WT Graduate School Offers Flexibility for Students Around the Country and at Home

Chip Chandler Jan 05, 2021
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WT Graduate School Offers Flexibility for Students Around the Country and at Home

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — For one graduate student, West Texas A&M University’s Graduate School offers a world-class experience from half a world away. For another, it offers a chance for a new career right here at home.

As applications are still being accepted for the Spring 2021 semester, examples like these show how WT is ready to serve as a student-centered institution providing a variety of resources to help working professionals continue their educational journey.

“Graduate education can be a springboard for future employment and career advancement, enhanced workplace skills, career changes, income gain, and personal and public good contributions,” said Dr. Angela Spaulding, vice president for research and compliance and dean of the Graduate School. “WT is committed to helping students thrive in our high-quality programs, whether they’re taking classes exclusively online, in person or in a combination of both modes.”

WT offers 40 master’s programs and two doctoral programs, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Spring 2021 semester will offer a full schedule of courses to meet the needs of every student and are responsive to the needs of the Texas Panhandle and similar geographic regions, as with the doctor of education in educational leadership, which focuses on rural school leadership.

Many of these programs have received specialized accreditation, demonstrating their commitment to upholding the quality standards of the profession.

“WT’s Graduate School sends West Texas values to people across the globe,” University President Dr. Walter Wendler said. “Our professors teach in classrooms and online, but they’re all based in this region, and that makes a difference.”

Ami Okada, who graduated from WT’s healthcare management MBA program in December, praised the personal touch she felt while taking online classes from her home in California, particularly the attention paid by her graduate adviser, Lisa Mitchell.

“I have attended or worked at many universities over the years — Barnard and Columbia for undergrad and graduate schools, Harvard as a visiting grad student, and Stanford for post-doc fellowship and work — and Ms. Mitchell's accessibility, kindness and quick response to urgent matters stands out as one of the most efficient and knowledgeable of advisors that I have ever had,” Okada said. “She truly exuded a sense of caring and provided for me a feeling of connection to WT, which otherwise may have been difficult to do in a fully online program.”

Amarillo resident Larri Jo Starkey, who is pursuing a master’s degree in instructional design and technology, also complimented WT’s online education capabilities.

“When I decided to make a career change, I needed to update my resume with fresh skills and a master’s degree. As a WT graduate, I knew that I would be in good hands. In my first semester, I’ve enjoyed stretching my mind in ways I haven’t in a while.”

Starkey said she is especially excited about Dr. Richard Rose’s weekly online “gab sessions,” which help students find ways for personal interaction in line with COVID-19 safety precautions and while being scattered across the country.

Among more than 400 online programs surveyed by U.S. News & World Report in 2020, WT’s online bachelor’s programs ranked No. 16 in the nation and No. 1 in Texas — the latter a distinction WT has held for five consecutive years. Other ranked programs include online master’s degree in computer information technology programs (No. 8), online bachelor’s programs for veterans (No. 12), online master’s in business programs for veterans (tied for No. 14), online master’s in business programs (tied for No. 29), online MBA programs for veterans (tied for No. 32) and online MBA programs overall (tied for No. 54).

Other recent accolades include being named the No. 6 most affordable online college in Texas, the No. 5 best-value online college in Texas and among the Top 10 online bachelor’s of nursing programs. WT also received an A grade for its undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program. The Princeton Review has recognized the online MBA program at WT as a Top 25 national program for three consecutive years.

WT’s commitment to its Graduate School is a key component to the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World, and its vision of transforming WT into a regional research university.



About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 38 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.