Since 1994, the growth of graduate programs in various fields at Carroll has attracted nearly 1,000 Pioneers who received their undergraduate degrees and then returned to their alma mater for further education, according to figures obtained by the school’s Registrar’s Office.
The Class of 2019 included 88 students in the graduate classes who had also received their undergraduate degrees at Carroll.
“With the climate in higher education, graduate school is an area of growth,” said Cindy Holahan, Carroll’s director of graduate admission. “A lot of that is due to the society’s need for further education, so that’s why we see our MBA program becoming more robust. That’s what people are asking for in the business world in order for people to grow in their profession.”
The master’s in business administration is one of several areas where Carroll has recognized and responded to the needs of professionals seeking career advancement, further education, and also licensing—to address the growing needs in various fields. Carroll’s graduate programs include studies for the doctor of physical therapy and master’s degrees through the fields of education, business, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, nursing, physician assistant studies and athletic training.
Considerations of returning to school—particularly for adult learners—might present potential obstacles of time and financial resources as well as sometimes the anxiety of just getting started. The university aims, in the graduate programs, for same Carroll qualities that students appreciated as undergraduates—small class sizes and faculty support, but also provides different formats to better accommodate working adults. Those include hybrid classes—online and face-to-face learning—and longer weekend classes in some areas. Healthcare areas, in particular, are often designed with cohort classrooms.
"There’s a little bit of anxiety, if you will, about coming back to school but I think just taking that first step is the hardest thing,” Holahan said. “The biggest thing is removing barriers and getting people in touch for the support they need with either a faculty member or a former student who can help them understand what they are coming into and what they should expect.”