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MU offers 100 percent online programs for working adults and military families

15 story noThe 2020-21 academic year ushered in a significant growth in the number of entirely online programs at colleges and universities. At Methodist University, six programs began accepting students last year, and an additional eight programs recently began accepting applications and will enroll students for the 2021-22 academic year.
“Many adult students are looking for a fully-online degree program due to family and work obligations, military deployments, relocations, or current health and safety concerns,” said Dr. Beth Carter, the associate vice president for Academic Affairs at MU who oversees online programs and a satellite campus at Fort Bragg.
“The online program also allows former students to return to complete a degree they started but were unable to finish, or to continue their education and complete a graduate degree.”
Serving Our Community
Methodist University, as a leader in health sciences education, has been graduating health care professionals in its on-campus programs for years. Alumni of the Health Care Administration program can now return to MU’s online Master of Health Administration program, fully online and tailored to working adults.
Graduates in other majors looking to work in the health care administration field can opt for the Graduate Certificate in Health Care Administration, which can be completed in as little as two semesters. Students seeking bachelor’s degrees in the health sciences can apply to the Health Care Administration undergraduate program, and registered nurses working in the field can apply to the RN-to-BSN program. These bachelor-level health sciences programs are accepting applications now and will begin classes in the fall.
“Methodist University will offer these four programs fully online to prepare health care professionals to manage, lead, and improve the health of individuals and communities. Internships, field work and clinical rotations will be required in these programs to provide real-world experiences,” Carter said.
In-Demand Degrees
In addition to its health sciences programs, Methodist University’s first fully online programs included a Master of Business Administration program and a bachelor’s program in Psychology, with optional concentrations in Human Performance or Counseling/Clinical Psychology. Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Psychology were the first bachelor’s program to be offered, primarily due to regional and national demand.
“Psychology was one of the main programs requested from surveys of the surrounding area about interest in online programs,” said Dr. Mark Kline, associate professor of Psychology and chair of the Psychology and Sociology Department at MU. “Nationwide, Psychology tends to be one of the largest majors at most schools.”
What’s Next?
An interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts in Professional Leadership and Ethics and an Associate of Arts in General Studies begin accepting applications this month, and over the past several weeks, bachelor’s programs in Computer Information Technology and Social Work have invited students to apply. Students interested in obtaining an undergraduate degree in a business-related field can now apply to bachelor’s programs in Accounting, Business Administration, and Marketing. An optional concentration in Health Care Administration can be added to any of these business programs.
“This online program will educate, train and support the next generation of exceptional Social Work practices as does the current in-person program,” said Dr. Carla Fagan, associate professor of Social Work and department chair. “The online Social Work program provides the opportunity for adult learners to earn a degree almost completely from home and complete an internship in their local community. In addition, members of our military community can earn or continue their degrees from Methodist while deployed or when transferred to their new duty stations.”
Active-duty military and their dependents are good fits for Methodist University Online programs. Dr. Stanley T. Wearden, president of Methodist University, targeted both expanding online programs and improving service to the military community as goals of his administration during his 2019 inaugural address. Advancements in these areas have led to the University’s being awarded gold status as a Military Friendly® School for
2020-21.
Taught By the Best
The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred demand for fully online programs at all levels. Although more and more people have been vaccinated, concerns linger concerning the duration of their efficacy and their effectiveness against more virulent strains. These concerns help fuel the expansion of Methodist University Online’s offerings.
Unlike many of the major players in online education, though, Methodist University Online courses are taught primarily by MU’s full-time faculty, not adjuncts. In the 2020-21 academic year to date, 88 percent of courses taught in the Methodist University Online program have had full-time faculty at the helm. Full-time faculty usually have terminal degrees, such as a Ph.D., in their field; experience in advanced research; and, often, public and private sector careers in which they have practiced their disciplines.
Programs are offered in six eight-week terms per year, and complete program information, including how to apply, can be found on Methodist University Online’s microsite, online.methodist.edu.

Pictured above: For those looking for online options for starting or finishing a degree Methodist University offers 14 degree programs, including health sciences, business administration, psychology and criminal justice. Programs offered in six different eight-week terms per year. ore information can be found on the Methodist website. 

Education opportunities available for military students

14 51097067233 93575c0d7b oWhile rank signifies hierarchy and chain of command in the military, it can also be a distinction of excellence and superiority for service to those in the military. In relation to the latter, Methodist University is uniquely qualified, distinguished and honored.
In 2021, MU was awarded Gold Rank status — as a university that sets an excellent example with its programs and initiatives — by MilitaryFriendly® Schools. Methodist is recognized by this national organization annually and is scheduled to receive another superior ranking for its services to military families later this month.
“Our new Gold MilitaryFriendly® designation, recognizes a university-wide effort and commitment to increase educational opportunities, services, and programs to meet the unique needs of our military-affiliated student population,” said Billy Buckner, director of MU’s Fort Bragg Office. “We are dedicated to serving service members, veterans, and their families with compassion and support they deserve.”
Annual recognition is telling, but there are other obvious differences that make MU the best choice for military families. For instance, MU’s main campus is just a few miles from Fort Bragg and Pope Army Airfield and the university offers classes on post with its Fort Bragg Office.
MU’s Fort Bragg Office is staffed with experienced members who understand the military, and faculty at MU’s main campus work with the time challenges often associated with a life spent in service. With an office on post, experienced staff, and educators who understand the unique requirements and needs of service members and their families, MU is uniquely positioned to “Serve Those Who Serve.”
Methodist University also has a continued commitment to America’s veterans through participation in the GI Bill®’s Yellow Ribbon Program. This significant commitment upholds a long history of MU support for our veterans and their academic and career endeavors.
MU continues to find ways to enhance its academic offerings and develop military-centric degree programs that best meet the needs of its students. In January 2021, Methodist began offering 100-percent online degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that best serve veterans, spouses and their families.
Catalina Jara Hurtado is a wife and mother who drives trucks for the Army. She will graduate from MU this May with a Business Administration degree. She wants to work in human resources and loves to solve problems. She was recently promoted to Sergeant and has the responsibility of leading 10 soldiers.
The staff at MU’s campus at Fort Bragg helped Jara Hurtado with her classes and transfer credits. She received dozens of transfer credits for her military training and education and academic work at other educational institutions. This helped cut her education time almost in half and enables her to earn her degree in two and half years. Jara Hurtado praises Mara Baker, MU’s Fort Bragg admission’s counselor, with helping her take advantage of transfer credits and tuition adjustments.
“She was very helpful. Mara answered every question I had and walked me through everything I needed to do,” said Jara Hurtado.
Jara Hurtado wasn’t surprised to discover MU had earned Gold Rank status. She experienced MU’s commitment to military families first-hand. The nature of her job often calls her away on missions at unexpected times. She knew military life wouldn’t always coincide with university deadlines, but MU’s professors — some who are veterans themselves — are empathetic and helpful.
“Whenever I have a schedule conflict, I contact the professors and they are very friendly and understanding,” she said. “They’re always trying to help me, and I’ve never had any issues with any professors because of my job.”
Another benefit for MU students is having access to the nearby Davis Memorial Library with its vast collection of books and research resources. Jara Hurtado said when she started her MU journey, she visited the library often, but then discovered the power of accessing the catalog online, a big benefit when working from home.
“You can access the library from home with your MU account. I do almost all my homework research online now,” Jara Hurtado said.
The fully online programs are just one example of MU’s eagerness to bring its world-class education to the military and their families. In addition to new Methodist University fully-online programs, students can continue to attend classes in a variety of modalities to include evening classes where they can earn BS degrees in Entrepreneurship, Environmental & Occupational Management, Leadership Communication, Health Care Administration, Business Administration and Political Science.
“Methodist University Online is a huge benefit for our military-affiliated student population and affords students the flexibility and convenience they need to balance family, work, and school,” said Buckner. “Also, MU Online truly addresses the needs of our Special Operations Forces and other service members who serve in military occupational specialties who cannot attend in-person classes because of their military duties.”
For more information, contact MU at Fort Bragg: 910-436-3624 or methodist.edu/bragg. Registration for summer classes is open now, and classes begin May 3.

Pictured above: Catalina Jara Hurtado, a sergeant in the Army, will graduate in May with a Business Adminitsration Degree. 

FTCC helps students find their way forward

13 ManWheelchairHC1403 sourceHave you ever wanted to attend college but felt as if your disability prohibited you from accomplishing your academic goals? If you answered yes, now is the time to pursue your educational dreams. Fayetteville Technical Community College renders its services to students who require accommodations based on mental, emotional or physical impairments through its own Disability Support Services Office.

The DSSO is an exclusive entity within Student Services at FTCC, and we take great pride in assisting students (online and on campus) who have disabilities since we are a renowned equal opportunity, learning and educational institution.

The academic rigor of curriculum courses does not change based on the diagnosis or disorder of the student. The services and accommodations provided by our department are implemented to promote fairness within education.

The purpose of quality education is to retain knowledge and to foster career opportunities through a mastery level of academic retention. FTCC policies and procedures, which can be found on the FTCC website, comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

It is essential to FTCC that our students do not undergo discrimination or exclusion from participating in college events and programs and are not denied curriculum or non-curriculum educational activities and opportunities based on any form of a medically diagnosed disability. All prospective students applying to FTCC are welcome to visit the DSSO to obtain information before enrolling into programs that the college has to offer. Our team will be glad to answer any questions regarding ADA compliance and services provided to the public.

When applying to FTCC, future students are provided with information about where and how to apply for disability services. Once a student submits the proper documentation through the DSSO, accommodations will be granted. The DSSO promptly sends accommodations to the faculty members after the student completes required actions. It is the student’s responsibility to follow a simple step-by-step process to renew accommodations for each semester.

The appropriate documents to receive and to maintain academic accommodations consist of a valid medical evaluation that must come from a licensed psychological or medical provider within the last five years. If students cannot provide required medical information, some temporary services may be determined and arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Those receiving services provided by the DSSO should have no concern about their data being vulnerable to public exposure as the department responsibly guarantees secure, ethical and legal protocols for protecting students’ welfare. Students’ medical information is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and is considered confidential. Our department is located in the Tony Rand Student Center, Room 127. Please do not hesitate to contact the DSSO at any time with questions, comments or concerns regarding student accommodations, ADA compliance, or professional assistance. FTCC looks forward to the opportunity to help you find your way forward.

New boutique offers natural products for health, wellness

11 minx 2Minxdiva’s Essentials, a health and wellness boutique, is Cool Spring Downtown Districts’ latest addition in Fayetteville.

The wellness store located on the second floor of 308-B Hay Street specializes in natural products like sea moss gel, raw organic sea moss, natural soaps and candles.

“I am a Fayetteville native, and it's always been a dream of mine to be on Hay Street,” owner Ebony McAllister said. “It really just fell in my lap, I wasn’t looking for it so when the opportunity presented itself, I took it.”

One of Minxdiva’s most popular products is sea moss gel. “Sea moss is a hot commodity now,” McAllister said. “It is a superfood that contains about 92 out of the 100 minerals our body needs. It’s a natural multivitamin.”

Sea moss, a type of edible algae or seaweed can be primarily found between North America and Europe.

“You can make it yourself; people can add it to their smoothies, use on hair and face for skin issues,” McAllister said. “I know it works because everyone who comes and gets it, comes back for more.”

Her discovery of sea moss was made on her journey of finding natural products for herself.

McAllister calls her brand “The Borderline Vegan” because she’s not fully vegan and still eats certain foods. She is extremely conscious of her body and says her path as an educator teaching nutrition in schools led to her research of the food industry.

Minxdiva’s Essentials also offers meal planning guides for those looking for natural substitutes to processed foods.

“I am more anti-chemicals than I am anti-meat,” McAllister said.

Emphasizing the power of information, she said true change starts from within and so she opened a store to share products that are true to her with the community.

“Your body doesn't recognize chemicals, whether it's food, lotions, soaps,” she said. “I believe man can’t make anything that can replace nature.”

For more information about the Minxdiva’s Essentials, visit https://www.minxdiva.com.

Legacy of Buffalo Soldiers remembered by local Motorcycle Club

02 BSMC 1 inside pageThe history of the Buffalo Soldiers is full of courage, sacrifice and heroism.

Following the Civil War, Congress passed the Army Organization Act in 1866 allowing African Americans to enlist in the regular peacetime military. All-Black Cavalry and Infantry Regiments were created including the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry. Serving on the frontier, these units were at the forefront of our nation’s western expansion —protecting settlers, stage coaches, wagons trains and railroad crews. Much of their time was spent battling Native American Indians who were resisting federal government policies. Black soldiers, some of whom had fought for the Union Army in the Civil War, were now fighting another minority group in the name of the United States government.

The irony isn’t lost on Anor “Chief” Burnside, a retired Army soldier and member of the Fayetteville Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club.

“The majority of them were stationed out west to fight Indians and to help build roads and safeguard travelers,” Burnside said. “They had a lot to prove to America, to be brave enough to serve the country at the same time they were being discriminated against in other parts of the country.”

Burnside retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 5 in 2017 after serving 34 years. He said the Buffalo Soldiers served as inspiration to many people of color who followed their example and served honorably in the military services.

“Buffalo Soldiers paved the way for folks like me to join the Army and achieve the rank I did,” he said. “We owe a debt of gratitude to them.”

According to www.history.com Buffalo Soldiers participated in at least 177 conflicts in the Indian Wars, earning a reputation as steadfast and fierce fighters. One legend has it that the name Buffalo Soldiers came from the American Indians themselves, showing reverence to the Cavalry soldiers.

In the late 1890s, the Buffalo Soldiers were fighting in the Spanish-American War charging up San Juan Hill. The 9 th and 10 th Cavalry Regiments served in the Philippines in the early 1900s.

In 1907, the United States Military Academy Detachment of Cavalry was changed to a "colored" unit so West Point cadets could learn their riding skills from Black non-commissioned officers, who were considered among the best. The detachment, made up of soldiers from the 9 th and 10 th Cavalry would go on the instruct future officers on riding, mounted drill and cavalry tactics for four decades.

During World War I, Buffalo Soldiers defended the Mexican border. Both Regiments were integrated into the 2nd Cavalry Division in 1940. While discrimination was likely a factor during the Jim Crow era, troops from the 9 th and 10 th Cavalry Regiments were moved into service roles and both Regiments were deactivated in 1944.

The legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers still continued into World War II. The 92 nd Division, known as the “Buffalo Division,” saw combat during the invasion of Italy. Another division that included the original 25th Infantry Regiment fought in the Pacific theater.

In 1948, President Harry Truman issued an Executive Order eliminating racial discrimination in the U.S. armed forces, and the last of the all-Black units were disbanded in 1951 during the Korean War, and the soldiers integrated into other units.

Through the years, Buffalo Soldiers compiled a distinguished record of service and sacrifice winning numerous unit awards and individual commendations. According to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, 18 Buffalo Soldiers received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Indian Campaigns from 1865-1899. By additional accounts, 5 Medals of Honor would be awarded to Buffalo Soldiers for actions during the Spanish-American War. Also, 2 Medals of Honor would be awarded to soldiers of the 92 nd Division during World War II; and 2 Medals of Honor would be awarded to soldiers of the 24th Infantry Regiment during the Korean War.

Today, the Buffalo Soldiers’ legacy of service to the nation endures in books, movies, monuments, museum exhibits, and with the help of organizations such as the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club.

“We are a national organization,” Burnside said. “The name Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club was chosen to honor and pay respect to the 9th and 10th Cavalry — the Buffalo Soldiers.”

What is now known as the National Association of Buffalo Soldiers & Troopers Motorcycle Club began with a single club in Chicago in 1993. Participation and interest grew and more chapters around the country were established. The NABSTMC now has more than 100 chapters worldwide and is active in a number of charitable efforts. The NABSTMC also provides mentors to youth and educational programs in order to share the heritage of African Americans.

The Fayetteville Chapter, the first in North Carolina, was established in 2001. It was soon followed by chapters in Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh and Wilmington.

“We are open to anyone who believes and supports our values and advocates the history of the 9th and 10th- the Buffalo Soldiers,” Burnside said. “Our chapter is made up of active and retired military. We have some police officers that are active. Our organization is made up of professional men and women of all backgrounds who believe in educating people on the history of Buffalo Soldiers, giving back to the community and being good role models.”

Setting the example is something the BSMC members take seriously.

The Fayetteville BSMC host a number of outreach endeavors to include charity rides, funeral escorts and even pick up litter along their adopted three-mile stretch of Highway 162 in Hope Mills.

“We’re all about giving back to our community,” Burnside said. “We call it ‘doing good in the hood.’ We’re all about educating the public on the rich history of the Buffalo Soldiers, their accomplishments and contributions, things they did to make the Army and this country great.”

Their biggest fundraiser of the year is scheduled for April 10 and all riders are invited to participate. The Buffalo Soldiers 11th Annual Pony Express Charity Ride will start at Fort Bragg Harley-Davidson on Sycamore Dairy Road. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and kick stands go up at 10 a.m. There will be refreshments, door prizes and raffles. The event is expected to be complete by 3 p.m. The registration fee is $20 and all proceeds will benefit local community charities. For more information call 205-902-4642.

“The Pony Express Ride raises money to support scholarships, and it helps fund our Thanksgiving baskets and Christmas toy giveaway,” Burnside said.
While being a force for good in the community is reward in itself, Burnside said members also value the time on the road together.

“As a chapter, we try to ride as often as we possibly can,” he said. “On the third Saturday of the month, after our meeting, we will ride to fellowship.”

Club members also take part in other Club rides as a show of support. For the upcoming Pony Express Charity Ride, Burnside expects riders from BSMC chapters as far away as Florida. “It’s all about that wind therapy,” Burnside said. “We enjoy that camaraderie of coming together and feeling the wind in your face.”

“Today we’re riding our iron horses and trying to be a good example,” Burnside said.

For more information on the Fayetteville Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club or the 11th Annual Pony Express Charity Ride, visit www.ncbuffalosoldiers.com or www.facebook.com/NCBuffaloSoldiersMC.

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