USM President enthusiastic about institution offering MAE and MBA programs


"It is exciting to see the many persons who are interested in pursuing advanced degrees here with the University of St. Martin and I do hope that they commit themselves to realizing that goal," says University of St. Martin President Josianne Fleming-Artsen.

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Her statement comes after the tertiary institution hosted an information session, in conjunction with the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), for persons who are interested in pursuing their Master of Arts in Education (MAE) and Master of Arts in Business (MBA) degrees.

USM, in collaboration with the UVI, has been offering the MAE program since 2002. Two cohorts have already graduated and this group will be the third cohort of graduate students. In the MAE program, students attend classes at USM. Some classes are facilitated by local professors, while others are done via video-conferencing or professors from the Virgin Island who visit St. Maarten.

Some 45 persons attended the information session on Friday, February 19, 2010 while there were many others who have signed up at the university indicating their interest in pursuing master degrees. Dr. Ron Harrigan, Dean of Education at the University of the Virgin Islands, provided information to the prospective graduate students, while Ms. Olga Mussington, Career Counselor at the Department of Education, provided information about study financing for those who qualify. USM Dean of Academic Affairs, Mrs. Joyce Watson was also on the panel.

Dr. Harrigan was impressed with the number of individuals who came to the meeting and their desire to obtain a Master degree in Education or Business from UVI.  He remarked that he will report to the UVI President, Dr. Hall and Provost, Dr. Musah about his meeting here in St. Maarten, with a focus on the number of teachers and business persons who have expressed an interest in the MAE/MBA programs expected to begin in the Fall Semester 2010. Dr. Harrigan also noted that he will share the information about the persons who are interested in pursuing an MBA degree at UVI with the Dean of Business at UVI

"We are working diligently with UVI to ensure that the persons who are interested in pursuing a Master degree in Education or Business, while remaining here on St. Maarten, continue to have that opportunity," Fleming said.

Like Dr. Harrigan, President Fleming indicated that she is optimistic that USM and UVI can start another cohort in the MAE program in Fall 2010 once an agreement can be reached concerning administrative and academic related issues in an MOU that is mutually accepted. President Fleming stated that she would be calling on the banks to assist the graduate students with loans as was done by the Bank of Nova Scotia in the past. The MAE program is expected to cost students approximately $21,600 for classes.

Some 18 students thus far have received their degrees in the MAE program, jointly offered by USM and UVI, which runs for two years. The areas of concentration in this program include administration and supervision, counseling and guidance, and teaching. Persons seeking more information about the MAE and MBA programs can contact the University of St. Martin Admissions Office at telephone 542-5171 ext. 1008.