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Human Resource Graduate Program Offers Flexibility

First program at Sacred Heart to provide various ways to ‘attend’ class

Starting this fall, students enrolled in Sacred Heart University’s master’s in human resource management program will be able to “attend” class three ways: on campus in the classroom, through a live-stream online or by viewing the pre-recorded class.

“Flexibility is key,” said Michael Carriger, assistant professor and director of the human resource management program. “This ‘never-miss-a-class’ course delivery methodology offers students the ultimate in terms of flexibility and convenience while staying true to the University’s mission of delivering quality, challenging and inspiring graduate-level instruction.”

Many students enrolled in the graduate program have full-time jobs. This new model will enable them to tune in from wherever they are and still be active class participants.

Carriger said interactivity will be at its highest level when students are in the classroom, but with the use of technology, such as Echo360, students streaming the class live will be able to chat and ask questions. Echo360 touts its capabilities on its website, stating, “students have 24/7 access to classroom discussion, presentation materials and the lecture. It generates data that helps instructors and institutions identify problems early and take action.”

Echo360 provides three views to students who watch classes on their computer screens, Carriger said. One will show the instructor, another a chat window, and the third will show the instructor’s laptop. A teacher’s aide will be at all classes to monitor the chat window and ensure questions relayed in the chat are answered and discussed. This functionality also means students don’t all have to be in the same room when making a presentation. The Echo360 offers the ability to present videos and more, Carriger said.

Viewing pre-recorded classes is the least interactive model, but Carriger hopes most students attend class either in person or through the livestream. The review option is available when needed, especially if students are traveling.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resources is one of the fastest growing professions. Carriger believes the shift in the field comes from companies realizing the value of their employees.

“Human resources ensures employees come back,” he said. “Employees are crucial to a company’s success.” Therefore, organizations are investing in human resources.

Four full-time faculty members and one adjunct will teach courses in the graduate human resource program. The program will no longer offer electives; instead, students will take two courses on human resources operations. This change came about due to results of an alumni survey that showed the need to address this important component of human resource management.  

Another new and flexible aspect to the program enables students to finish the program in one to four years. “It all depends on how many courses students want to take each term,” Carriger said. Students also can choose to start the program in the fall or spring.

To learn more about the program visit the M.S. in Human Resource Management webpage.