A Review: Fort Hays State University MS in Health and Human Performance

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AlK11, May 20, 2019.

  1. AlK11

    AlK11 Active Member

    May 2016: I was finishing up my MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Franklin Pierce University and I was looking for what to do next.

    May 2019: I earned my MS in Health and Human Performance from Fort Hays State University.

    While I enjoyed earning the MEd in Curriculum and Instruction, I knew that I still wanted another masters in some sort of sports science (exercise science, applied physiology, kinesiology, health and human performance, etc.). I spent some time researching online masters degrees in this field and came upon two that really sparked my interest. Both MS degrees. Both in Health and Human Performance. One was from Concordia University-Chicago and one was from Fort Hays State University. On the surface both programs were very even, the tipping point which lead me to FHSU was the cost. Below is my review of the MS in Health and Human Performance program from Fort Hays State University.

    Application (4/5 stars): As I recall, the online app was very simple. The fee was reasonable ($40 if I remember correctly). They didn't require the GRE or any test, but did require 3 letters of recommendation which was a little annoying to get. They'd get the full 5 stars if it wasn't for the letters.

    Course of Study (5/5 stars): The program requires 32 total credits. 17 are required and cover the basics of the sports sciences such as biomechanics, motor learning, stats, research, etc. The other 15 credits are completely open to electives from the HHP department. You can pick what interests you or applies to your career. This can be classes toward teaching physical education, working as an athletic trainer, a sports coach, sports management, and a few other concentrations. I felt the program was really full of a bunch of puzzle pieces that didn't fit everyone's puzzle, but you were able to find some pieces that fit yours specifically.

    Class Design (3/5 stars): Each class was a bit different, but the majority of them followed this format. 16 week courses that had a mix of around 4-8 mini papers, 1-2 larger papers, and 4-8 quizzes. This was truly a "you're on your own" program. There really wasn't any teaching and you were on your own to learn the material. No discussion posts or interaction with the professor to help with learning.

    Teaching, Learning, and Feedback (2/5 stars): No teaching went on. The professors would list the readings and items due in the syllabus and on BlackBoard and left you on your own. There was very little feedback given on the papers. If I earned full credit I'd get an "ok" comment from the professor. If I didn't earn the full points I'd get a "needs more depth" comment from the professor or something similar. Neither of these were helpful to my learning. It would've been nice to receive some feedback that was specific to what I was writing about. If I didn't dive deep enough into a topic, it would've been beneficial for the professor to tell me more specifically what I was missing instead of just saying "needs more depth". This was my biggest problem with the program. There wasn't really any engagement between myself and the teacher or other students. You were on your own to read, do the assignments, and hope that you taught yourself well enough. The vast majority of professors didn't grade in a timely manner either. There were times where I'd have to wait 4-6 weeks to get a grade back on a paper.

    Graduation Requirements (4/5 stars): The on campus version of the program allows for a thesis or non thesis track. The online version is only non thesis. To graduate one must complete the 32 credits mentioned above in the course of study portion and pass a comprehensive exam. The number of courses and the courses you need to take are all reasonable. The comp exam is in two parts, multiple choice and essay. The multiple choice is though blackboard, but for the first time throughout the entire program, the test needed to be proctored which was annoying. The 200 questions was also a bit much but manageable. The essay portion was 5 questions. Two questions were required and related to the general philosophy of the HHP field and the other 3 questions you were able to pick from a list of around 15 and they should have related to your particular interest in the field of HHP. Overall the comps weren't too bad, but it was tedious to get a proctor.

    Cost (5/5 stars): Current online graduate tuition is $287 per credit. This would be a bargain for in state undergraduate tuition let alone out of state graduate tuition. The entire program cost me around $9000 which was awesome. The other comparable programs that I was looking at were sometimes double the cost of FHSU.

    Final Thoughts (3.83/5 stars): If I could go back in time, I'd do it again. The main two selling point of this program are the course of study and tuition. The required classes are ones that you should have to take if you're going to get a degree in HHP. No complaints there. The electives are so diverse in the department of HHP that everyone should be able to find something that interests them. I can't say enough about the tuition. You're going to have a hard time finding a cheaper regionally accredited masters degree anywhere. The main deterrent of this program is the lack of engagement with professors. If you're someone who is disciplined, can be handed a list of things to do in September and do them all the way though December, you'll be find. If you're someone who needs more hands on learning and interaction with classmates and professors, you're probably going to have a hard time here.

    Hope this will help others out there who are looking for a masters in a sport science. If anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to post below.
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Congratulations on your accomplishments! My own limited experience with FHSU was also positive.
    chrisjm18 likes this.

    GTFLETCH Member

    Dustin likes this.

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