As Dr. Gillette has said in class, “high school is to undergrad as undergrad is to a masters.” I would like to add a little bit to that: undergrad is to a masters, as a masters is to a masters in CICS.
I won’t say that CICS is the greatest Master’s program in the nation; I simply don’t have that level of expertise on the subject. I do have a previous Master’s degree from Ball State and I CAN say that the CICS degree ranks well above my previous program. The level at which the CICS program prepares graduates for success in the work place I believe is unparalleled here at the University. Just yesterday I had a professor in the Marketing department tell me that he believed that the CICS program is the best Master’s program here at Ball State.
I understand that different programs have different focuses on what they are expecting from their graduates, but CICS puts a large focus on preparing graduates for professional success. They have built a large network of connected alumni, evident from the amount of interests that employers show when it comes to hiring new graduates. I feel that my previous Master’s degree dropped the ball when it came to connecting graduates with prospective employers. I was in the second cohort to take the Digital Storytelling program and I’m sure that the program has improved in that department based on what I’ve heard from more recent graduates.
The Center’s focus on its core values also adds value to the degree that graduates earn. Creativity, Integrity, Communication, and Service are values that not only apply to the work done in the Center, but to all the work we will do in our professional lives. Employers are going to want employees that can creatively problem solve, take great pride in their work and conduct themselves responsibly with professionalism, value communication and understand it’s key role in our work, and employees that feel that giving back by adding value to the community.
I can’t speak for all the programs throughout the United States, but the focus of the Center to create leaders with professional competency and integrity puts this degree above the majority of other degrees from other programs around the country. The Center helps graduates learn these values by immersing candidates in an intensive and group-oriented curriculum that intensifies and pressurizes the learning environment. All diamonds are created under great amounts of pressure.