COURTHOUSE – Virginia Wesleyan College, a private liberal arts institution on the Virginia Beach-Norfolk border, will introduce its first master’s degree programs next year.
A master of arts in education program begins in the summer, with four years of undergraduate study leading to a year of graduate work, and an online Master of Business Administration program starts in the fall.
Dr. Scott D. Miller, president of the college, discussed the programs on Tuesday during a meeting with the Virginia Beach City Council.
Miller is scheduled on Wednesday to release a letter about expanded academic programs to the Virginia Wesleyan community. These include an online degree completion program geared toward adult studies students.
During his presentation to the city council, Miller also stressed the school’s ties to Virginia Beach, despite its Norfolk mailing address, and he noted its adoption of “Coastal Virginia” in marketing language.
Miller said some people are not aware that the campus is mostly in Virginia Beach, with the vast majority of its 300 acres in the city.
“That’s your fault,” Mayor Will Sessoms quipped.
“We’re a well-kept-secret,” Miller said later.
Among other goals for the next few years, the college hopes to grow its enrollment from 1,400 to 1,700 students and increase the number of students living on its campus from about 850 to 1,000.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ board of directors accredited Virginia Wesleyan at its new degree level during a meeting on Sunday, Dec. 4.
The association oversees accreditation for institutions of higher learning in the Southern states.
Virginia Wesleyan moves from a Level II to a Level III institution, meaning it will offer a master’s degree as its highest degree rather than undergraduate degrees only.
“The addition of these programs marks a pivotal moment in the history of Virginia Wesleyan College and underscores our reputation and competitiveness as a leader in American higher education—indeed, as Coastal Virginia’s premier private, national liberal arts college,” Miller wrote in his letter.
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