By Johnny Jackson
Clayton State University graduates from Henry County accounted for almost a third of the school's spring master's degree recipients.
A total of 35 members of CSU's 2010 graduating class received master's degrees, and nine of them were from Henry County, according to John Shiffert, the director of University Relations at Clayton State.
Shiffert said six of the nine master's degree graduates are McDonough residents, who completed Clayton State's Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program. They include: Daundra Fletcher, Eric Hammond, Kristin Hanie, Matthew Harden, LeTanya Hines and Jose Vejarano. Janet Daggett, of Locust Grove, also received an MBA degree.
Stockbridge's Alisa Dent was one of four CSU graduates to receive the Master of Science in Nursing, while Kezzie Joseph, of Hampton, was awarded a Master of Health Administration degree.
"I feel really good, and glad that it's over," said Joseph. "It was a very educational and informative two years."
The New York native said she moved to Hampton about two years ago to continue her education in the health-care field, hoping to advance her career in the process. Joseph, who was a part of the first cohort in Clayton State's Master of Health Administration Program, added that she is interested in working in health care at the government level.
The recent graduate said Clayton State provided the program she needed, at a location that was convenient to her. Joseph believes that convenience is why a growing number of area residents are choosing to attend the university.
"I had already done work in health care, and I wanted to do more, specifically in administration," she said. "Clayton State had that program. The commute was also helpful."
"While Clayton State has typically drawn more students from Clayton County than from any other Georgia county, Henry County is not far behind, and has traditionally been the university's second-largest feeder county," said Shiffert. He added that the university now has as many alumni living in Henry as it has living in Clayton.
Enrollment from Henry County increased by roughly 100 students over the past year, to a new high of 1,316.
It was just in August 2006, that Clayton State began classes for its first graduate-level program, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. Currently, the university offers eight master's programs, including the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, the Master of Arts in Teaching English, the Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics, the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Health Administration, the Master of Science in Nursing, and the Master of Archival Studies.
Shiffert said the eighth, and newest, program is the Master of Science in Psychology, which will officially start this fall.