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    Online Master of Science Degree in Coastal Zone Management

    INSTITUTION INFORMATION Institutional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Program Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Institutional Membership(s): SOC Program Membership(s): SOCAD . PROGRAM DETAILS Program Information: Master of Science - Master's Enrollment: 250 seats total Application Deadline: Open How Students and Instructors Communicate: Chat Room, E-mail, Online Assignment Submission, Threaded Discussion Board Subject: Natural Sciences METHOD OF COURSE INSTRUCTION

    The program is delivered primarily through internet

    Supplemental delivery formats include internet

    This course uses WebCT

     
    DESCRIPTION
    The Coastal Zone Management program leads to a multidisciplinary professional M.S. degree. It is intended for employees in government or industry seeking career enhancement, as well as for recent college graduates seeking careers in planning and management in government, industry, or other activities depending on or affecting the coastal zone or its resources. The program can also be of value for enhancement of careers in education. It focuses on contemporary problems and conflicts arising from increased use of coastal areas and emphasizes the evaluation of alternative policy management solutions. Coastal studies combine elements of ecology, geology, physics, engineering, economics, law, the social sciences, and management.

    Because of the diversity of course subjects, applicants with any undergraduate major will be considered for admission but a science major is most useful. Even if the undergraduate degree is not in the sciences, an undergraduate background with elements of the basic sciences (chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology) is essential.

    An on-campus M.S. in Coastal Zone Management has been offered at the Oceanographic Center since the mid-1980s. An online version has been available since fall 2003. The proposed change towards implementing an online M.S. effected primarily the delivery method and, as a result, extended the target audience (e.g. distance learners nationally and internationally who wish to take advantage of the flexible and accessible method of delivery). The rationale, learning objectives, core courses, required number of electives (8), and requirements for a 6-credit capstone paper are identical for both the on-campus and online formats. The online program has the same rigor, quality and outcomes as the on-campus degree. The Oceanographic Center sees no essential distinction between the two versions of the degree, and in fact many students combine both on-campus and online courses.

    An M.S. in Coastal Zone Management is an ideal prospect for online delivery. More than half of the total U.S. population presently lives in coastal areas, and the coastal population is projected to increase by 28 million between 1994 and 2015. Coastal resource managers are facing increasing challenges within the U.S., as in other nations around the world. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, 1992) called specifically for the exchange of knowledge and technology to enhance implementation of coastal zone management programs by coastal nations worldwide.

    Learning outcomes encompass program completion, effectiveness of teaching and curricula, and the extent to which students are prepared for employment.

    1-Students are expected to maintain high grade point averages (GPA > 3.0) that reflect their course grades attained throughout the program.

    2-The combination of courses comprising the degree ensures that students acquire effective communication skills, management skills, a full understand of the scientific method, and show competency in ecological, geological, chemical and biological concepts.

    3-Completion of the degree is expected to lead to placement in the chosen field in a position requiring graduate training or to career advancement in the case of working professionals.

    4-Students are expected to complete degrees within 2 years, and within 5 years in the case of part-time students.

    Upon completion of the online degree, students will have acquired:

    1-The experience of first-hand (i.e. online) discussion and information-exchange with their peers and recognized experts in a variety of related fields and locations, nationally and internationally.

    2-An excellent base of online contacts, organizations and research centers for further study and professional development.

    3-Competence and familiarity with use of a range of current information technologies. Coastal studies combine elements of ecology, geology, physics, engineering, economics, law, the social sciences, and management. In addition to a range of elective courses spanning these aforementioned topics, all students are required to take 5 core courses. For the capstone option, students must complete 45 credit hours (39 course credits and 6 capstone paper credits).
     
    SPECIAL ENROLLMENT ISSUES
    Two tracks are available. The thesis track requires students to complete course work and a research project culminating in a thesis. An alternative track is the capstone option that requires students to complete course work and produce a comprehensive library-based paper on a relevant topic. The latter track is usually more appropriate for students pursuing the distance degree.
    TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
    Online students are provided NSU computer accounts but must obtain their own Internet service providers and computers. All prospective distance students applying to enter an OC-based course or program must attest to their ability to access a computer with a modem to be considered for admission.Online students are provided NSU computer accounts. Students may use either an IBM-compatible PC or an Apple-Macintosh computer.

    The following minimum computer system requirements are specified on Oceanographic Center website:

    � Pentium (or Celeron) 200mhz
    � Sound card and Speakers
    � 32MB
    � Internet Explorer 5.0 or Netscape Navigator 4.5 or higher
    � 56K Modem
    � Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, Me, XP
    � CD ROM
    � Personal e-mail address
    � Microphone
    � Internet Service Provider
    � Office 97, 2000, XP including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
    � New release of Virus Program (Dr. Solomon, McAfee, Norton, Antivirus,etc).
     
    ACCESS TO LEARNING RESOURCES
    Online students are provided access to the same library resources normally available to on-campus students. The university抯 Distance Library Services (DLS) are accessible from a web site that provides online students with the ability to conduct index and catalog searches, request books, journal articles, and other documents using online forms, and to contact a reference librarian. Students may also communicate with the DLS office using email, telephone, and fax. The NSU Library system provides access to over 10 million volumes, 200 online databases, and 28,000 full-text journals. All materials mailed by the library are sent by first-class mail. When books are borrowed, the student has to pay a small charge for third-class postage to return them. Books are loaned for one month. Periodical copies or ERIC documents need not be returned. Barnes & Noble College Bookstores, as the university's official bookstore, offers comprehensive bookstore services to our local and online students and carries textbooks for all the university抯 courses. While students have the option to purchase textbooks from other online and local sources, there are benefits from purchasing from the university's bookstore (on-campus or online), including better availability. The university's bookstore provides the full-spectrum of shipping options. The school insures that required textbooks are available, and then posts them on its website at least one month prior to the start of each term. Students should place their orders early enough to ensure delivery prior to the start of the term.
    ACCESS TO FINANCIAL AID RESOURCES
    The Office of Student Financial Assistance administers the university抯 financial aid programs of grants, loans, scholarships, and student employment and provides professional financial advisers to help students plan for the most efficient use of their financial resources for education. In order to participate in financial aid programs, a student must be admitted into a university program and must be a citizen, a national, or a permanent resident of the United States, or be in the United States for other than a temporary purpose. A prospective student who requires financial assistance must apply for financial aid while he or she is a candidate for admission. Students/applicants may apply for financial aid online. For additional information or application forms call 800-806-3680 or 954-262-3380. To continue financial aid, at a minimum, enrolled students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress toward a stated educational objective in accordance with the university抯 policy on satisfactory progress for financial aid recipients.

    SPECIAL PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

    Students are expected to maintain high grade point averages (GPA > 3.0) that reflect their course grades attained throughout the program. Students are expected to complete degrees within 2 years, and within 5 years in the case of part-time students.
    SPECIAL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
    1. Admission as a degree-seeking candidate 2. Completion of all curriculum and program requirements (including prerequisite courses) 3. Satisfactory fulfillment of the GPA and Grade Requirements for course work taken (including specialization courses taken at the master抯 level) 4. Payment of all tuition and fees 5. Completion of the form Application for Degree and payment of graduation fee. The Application for Degree form may be downloaded from the school抯 website, or obtained from the Office of Enrollment Services or the Office of the University Registrar. Students should complete the form at the time of registration for their final term. 6. Fulfillment of all obligations to the library, the student抯 program, and the comptroller抯 office.
    ACCESS TO ADVISING/MENTORING SERVICES
    Oceanographic Center distance learning students have the support of Distance Library Services through the William S. Richardson Library. The Manager of Library Services provides assistance in locating research materials and directs students to an online library tutorial. Online/distance students may order books, request copies of journal articles, obtain library instructional material on the web or via postal mail, and use NSU抯 Alvin Sherman Library to access databases that include full-text and full-image documents. NSU抯 library system provides off-campus students almost all of the library services available to on-campus students.

    The Help Desk of the university抯 Office of Information Technologies (OIT) provides assistance with many online technology issues via phone or email support. Examples of services include help with connecting to the university from home; configuring a PPP connection; troubleshooting email account problems; navigating through WebCT; setting up Outlook, Netscape Navigator, and Internet Explorer; and other technology issues.

    The school, using WebCT as an online course management system, provides a range of tools and methods to support faculty-to-student interaction including online discussion boards, chat rooms, white boards, email, telephone, and a system for online submission, review and grading of assignments. Professors also use email, the telephone, and fax.

    The IZone within NSU抯 Office of Information Technologies maintains a website which provides students with an online orientation, including tutorials, to WebCT, email, and other methods necessary for coursework completion.
     
    SPECIAL TRANSFER POLICIES
    M.S. students may transfer up to six credits of previous graduate course work. Course work must replicate Oceanographic Center offerings in the major field of interest or must clearly be closely related. Students should submit requests for transfer credits in writing, with documentation indicating the subject matter and that the transfer credits were of graduate level from accredited institutions.
    SPECIAL ENROLLMENT ISSUES
    N/A
    SPECIAL ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS
    N/A
    SPECIAL PROGRAM PREREQUISITES
    N/A
    OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
    For the capstone option, students must complete 45 credit hours (39 course credits and 6 capstone paper credits).

     


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