(Posted July 3, 2012)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College is partnering with a German business university, Fachhochschule Gelsenkirchen-Bocholt, to give Juniata business students the opportunity to earn a master's degree in business by adding an extra year of study in Germany and in the United States to Juniata's undergraduate education model.

Administrators at FHG-Bocholt, the business campus of the University of Applied Sciences, Gelsenkirchen, have formalized the first of several possible international agreements to provide cooperative master's degree programs for Juniata undergraduates that can be earned within a year of earning a bachelor's degree from Juniata.

"We are hoping once the program is established that this becomes a recruitment option for incoming undergraduate students who are interested in international business and international issues."

Jenifer Cushman, dean, international programs

According to James Lakso, provost at Juniata, and Jenifer Cushman, dean of international programs at the college, Juniata is currently considering other graduate degree agreements with England's University of Leeds in environmental science, museum studies and business, and with France's University of Lille in environmental science and chemistry. Cushman, who is also professor of German at Juniata, says Juniata will soon approach Philipps University, in Marburg, Germany, to collaborate on a master's program in peace and conflict studies. In all cases, Juniata will provide the undergraduate degree and the European institution will provide the graduate degree.

Students in the new program would be required to study German at Juniata, but students do not have to major in the language to be eligible. "We are hoping once the program is established that this becomes a recruitment option for incoming undergraduate students who are interested in international business and international issues," Cushman says.

Explained simply, Juniata students would study in Huntingdon for their freshman and sophomore years. The Juniata students would begin their junior year in Huntingdon for fall semester and would travel to Bocholt spring semester and most of the summer to take classes and participate in a full time internship at a German company.

In the senior year, Juniata students will complete fall semester and complete their undergraduate requirements at Juniata. In spring semester of the senior year, each student will take four master's degree courses taught by Juniata business faculty on campus. "The courses will be structured much like independent study courses, since it's likely just one or two students a year will be going through the program," Lakso says.

The four graduate level courses taught at Juniata will cover: self-management, external process management (marketing and customer services), internal process management (human resources), and service operation management.

"At the end of four years, students will have completed our undergraduate degree and will have a major internship and an international experience," Lakso adds.

After the students complete their Juniata-based graduate courses, they will return to Bocholt for a summer program and for all of fall semester through the end of January. At the end of that time, each student will research and write their master's degree thesis, and each student can opt to return to Juniata or remain at Bocholt to complete it.

The master's degree in business that student can earn is in service management.

Currently Juniata has a dual-degree program agreement with FHG-Bocholt, where Juniata students can earn separate bachelor's degrees from each institution. Several Juniata students have taken advantage of this program, which was established in 2004.

The German campus nearly mirrors aspects of Juniata. There are 1,500 students and the town of Bocholt, which has a population of 70,000, is a city on the border of Germany and the Netherlands. The modernist main campus building is about 20 years old and all faculty offices and classes are held in the building.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.