Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Kizmet, May 17, 2017.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    I mean, good, but why "Master of Interdisciplinary Studies"? Why not just a normal MA or MS like everything else? Especially since this particular program doesn't actually look all that interdisciplinary?
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    A lot of CJA programs I've seen have business courses mixed in, either required or as electives, so I suppose you could say it's interdisciplinary in the sense that it combines CJ and Business/Management?

    As for the degree title, I agree, it makes no sense at all. I wouldn't be surprised if some potential students were put off from the program by that alone; it's not like there's a dearth of DL CJ/CJA graduate programs out there.
  4. Dr. Natasha Johnson

    Dr. Natasha Johnson New Member

    Steve, the program is SO interdisciplinary - 5 of the 10 courses are offered via the Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology (CJC) and the other half are offered through the Department of Public Management, Administration, and Policy (PMAP). This program is AS interdisciplinary as it gets!
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  5. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Yet another newbie who apparently doesn't believe in proper disclosure statements. Like the fact that she happens to be the director of the MIS program at Georgia State. Her CV is at https://www.linkedin.com/in/natasha-n-johnson-edd/. I'll let y'all guess her own doctoral major. :rolleyes:
  6. Dr. Natasha Johnson

    Dr. Natasha Johnson New Member

    Wow - why the shade, Steve? ...and thanks - I'm actually transitioning into this very role as we speak. So, thanks again!
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for joining us Natasha. It's great to have people with first hand knowledge of the programs we discuss. I'm wondering, if your program is so interdisciplinary, does that affect the employment outcomes of the students? Where do they go afterwards?
  8. Dr. Natasha Johnson

    Dr. Natasha Johnson New Member

    Hi Kizmet,
    Thanks to you as well!

    Re: the MIS CJA program, it is QUITE new - the first cohort was admitted in the Fall of 2017, and they just graduated at the end of the summer 2019 semester. Our second cohort will be graduating at the end of this summer. The program - which is VERY interdisciplinary because it is offered through 2 Departments PMAP (Public Management, Administration, & Policy) and CJC (Criminal Justice & Criminology) is designed specifically to produce CJ & Public Policy Administrators. This is why we ask that potential applicants be already serving in the CJ or Policy spheres.

    I can tell you, based on our current data, that our most recent cohort is now employed at the following agencies:
    -Federal Bureau of Investigation,
    -Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms,
    -Georgia Bureau of Investigation,
    -Environmental Protection Agency,
    -Secret Service,
    -Local and state law enforcement and correctional agencies,
    -Probation and parole agencies, and
    -Juvenile justice agencies

    While we (the GSU campus) are located in downtown Atlanta, the program itself is growing as we speak - I look forward to seeing both our national and international impacts within the coming years.
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  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Welcome to the forum, Dr. Johnson. Your last name seems very Caribbean-ish lol. Don't take Steve too seriously.

    Recently you made the comment that only those without a life would look up people on LinkedIn. This is the second time you've gone ahead to research people on LinkedIn within the past week or so.
  10. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    No shade intended, Natasha. But you’ve had your doctorate in hand for nine months now, so I would have thought you would have more of a sense of protocol at this point. And protocol says that when you join a forum to comment on a program of which you are the director, you disclose that you are the director of that program. You are not giving us the perspective of a student or mere participant, but of the head henchperson of the program itself. And for the same reason that I disclose my attachment, current or even former, to a program on which I comment, it is important to ameliorate any possibility of the appearance of vested interest in your comments. Now that we have established your position with Georgia State, no further comment necessary except that I join Kismet in welcoming you to DegreeInfo.

    By the way, as a point of information, most of the people who come as you did and do not disclose their connections to a program under discussion are generally affiliated with degree and diploma mills. They are fraudulent rip-offs and con artists. You are clearly in a different category – a legitimately credentialed educator in a legitimately accredited university’s program. So, no bullshit here, my welcome for you is quite genuine.

    Now, FWIW and only briefly, I’ll weigh in on the MIS program: I’m not impressed. Like Steve F. and Bruce, I’d buy into it more if it were traditionally named as an M.A. or M.S. program. But I think that programs named M.I.S. tend to be horse manure – cash cows that get less scrutiny by a school’s accreditor. (I think the same about B.I.S., B.L.S., and B.P.S. programs at the undergrad level – if it deserves a degree, it should be a traditional B.A. or B.S. And don’t even get me started on the new slew of mickey-mouse doctoral titles.)

    Since all three of my degrees are interdisciplinary, I would be the last person to have a problem with that notion. But we constantly read here at DI that most subjects require teachers to have 18 graduate credits in the subject for the person to qualify as a teacher. (You are quite the exception, since none of your own academic background appears to have been centered on C.J. But, indeed, there are exceptions to every rule.) The MIS CJ program at Georgia State is a 30-credit program featuring 15 credits in public administration, 12 credits in criminal justice, and a 3-credit capstone. I can imagine a graduate who wants to teach at the higher education level being overly yet justifiably scrutinized.

    As a side note, I see nothing about the MIS program being offered at a distance. Nothing wrong with that, but I’d note that DegreeInfo is a distance education forum, thus if the MIS is strictly a residential program it’s not within our usual realm of discussion.

    As you will note, we have several academically credentialed CJ professionals here on the forum, including those who teach in the field. Bruce, who wrote above, has two masters degrees and is an active law enforcement officer. (He’s also rumored to have doctoral study under his belt, but quite rightfully he does not discuss that here in order to avoid the degree mill psychos.) Chris, who has not weighed in yet, is a former LEO and now a teacher with an M.S. in CJ and currently working on his Ph.D. in CJ. (And, like you, has a strong connection to a certain island in the West Indies.) Hopefully, he’ll join this thread soon enough.

    Editorial note: I see that between the time I wrote the above and my posting it, Chris has weighed in. Late as usual. But since he already took the time to throw me some shade, I hope he'll continue and offer his substantive opinions of the GS MIS program.​

    So there you have it. If I were to recommend graduate study in C.J. to someone, there would be far better programs out there that would provide a more solid credential than the MIS. It looks like it could be a fun degree to pursue for those with an interdisciplinary interest, but I come from the school of thinking that everyone should pursue interdisciplinary studies. And should avoid bullshit degree titles like MIS. Hell, we’re talking Georgia State – they oughta know better.

    Again, a warm welcome to DegreeInfo. And as for my throwing shade, as Jolson said, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
  11. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Me? Throw shade? You must have the wrong guy. However, I agree with much of what Steve and the others have said. I think the whole point of a master's degree is for students to "master" an area. Hence, an interdisciplinary degree doesn't seem to achieve that. While this might seem trivial to some, I wouldn't want the post-nominal letters "MIS" behind my name. As an MBA grad and business educator, I tend to associate MIS with management information system. I prefer the MA, MS, and MCJ.

    Btw, Steve, you said I'm always late. Maybe that's because unlike you, a retiree, I work full-time and actively work on my degree.
  12. Dr. Natasha Johnson

    Dr. Natasha Johnson New Member

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  13. Dr. Natasha Johnson

    Dr. Natasha Johnson New Member

    Point(s) dully noted, Steve, and thank you for your warm welcome. Impressed or not, the program exists, it is FULLY online, and as I mentioned already, it is absolutely interdisciplinary (1/2 public policy & 1/2 CJC). These are not simply 'selling points', and yes, you know GSU well enough to know that 'selling points' aren't even necessary. Given that you're a person who does his research, you already know that. ...and feel free to peruse through my very extensive CV, which includes book authorship and executive membership in 2 CJC organizations, to name a few. I'm as interdisciplinary as it gets - in addition to directing this program, I'm also teaching 3 CJC courses this semester (whew!). As a matter of fact, I am hosting this semester's second webinar regarding the MIS CJA program on March 11, so if you or anyone else in this thread would like to e-attend, please let me know! FYI, we offer full application fee waivers to all who attend the webinars - not a bad incentive!
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Oh, okay. In that case that was my only real question, and that explains it. Sa ka fet, by the way. :)
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I’m guessing that’s not Boba Fett’s little sister
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  16. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    Welcome to the forum Dr. Johnson!

    While I can certainly appreciate an interdisciplinary degree, I tend to avoid them. However, I think it could be a great opportunity for those already in the field of CJ or Policy Administration to gain an education for a potential promotion. I'm not sure I see the benefit if one was trying to get a foot in the door though.

    I look forward to seeing your further contributions to the forum!

    On a side note, Steve Levicoff can really get under some peoples skin however I have never had an issue with him. He generally has good advice albeit he can be a bit of a handful sometimes. Lol
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    This comes up periodically with degrees such as the Masters in Professional Studies or some of the field specific Masters degrees (i.e. Master of Computer Science instead of MS in Computer Science). It's largely inconsequential in the job market except in cases where the degree is licensure qualifying or where the name deviates substantially from the established norm.

    I get where everyone is coming from here, I really do. But I really think people are over-emphasizing the actual impact of this program's name.

    Now, if we were to throw shade at programs at obviously legitimate institutions, top of my list would be the online MS in Social Administration at Case Western:


    They are not shy in telling you that the degree is an MSW equivalent. And, indeed, it is programmatically accredited as such. One could apply for licensure as with an MSW. The problem, of course, is that the MSW is so well established as the credential for social work AND this degree sounds much like the non-clinical MS/MA in Social/Human Services degrees out there, I cannot imagine it doesn't cause at least a few problems along the way.

    Besides, no one seems to have a problem with the interdisciplinary thing when Harvard Extension does it even if your coursework is concentrated in one area.
  18. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Masters degrees should not really be one's chosen path for getting a foot in the door unless it's a licensing requirement. There are plenty of entries into the field of CJ that do not require a Masters of any kind. Even if you had a singularly focused degree from a prestigious school, you're not going to be that advantaged in an entry level "foot in the door" type of job into a very diverse profession like this.

    While job searches and employability are a factor in calculating a degree's ROI, I feel like we are being a bit overly harsh on the outcomes of this new program.
  19. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Well, today, it is not unusual for a master's degree to be the path to getting your "foot in the door." The data shows that many people are not employed in their undergraduate field of study. So, many people pursue a master's degree to achieve a career change.
  20. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Can you provide an example of a job in the field of criminal justice where a Masters degree in CJ is required, but no previous relevant experience is, and one can reasonably call it a job where you are getting your foot in the door (i.e. it leads to other things within the same field)?

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