Robin Gogola was a veteran employee of the Pasco Sheriff s Office in the 911 call center. Like many working adults, she dreamed of earning a master s degree. I knew I could increase my earning potential, Gogola says, so I decided to go back to school. Gogola had completed part of her undergraduate degree with tuition assistance from Pasco and hoped there might be a similar benefit for advanced degrees. Thanks to Saint Leo s corporate partnership program (of which Pasco is a participating organization), Gogola was able to receive a discount on tuition for Saint Leo s online program. The Pasco Sheriff s Office assisted with tuition for my master s degree, says Gogola. They paid for my textbooks and for graduation, too. Gogola finished her degree requirements last fall and is now the proud recipient of a M.B.A. degree from Saint Leo in information security management. The new degree helped her to land a role as a regional IT coordinator. I did have to change jobs, which was a big adjustment for me after 16 years there, Gogola says, but my degree has helped me to boost my salary. I m grateful to the program. Approximately 50 businesses or organizations have signed education provider agreements with Saint Leo, says Dr. Beth Carter, associate vice president for continuing education at Saint Leo. What this means is that we work together to lower the cost of tuition. Companies participating in the corporate partnership program are in a wide range of industries, from health care to banking DENISE ROBIN GOGOLA to public assistance. Lindsey Askew is a smart, hard-working young woman who took a job with one of Saint Leo s corporate partners after receiving her degree. Askew worked in the HR department of Tech Data, a Clearwater, FL-based IT distributor. I had a lot of student loans from my undergraduate degree, she says, so I went right to work, but I didn t want to wait to get my M.B.A. Because she was in HR, Askew quickly learned of the education provider agreement between Tech Data and Saint Leo. Tech Data offered a generous and challenging benefit. Company policy stipulated a sliding reimbursement scale based on grades: 100% tuition reimbursement for A s, with lesser amounts allocated for B s and C s. That scale really pushed me to work hard, Askew says. I held down a full-time job, went to school at night, and got all A s! Askew was so enthusiastic about the program that she worked to bring Saint Leo into Tech Data, helping to pilot an onsite Saint Leo M.B.A. program, where Tech Data employees can take classes with colleagues in their own workplace. It s great for real world experiences, Askew says. The Corporate Partnership Program at Saint Leo continues to grow. Our goal is to strengthen and cultivate partnerships with current companies and develop new partnerships as well, says Carter. Our faculty and staff at our University Campus, education centers, and online programs form relationships with companies and organizations. And if we don t currently have a partnership with a prospective student s company, we can initiate the process that way too. Through corporate partnerships, Saint Leo offers students benefits such as the waiving of admissions application fees, a reduction in tuition for specific degree programs, and career counseling. The goal of the program is to make earning a degree manageable for working adults. LINDSEY ASKEW 9 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE Issue No. 2 Issue No. 2 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE 10

7 SAINT LEO FACT Saint Leo is one of the largest providers of higher education to the military. LEIGH RYSER ON SAINT LEO'S CAMPUS IN FRONT OF THE SCULPTURE TITLED FOR THOSE WHO SERVE I have the military background. I understand how the GI Bill works, how deployment works. I know their feelings. I have students stationed all over the world taking classes. Former Marine advises military students to take advantage of the Yellow Ribbon tuition program GET TO KNOW Leigh Ryser current residence Tampa, FL profession Graduate Counselor family Wife and son Jacob saint leo education B.A. Technology Management, Working on an M.B.A. advice for those starting online degree Commitment and determination will pay exponentially in the future wished knew when started at saint leo There are people at Saint Leo that can help. You are not alone; you just have to ask. PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Master of Criminal Justice 36-credit degree program Choose from these specializations: Corrections Critical Incident Management Forensic Science Legal Studies LEARN MORE At online.saintleo.edu or call a graduate enrollment counselor at (800) Ready to take the next step? Apply today at online.saintleo.edu. When Leigh Ryser left the Marines in 2006, he could have gotten a job repairing aviation electronics, as he had on aircraft carriers during the last five years of his service. That would have been the lucrative thing to do, he says. But I didn t want to work on planes. Instead, Ryser decided to leverage his military leadership experience and earn a bachelor s degree in business. He came home to the Tampa, FL area and went to work as an office manager for two years, saving as much as he could and paying off debts. On the side, he started a tree management company, which served as income when he quit his job in 2009 and went to school full time. Ryser says he could have attended a community college for free under the GI Bill, but decided to enroll at Saint Leo University, even though that meant paying part of his tuition out of pocket. Being a private, accredited, non-profit Catholic university is what piqued my interest. I didn t want to sit in an auditorium at a state college getting a lecture with 250 students. So I paid for that private education, and it was worthwhile. A WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT Class sizes never exceeded 25 students, whether on campus or online, he says. While he lived close enough to University Campus to take some courses there, his side business and family obligations made it difficult to commute there everyday. I just loved class time. The professors here are unbelievable, but sometimes I needed the convenience of the online. I took night and weekend adult learning courses and courses online. I worked with the advisors here to mix them up and created a schedule that would work for me. In 2010, Ryser found financial relief when he enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which unlocked a benefit that would cover the entire cost of tuition. Saint Leo University is a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program, which makes funds available without an additional charge to a student's GI Bill entitlement. Upon graduation, Ryser knew he wanted to pursue an M.B.A., but with his GI benefits running short, he needed to go back to work and planned to take a position managing a staffing agency. He knew the hours would be long, requiring work at night and on weekends. It would have been really difficult to get an M.B.A. regardless of where I went to school, he says. I just didn t want to leave Saint Leo. He then also applied for a position as a graduate enrollment counselor at SLU. When he got the job, Ryser enrolled in the online M.B.A. program. As a working adult with a family, I can t commit to a class every evening or on Saturdays. We have football practice and games on Saturdays. The online is so convenient, and you get the same education, same professors, same curriculum, same books. I can go on at night and write my papers. I can do my reading and make my posts. I can essentially have my classroom conversation whenever I get online and respond. ADVISING MILITARY STUDENTS Ryser believes his military experience was an important factor in getting the position of counselor for prospective students interested in criminal justice and critical incident management. Those programs are popular among active duty and military veterans. It makes me an asset to the students because I have the military background. I understand how the GI Bill works, how deployment works. I know their feelings. I have students stationed all over the world taking classes in Afghanistan, Japan, and Guam. I can understand them better than someone who hasn t been through it, and it makes me a better advisor. Saint Leo University has a 40-year history serving military students, having opened its first satellite campus at MacDill AFB in The university currently serves thousands of active duty and military veterans around the world. Ryser says SLU s online degree programs, satellite campuses, online resources, and eight-week term schedules offer the flexibility military members need to earn a degree while deployed or on base. The university s tuition assistance specialists and veterans benefits counselors help students utilize benefits to their best advantage. For information about military resources available at Saint Leo University, contact the Office for Veteran Student Services at (352) or Learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program at The eight-week terms make it easier for military to plan, knowing they could be deployed at any time. You can skip a term if needed and make it up later, he says. Even our professors are veterans. We get it. 11 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE Issue No. 2 Issue No. 2 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE 12

8 SAINT LEO FACT Tuition is one-third less the national average for private, 4-year institutions. Theology student forms strong ties in intimate and convenient online program LILY KING OUTSIDE ST. JUDE S CATHEDRAL IN ST. PETERSBURG, FL Even though it s an online class and I never got to meet them face-to-face, I still felt like I knew them. In some cases, I felt like I knew them better than some of the professors I had that were face-to-face. Lily King always knew she wanted a career helping people. Out of high school, she enrolled in a large state university and studied to become a clinical psychologist, a career that would enable her to counsel those struggling with mental disorders. But during an internship studying the effects of alcohol and nicotine addiction, her attention often shifted to religious theory. As she poured over theology research and delved deeper into the subject, she resolved to earn her master s degree in theology. It was her plan to go for a master s all along, but now she was positive this was the right direction. If I was going to study something, I might as well make it my passion, something I really love, explains King. King graduated at age 21 and got a job in banking to pay her living expenses and tuition costs so she wouldn t need to rely on financial help from family. I m very independent. I wanted to be financially independent, too, she says. She began a national search for an online master s program that would allow her to continue working. At the time, her sister was an undergraduate at Saint Leo University, and she knew it was the only Catholic university in the area. It was very important for me to get a master s from a university based in the Catholic tradition, says King. King enrolled and noticed an immediate difference in the online courses at SLU, having taken both traditional and online courses at her previous university. The Saint Leo program is much more interactive. I got a lot more feedback from the professors, she says. Many of her courses involved class discussion posts wherein students answered questions posed by the professor. At her previous university, the online discussions were often onesided. You post your answers and they give you a grade, but you won t hear their feedback. At SLU, she says professors create a dialogue and enhance learning by responding directly to student input, asking for further discussion or elaboration. GET TO KNOW Lily King current residence Tampa, FL profession Adjunct Professor of Religion at Saint Leo University and Ph.D. student saint leo education M.A. in Theology family Oldest of three girls and grew up around 38 first cousins can t live without Music. Need it to study, to relax, to fall asleep, and to work out. wished knew when started at saint leo To try and complete assignments early, as technical difficulties can arise just before deadline THE FEELING OF A ONE- ON-ONE EXPERIENCE King says she was pleasantly surprised to find that she developed a deeper and more meaningful relationship with some of her online professors than those in a traditional classroom. Even though it s an online class and I never got to meet them face-to-face, I still felt like I knew them. In some cases, I felt like I knew them better than some of the professors I had that were face-to-face because there were 100 students in the class. Saint Leo professors can manage to be intimate while being convenient at the same time, and they really take the time to get to know students. That convenience was a necessary asset as King managed her full-time course load while interning with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the domestic anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. During her final year, she also worked at Cathedral School of St. Jude in St. Petersburg, FL as a teacher s aide. Between her two jobs, she worked a 40-hour week in addition to her classes. In spring 2014, King graduated from SLU and has since enrolled in a philosophy doctoral program with a concentration in philosophy of religion at a Florida university, as SLU does not currently offer a doctorate in theology. She feels she had a leg up on the application process, having received advice, letters of recommendation, and encouragement from her professors. Everyone was overly generous in giving advice. They even offered to check papers for me. They were very good about making time to help, says King. It s not like they re doing me a favor. They acted like it was part of their job. I think a lot of that is due to the small size of the program. At undergrad, the professors didn t have time to give that sort of attention to each student. I have definitely grown to appreciate that smaller classroom environment. Although she s no longer a student, King won t be leaving Saint Leo University entirely. She accepted a position as adjunct professor of religion at the university and will teach a religion course at University Campus in fall of I was extremely excited about the opportunity, as being a full-time university professor is my ultimate goal. I really love Saint Leo, so I am very honored to be teaching there and hope it paves the way for more opportunities in the future. PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Master s of Theology 36-credit degree program Program provides students with graduate-level critical knowledge of biblical, systematic, historical, pastoral, and moral theology applicable to a variety of vocations, including: chaplaincy, diaconal ministry, lay pastoral ministry, religious education, secondary education, and further graduate study LEARN MORE At online.saintleo.edu or call a graduate enrollment counselor at (800) Ready to take the next step? Apply today at online. saintleo.edu using the code achieve14, and your $80 application fee will be waived. FINANCIAL AID WHAT YOU LL NEED TO KNOW Financial aid is a renewable process, and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each year to receive aid. Apply each year after January 1 when you have tax information available for the prior year. Below are steps to take to file your FAFSA: Get a four-digit PIN number issued by the Department of Education online at Complete the "FAFSA on the 2STEP Web" worksheet to gather the financial information you'll need to complete the formal FAFSA. Utilize the IRS tax return data retrieval tool if it is available. File your FAFSA, listing Saint Leo University's federal school code, , in the school release section. Check the status of your FAFSA online or use the Federal Student Aid Information Center automated hotline STEP 3STEP 4STEP In addition to the FAFSA, we recommend you visit to complete entrance counseling for graduate students. If you have financial aid questions, please contact a Saint Leo Financial Aid Liaison at or visit 13 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE Issue No. 2 Issue No. 2 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY ACHIEVE 14

9 What do you need to ACHIEVE? Our convenient and accessible online master s degree and graduate certificate programs fit into your busy life while earning you the respect of a regionally accredited* university with a long Catholic heritage. Saint Leo University is on a mission to educate and prepare our students to make better lives for themselves and their communities. Benedictine monks and nuns founded Saint Leo University in We emphasize today the core Benedictine values of community, respect for all, and responsible stewardship, along with excellence, personal development, and integrity. We work hard to fulfill our mission and establish environments that manifest these values through our online graduate programs and at our Education Centers, including the Adult Education Center at University Campus. As part of our mission as a university serving community and student needs, Saint Leo University offers graduate degree and postbaccalaureate certificate programs in accounting, business, criminal justice, critical incident management, education, social work, and theology. Each of these programs is designed to assist professionals in meeting challenging career goals, and to prepare them for the rapidly changing professional world in which they live and work. *Saint Leo University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the associate, bachelor's, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia or call for questions about the accreditation of Saint Leo University. Saint Leo University is committed to policies that ensure that there is no discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, or disability. The university is an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity employer. MASTER S PROGRAMS Take your career to the next level with a master s degree from Saint Leo University. School of Business Master of Accounting M.B.A. M.B.A. Accounting M.B.A. Health Care Management M.B.A. Human Resource Management M.B.A. Information Security Management M.B.A. Marketing M.B.A. Marketing Research and Social Media Analytics M.B.A. Project Management M.B.A. Sport Business School of Arts & Sciences Master of Arts in Theology School of Education & Social Services M.Ed. Educational Leadership M.Ed. Exceptional Student Education M.Ed. Instructional Leadership M.Ed. Reading M.S. Criminal Justice M.S. Criminal Justice Corrections M.S. Criminal Justice Critical Incident Management M.S. Criminal Justice Forensic Science M.S. Criminal Justice Legal Studies M.S. Critical Incident Management M.S. Cybersecurity M.S. Instructional Design Master of Social Work Advanced Clinical Practice Master of Social Work Advanced Standing Program Teaching Exceptional Children (recertification) DOCTORAL PROGRAM School of Business D.B.A. GRADUATE CERTIFICATES If you already hold an undergraduate degree, and are looking to advance your career without pursuing a full master s degree program, a graduate certificate could help you gain the specialized knowledge you need to succeed. Accounting Criminal Justice Management Health Care Management Human Resource Management Information Security Management Instructional Design Marketing Marketing Research and Social Media Analytics Reading Theology Ready to take the next step? Apply today at online.saintleo.edu using the code achieve14, and your $80 application fee will be waived. Questions? Please or call us at (800)

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