Students interested in the programs offered at Jacksonville State University can look at the online programs offered by that school. JSU launched its online classes as a way to help students study and finish a degree without attending classes on its campus.
Founded in 1883, the university initially opened as the Jacksonville State Normal School. Established as a teaching school that would provide students with the skills needed to work in elementary and high schools in Alabama and throughout the south, it later became the Jacksonville State Teachers College and awarded formal degrees. As it shifted its emphasis from teaching courses to other programs, it adopted the name Jacksonville State College and later Jacksonville State University.
Though enrollment in the school rose to nearly 10,000 students, it later dropped to less than 9,000 students. This figure includes more than 1,000 students studying graduate topics on campus and online. Known by its nickname of "The Friendliest Campus in the South," JSU welcomes students from different backgrounds and provides all its students with a strong foundation for the future.
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Jacksonville State University Accreditation Details
Prior to receiving accreditation, schools must prove to different agencies and organizations that their students receive the skills and support they need. Jacksonville State University is one of just a handful of schools in Alabama that have accreditation from multiple organizations. Its primary accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The SACSCC performed an in-depth examination of the school, talked with its faculty members and looked at factors regarding its students before determining it could offer bachelor, master and advanced degrees. Certain programs at the school have accreditation as well.
Those studying education and school counseling can rest assured that JSU has all the accreditation they need. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education granted accreditation for all its online and offline education programs. Its school counseling and other counseling programs also received accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Each organization and agency returns to the campus on a regular basis to ensure that it meets or exceeds the requirements put in place for accreditation. This ensures that students develop the right skills and that they have a better chance of finding a job based on those skills.
Jacksonville State University Application Requirements
Jacksonville State University offers its application for graduates online. This application requires that students apply for admission and request both a user name and a password that lets them go back in and check on their status later. As the Education Specialist is an advanced degree, students will only receive acceptance if they can show they attended an accredited university for their undergraduate studies and have a bachelor's degree from that school. They can accomplish that when they request that the college mail an official transcript to JSU. Anyone who took graduate courses from another college can send in a transcript and possibly receive transfer semesters for those classes.
Other requirements for the Education Specialist program include a copy of any teaching certificate a student currently posses or any licenses the student has, a professional resume and a copy of the score the student received on the GRE. Educational students must also submit to a background check that a police department will run on the student's social security number. JSU also requires that students entering this program submit three letters of recommendation. Those letters should come from professors they worked with in the past or principals or teachers from the schools where they currently work.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The tuition for online courses at Jacksonville State University is significantly less that the tuition charged for classes taken on campus. Students pay $439 per semester hour, which applies to all the courses they take. Those taking classes online also need to consider other fees and costs. Online students need a computer with a fast processing speed, textbooks and other school supplies. JSU charges a general fee of $150 per semester that covers lab and technology fees, and regardless of how many classes or semester hours students take, they must pay this fee. There are also fees for those who pay their tuition late.
Students can enroll in a payment plan with the school that lets them make payments every month, but the school charges a fee for each semester that a student remains in this program. Those who cannot afford the cost of tuition can apply for scholarships and loans. Though JSU does not offer any scholarships for online students, those scholarships are available from different sources. Federal students loans are available to those who complete the FAFSA and submit it to the government with JSU listed as the primary school they attend. Other loans are open to both students and their parents.
Online Degree Available
Jacksonville State University grants admission to the Education Specialist program on either a conditional or unconditional basis. Those who receive conditional acceptance are generally those who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than education and those who did not score high enough on the GRE. The university requires that conditional students earn a GPA of 3.25 or higher in the first four courses they take or the first semester they spend in the program. Unconditional students typically have higher test scores and an education degree and are not bound by the same conditions.
The Education Specialist in School Counseling consists of 18 to 21 semester hours in general education courses. Students may take classes on curriculum development, research methods used by teachers and teaching children of different ages. All students must also take between nine and 12 semester hours of required counseling courses, but they can select those courses from more than 10 different classes. A few of the options include psychological principles of learning, substance and behavioral addictions, crisis counseling and leadership.
Online students must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of courses, and most students finish the program in two years or less. They leave with a strong understanding of the issues that teens and younger students struggle with every day and how to identify those issues. Jacksonville State University instills in its students a strong commitment to helping others.