A letter from Megan Raney, Career Development Director:

In the release of the Academic Review Board report, the recent vote by the Board of Governors and President Wilson’s many community addresses, I’ve heard a growing concern specific to alumni regarding their own degrees. The primary question being, “what happens if my degree has been phased out?”

There’s been a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding from those confusing the phasing out process with the loss of accreditation. As President Wilson pointed out, the only risk to the school’s accreditation is if we don’t make changes to improve the university’s finances. Simply put, if your completed degree’s program is no longer offered at the school, it does not change the fact that it was accredited at the time it was earned.

You would not need to amend your resume to reflect the changes to the university’s current offerings. Your degree is as valid now as it was the day you graduated. Whether you’re applying to a new position or even graduate school, your earned credits remain the same. Should you ever need documented support (outside of your diploma), then your transcripts would show the degree earned and courses taken. This is the information that employers or post-graduate programs would be concerned with.

I’ve been of the opinion my entire career that the degree doesn’t ultimately dictate the profession. It is the individual’s accomplishments that can carry more weight in the professional world. Colleges and universities will naturally evolve as new concepts and ideas replace old ones – consider the popularity of the Home Economics degree from decades ago, to how rarely it is offered now. Additionally, the person with the Computer Science degree from 1980 would have to remain diligent in their industry with changing technology, skills, and programs in order to stay competitive.

If you have concerns about how this could have an impact on your professional journey, please feel free to reach out to me directly. But also stay confident that the value of your diploma is not now, nor has ever been, called into question.

Together We Succeed,

Megan Raney

For a list of the degree programs that are currently being offered at Missouri Western, go to missouriwestern.edu/degrees