Online Masters of Applied Statistics Program Review

Online Masters of Applied Statistics Program Review


11:30 AM – 12:30 AM, JUNE 15, 2023


00:00 David Lawrence - Michigan Technological University: Good morning and welcome to the statistics interest session from Michigan Technological University and the College of Science and Arts. So, my name is David Lawrence and I am the Vice President for our global campus and also continuing education here at Michigan Tech. David Lawrence: I'd like to cover some areas that we're going to be talking about today and our agenda. We're going to talk a little bit about who Michigan Tech is. Number 2: talk through our applied statistics program, the degree program, and then also the opportunities around the certificate programs. We'll talk a little bit about the career pathways, so what can you do with this degree? Where does it lead you? And then also, how do you apply if you're interested in taking the next step?


00:41 David Lawrence: And as we go through this process, if you have questions definitely, go ahead and put them into the chat, we'll get those answered and stop when you ask those, but it could be on a number of different areas, whether it's about the program itself or about the finances for the program and or about career questions as well: anything that you have put those in there and/or comments.


1:00 David Lawrence: We worked with many great internal partners here at Michigan Tech, really to create this interest session. I'll be introducing Dr. Zhang, who's a Dave House Endowed professor in statistics, data mining, and also data analytics. And then also, Brad Grey, he's our online program enrollment advisor and will be able to help really shepherd you through the process for any type of questions that you have that come up or concerns that you have or really trying to find out even where you're at in terms of starting this process.


1:29 David Lawrence: For those of you who are not familiar with Michigan Tech, we're a university that's really focused on health, science, technology, engineering, and math. About 7,000 students in our undergrad program and grad programs. We have 5 colleges and 140 degree programs. Over the last several years, we've been working pretty diligently to be able to create a number of online programs as well. Certificates to help you be able to bridge towards a degree program and then also master’s and PhD programs.


1:59 David Lawrence: We're here to share the purpose around the Master of Science in Applied Statistics, this program has really a common purpose. It's the pursuit of higher education. The program provides flexibility by completing your master's degree while you're continuing to work, or you're starting a new job. It also provides the convenience that's working around your schedule. We know that you have a lot of obligations, whether it's family, whether it's travel and these online programs are able to help fill in in the areas that you need support in from a program perspective, but also from a life perspective. Other advantages are connecting with diverse learners and interacting with students from different backgrounds and with peers across the country. The program helps maintain that life balance by being able to fit your education around your job, your family, and other responsibilities, as well as putting you in the best position to earn an advanced degree.


2:49 David Lawrence: You might have a destiny to achieve a degree for the first time and this is a journey for you. And this first step is just learning about what are some of the next steps in the process, where you might be growing within your organization and be on an upper trajectory, and you need an advanced degree or you may want to finish what you started several years ago and leave a legacy for your family and organization as a model to complete what you started. Michigan Tech University will continue to support you and your educational goals through this great program.


3:16 David Lawrence: I'm now pleased and excited to introduce Dr. Zhang again, our professor in statistics. He will share some more information about the statistics program, how it can help accomplish your personal and your professional objectives and, lastly, provide opportunities to change lives and achieve your dreams to advance education. I think you're on mute, Dr. Zhang.


3:46 Kui Zhang: Sorry for that. So, there are a number of reasons that you would like to earn an online master's degree in applied statistics from MTU, like specialized skills to meet the growing demand for statistics and data analysis. There are 10 courses provided by this program so, you can apply, you can learn and apply advanced statistical methods and you can also combine like statistical techniques with emerging technologies. And for all the courses, you have a chance to work on some projects. And you work with the real data. And I see the most important thing that you'll learn a lot of statistics that will be used in, you know, your personal life and then in your professional job.


4:37 Kui Zhang: Next slide, please. There are a number of advantages you’ll want in an online master's degree in statistics from MTU. Here is a list of several advantages. First, this is 100% online degree program. All the courses are taught by, through the camera system. So, you can learn the course by your own pace. And there are 10 courses required. And there are like 30 credits and more importantly there are 18 credits at the graduate level. And you can complete your program. Basically in 5 semesters, basically in 18 months. So, at the same time, you don't need to do any extra work; you can earn our graduate certificate in applied statistics along the way. So, and basically, once you as you're eligible for that certificate, you will get it by the end of the semester.


5:49 Kui Zhang: All the courses, some seem difficult at the first time at first glance, but actually, it (the degree) doesn't require a lot of like a math background. So, some like the basic knowledge in Linear Algebra are required, but if you are not familiar with those like, you know terms or like techniques, MTU provides, our department provides a 10-week bridge course in Linear Algebra to help you to prepare for those courses.


6:25 Kui Zhang: Next slide, please. And so for the same reason, you want to earn an online graduate certificate in applied statistics and basically you don't need to add in any a real work, you know, additional work other than when you’re in the online master's program in applied statistics. Okay? So, what you’re learning is very similar to the online applied statistics program. And next slide please. So there are several things, you know that are the same as the online master program in applied statistics. So, for the graduate certificate, basically, it's still like a 100% online program. In contrast to the 10 courses required by the master’s degree in applied statistics, the graduate certificate in applied statistics only requires 3 courses, which is equivalent to 9 credits. And all the courses are taught in like the accelerated seven big courses. Basically, in each semester, MTU has 14 weeks. Basically, you can complete the 2 courses. That means you can get a graduate certificate in applied statistics as a little as like 6 months and 3 courses consists of one call cost, and the 2 elected so, and the 2 electives are selected from 6 courses. I will introduce that; you know later.


8:16 Kui Zhang: And so here is the master's program in applied statistics and also the graduate certificate courses. Okay, so they are 10 courses. If you look at the left of this slide, the 10 courses required. The first 2 courses, I will say, are really like the basic courses. You should learn those courses first, and these courses are provided in each term. That means each fall, spring, and summer, those courses are provided you can enroll in these courses then. The other eight courses are more advanced. So, some of it them like, you know, number 5 is a really very commonly used: the course is regression analysis. The other courses include the more advanced, the like. statistical methods of the like, you know, number 6 generalized linear models, and Number 10 predictive modeling for those 8 causes. So, it's in each like term, like fall, spring, and summer, all of those eight classes will be provided, if you like to plan well, that means you can finish all these 10 courses in 18 months. That's 6 terms.


9:39: Kui Zhang: And if you look at like the right side of the slide, you can know the requirements for the graduate certificate in applied statistics. There is one core course; it is called statistical methods. This is also the second course of the left side. This is a brief introduction of the basic statistical ideas or methods. There are 2 elective courses that are required. You can select from, you know, those 6 courses you can see. These 6 courses are also like in the eighth courses, you know are described on the left side of this slide. Do you have any questions regarding these classes?


10:36 Kui Zhang: Okay, so next slide, please. So next slide, please. So, you may ask why you want to earn this degree, because you may already like to have a job so, and you have a very good job. I will say, you know that to earn an online master in statistics is very like helpful to, you know advance your career. So nowadays, you know, you can see all the jobs you know need computer and need also data, you know, driven like the decision. Right? So, and that means, if you have the online degree, if you have a master's degree in applied statistics, you have a set of specialized, you know, skills that the other professionals in your field don't have.

11:40 Kui Zhang: So, basically, you can position yourself for the leadership opportunities and can get promoted and also, there is a lot of demand. There are high-paying jobs for those with skills from, you know, the statistics and the data analysis. So, you can like, try to find, you know the good, you know, high-demand, high paying jobs also. So, you can, it gives you more opportunity to you know, to find a new job and also to advance your career.


12:16 Kui Zhang: Next slide please. And actually there, a lot of like, you know, the jobs or careers you can do if you have online, like, if you have a master's degree in applied statistics. Okay? So, as you may realize, you know, every decision is based on the data. Basically, as a statistician or a data scientist, you can do a lot of jobs. It's like, you know, the graduate students of, you know, graduate from our departments they do a lot, you know. They have been working in many fields.


12:58 Kui Zhang: For example, if you are interested in financial sector, you can, you know, become a financial analyst; you can become a marketing research analyst, you can become a business intelligence analyst. So, if you are interested in working a health-related job, you can become a statistician. You can like, you know, help physicians, you know, to make decisions based on their data and also provide better, like, you know, treatment or care plan for the patients. And basically so, for the, you know, the statistics and the computer, and the basically so if you know statistics, you can work, you know, as a computer scientist, too. And also, there are many other fields like we have them listed here. As a statistician, you can work with them too.


14:04 Kui Zhang: Next slide, please. So, statistics as a career, if you look at, you know the now, basically so the all the media, likes a newspaper, you know, internet search, you can find, you know, statisticians are in high demand. And basically so, and it's still growing. And also, the pay for the statisticians is quite high. And also, as a statistician, you are very flexible on your schedule. Basically, that means you, it is a low on the job stress levels and it's very like flexible. And then whatever you are interested in, basically, you can work as a statistician in that field. I will say, like, you know, that as a statistician myself, this, in my opinion is the best job I can have. And next slide, please.


15:17 David Lawrence: And we'll go to. Thank you, Dr. Zhang. We're going to go to applications here in just a minute and turn it over to Brad here just a minute. But As Dr. Zhang said, he really communicated quite a bit to us, you know, talking to us about the degree programs, talking about the certificate programs, and also sharing the career path, what you could do with some of these degrees or certificates. If you're thinking about some questions or comments, now would be a great time to go ahead and put him into the chat. And somebody's moderating that, so go in and ask those questions. Maybe questions around financial questions that are coming up, or other types of questions that you may have for Dr. Zhang about the syllabus for the programs. And so, we just want to make sure that you have an opportunity to go ahead and put any questions in the chat. While you're thinking about some of those questions, we'll turn it over to Brad to go ahead and talk about the applications section.


16:13 Amanda Irwin: We do have a couple of questions here first, if that’s okay. Yeah, so "Is there anything that makes MTU’s applied statistics degree unique from another online program that's available?"


16:30 David Lawrence: One of the areas that is unique is the 7-week courses. And I think this is really important, because, you have busy lives. You got a lot of things going on with your family, a lot of things going on with work. You may be traveling. And these courses are set up in 7- week semesters. So, in essence, you can get 2 courses done in one semester. Many courses are set up in one semester of 15 weeks. And so, really, from a length of time perspective, you can go at a much faster pace and get done earlier through this process, so that's one thing. I guess I'll open it up to others as well to provide some other input too about what are the uniqueness of the course and program.


17:06 Jacque Smith: But I'd like to add that you know that you can enter in any semester; you can start any of our semesters to get into the program, so that's not always true at all institutions. And the other part, this program was like purposely built to be online, we have an on-campus program and then we have this online program. So it was, you know, built with the intention that it's fully asynchronous. So, you can do it and have it work in your work life and your family life. You can do this, this program. It you know, whenever you need to do it. You're still in the semesters with everyone else. But you don't necessarily have to be in one spot at one particular time to see a class. So that's something if you are looking at other programs to try to get a better understanding of how the program is actually delivered to you. So, I'd say, we are unique and this is a purpose-built program.


18:02 David Lawrence: Yeah, and that’s great.


18:04 Kui Zhang: Another thing I would say, like, you know, is that the contents are high quality. So, it’s the professors who write the content, but you know how these contents are built, they are being taught is through the collaboration from Keypath. So they are, you know, the people from Keypath are specialists. They are specialized to you know to organize all those contents, you know. I see in many other programs you know, the professor not only provide content, but also, like, you know, they built the Canvas and the sessions. I would say here, you know, the professor only provides the content.


18:53 David Lawrence: Yeah, so thank you for that. Amanda, is there another question?


19:02 Amanda Irwin: Yeah, we actually have a handful more program questions before we move on to the admissions stuff. Another question, “I'm interested more about the prerequisites, are there any?” And then, “How are the courses graded? Are they test-based or project- based?"


19:15 David Lawrence: Okay.



19:17 Kui Zhang: So, I can answer the question, some of the questions. So, I think that the only requirement is that some basic calculus and linear algebra. As I have mentioned this, so if you are not familiar with linear algebra we have, we provide a 10-week, you know, bridge course, and for myself, I build like the 2 courses. I will say so even if you don't know any mathematics, you can still like, you know, be successful in these courses, because you know that I think that although I taught the basic mathematical theory behind those like statistics, like the tools. But, I will say, that the theory is not required. It will help you understand the whole course.


20:14 Kui Zhang: For the grading, I think it really depends on each course, you know. For the course I have like I have them like built up so that there's several things to pass. So, there are like so weekly quizzes and homework. And then also there's a final exam. There's also a final project. So, and there are different percentages that are given to each part.


20:41 David Lawrence: Yeah, I appreciate that. And on the bridge program, as Dr. Zhang just mentioned, we have a bridge program running. So, if you haven't been back in school for a long time, and you're in need that linear algebra, it's a 10-week program. It's a non-credit program but it helps you to be able to ease back into it and sharpen some of your skills and get prepared for that degree program as well. And that one runs during the semesters to get you prepared. So good question. Other questions, Amanda?


21:07 Amanda Irwin: Yeah. So, I think that kind of answers one of the other ones: "I took linear algebra for my math degree 30 years ago. Would you recommend me taking the bridge course? Students like myself that have been out of out of it for a while?" And I think you just answered that, David.


21:23 Amanda Irwin: There are a couple of questions here. I'll see if I can grab both of them about software. "So, with all the special software, is a specific computer recommended for the program like Mac or windows?” And, “For the software in the MS program, is the choice of software up to the student or our classes taught with one software package only, for example, if I take regression, can I choose between R or Python?"


21:49 Kui Zhang:  I think you know for the operating system, a Windows or a Mac, you know, either of them is fine. So, for the courses, you know, I can only say, you know, for the 2 courses I helped build, I use our R. I don't provide Python because I don't, I think R is most suitable for my course. But I know, like at least one course requires the use of Python.

22:23 David Lawrence: And they can use that software from our software download labs as well, you know. for the programs. Correct?


22:30 Kui Zhang: Yes. So, I see, you know the one you'll use depends on the course. One is R and it is free. So basically, so anyone can use R; I think python is free. The source is not free, but MTU provides, you know, the license. If you know, you become, like a student in the program, you download this software and install on your personal computer and use it.


22:59 David Lawrence: Thank you. Other questions around software around prerequisites about syllabus programs, length of time, that may be coming up Amanda?


23:08 Amanda Irwin: I'm trying to combine them if we can, here. And so, I think we already talked about like grading criteria, exams, and projects. That was already one of the questions. Another question was, "How does an MS in Applied Statistics compare to an MS in Data Science? Is there an advantage to choosing applied statistics?"


23:37 David Lawrence: Dr. Zhang, thoughts on that?


23:39 Kui Zhang: I would say so. Our program really likes focus on – although we have courses about data science – most of our courses are focusing on statistical methods, and their related knowledge of skills. So -


24:18 David Lawrence: Oh, were you going to say something else? No, okay, no, no problem. So hopefully, that gives you some direction on that, and for a more in-depth discussion, we'll share with you how to be able to connect with Brad to find out some more details on this, and to really help provide some guidance in this area, too. So, Brad, what are your some of your thoughts on terms of people that ask these similar types of questions before?


24:45 Brad Grey: Sure. Thank you, David. The data science compared to statistics; this is an oversimplification. We actually offer both programs, so I'm not judging one over the other. I'm trying to provide some insight. But basically, when you look at a data science program, it is a computer programming class that has a couple of mathematics courses sprinkled in. Whereas a statistics program is the mathematical models, the statistical models that are being used. And instead of having any computer programming courses, we're going to incorporate the use of software, i.e. the R and the Python that was mentioned earlier. So, if you're looking to understand the statistics side of things and the manipulation of numbers and modeling, then you would want a statistics degree. If you wanted to understand the technical side of computers and how they are impacted, and then the statistical models within that sense, you would be into more of a data science realm. I hope that helped and didn't confuse the issue.


25:47 David Lawrence: Yeah, appreciate that. Other questions that may come up?


25:52 Amanda Irwin: Yeah. So, and I, I think we might have answered it, but can we touch on again? "Are the classes recorded so that I can view as my schedule allows?"


26:04 Kui Zhang:  I think you know that all the courses are built like in the Canvas system. So basically, there are some videos within each, like the module. Basically, this is a course that takes 7 weeks to complete. Basically, there's 7 modules and one module for each week. So, in each module, we have several, like, sections. Each includes a different type of content. Some videos, some like you know, exercises, some like homework or quizzes. So, I don't know if you can really assess those like courses before you become a student in that program. But if you are interested, we definitely can send out the syllabus. So basically, seeing the basic contents all the, you know, the important and essential information for you to understand the course.


27:04 Amanda Irwin: But there's not a specific time that the class has to meet or anything. The student will have access when they want, they could access their course at 1 a.m. if they wanted to. Right?


27:14 Kui Zhang: We have some, like we have a schedule we need. You know that, for you know the for the course is already scheduled up to I think Summer 2024. And then, if you, I can send that to file to students.


27:31 David Lawrence: But I think that you know part of the answer to is that they can take this course whenever they need to. Right? People’s schedules are different. If they want to log in one at 1 a.m., they could log in at 1 a.m. If they want to, you know, and spend a half hour on it they can spend a half hour on it. And so, it's flexible for them to be able to work when their schedule works as well, and be able to continue their education, moving forward. There's no set class time for the class to meet. This is a class period that is somewhat self-directed. There are certainly, deadlines and courses and tests and assessments that are due at certain times. But It's open and available to you to be able to take during your time throughout that week as long as the assignments get completed. So yeah, good question.


28:15 Amanda Irwin:  We had a couple of questions about cost, and that has been answered with a link in the chat. So, if you were curious about cost, there is a cost tool that you can link to and bring up a really nice breakdown of what tuition and fees look like. And then we had one other question in here about -


28:30 David Lawrence: Amanda? Just real quick on the cost part too. Even though, as a state institution, many times there are different costs out of state. But this program there is not a different tuition rate. You have the same intuition rate that you would have if you were living here in the State of Michigan, and that's a real advantage. Being able to get a degree from Michigan Tech and having that same pricing structure. And so, when you see that price, that's what it will be, no matter where you're living.


29:01 Amanda Irwin: And another question, "Are there bridge courses that help us get familiar with the software?"


29:09 David Lawrence: Oh, sorry.


29:12 Kui Zhang: So, no I don’t think so. Because that bridge course is only for the linear algebra. Basically, with the software you need, you can get familiar with one in each course.  And each course may use a different software. And also, I would say, each course if they use R, they will use different packages in R corresponding to the statistical method that they will be taught in that course.


29:40 David Lawrence: And we have found that for quite a few people, there are quite a few informational videos on how to use the software as well out there. That a lot of people like to be able to learn that way too, with their learning in the class timeframe through the assignments. And so, it's on-the-job type training in terms of that class. But then there's also significant amount of support and help, not only from the creator of the software, the manufacturer of the software, but also from individuals that are providing support help, and we find that those tools are pretty strong. So.


30:10 Brad Grey: I did a quick search on Python. Free resources to learn Python: 169 million hits. There's others, code Academy, things like that. And then instructors do obviously know the software and they're able to help if you're hung up on something.


30:27 Amanda Irwin: And then, we've got one, I think one last question around this nice block. These were great questions, by the way. "What are the networking opportunities look like both during and post program for industry professionals?"


30:45 Brad Grey: Yeah, you want me to take a shot. I didn't want to step on one. So yeah, yeah, we have an enormous career services department. I will throw the link in the chat. And from there, it'll bring you to a quite a few different other options. So, I'm going to talk and paste. This is the career services page. We host the largest career fair in the State of Michigan, that is available. There is a return-on-investment page. I'm going to copy that link into the chat as well. Our job placement at the undergrad level is 93% in their field within 6 months, which is absolutely enormous. Sophisticated companies, sophisticated hirers understand what Michigan Tech is all about and they would respect that degree with that name on it, and hopefully help elevate your status as a potential candidate. But we also offer a website called Handshake, which is where employers come to us and request the opportunity to recruit directly from Michigan Tech. So, we've got great success within that. There are a ton of regional chapters throughout the United States.  So then, again, the name is very well recognized, and we definitely offer a lot of support in that area.


32:04 David Lawrence: Yeah, perfect. Well, if there's  - keep the questions coming in. We will go to the admissions part right now, turn it over to Brad. Amanda, for the questions that come in, go ahead and read them out. But, Brad, you want to take over the admissions side now?

32:18 Brad Grey:  I will and just for everyone's sake, I did just add in the return-on-investment piece which I cited in my previous comment. But yeah, in terms of from an admissions perspective. I'm not going to read this all to you. I want to come back and revisit calculus and linear. But basically, you would complete an application. There is no application fee. We can work with unofficial transcripts to give you an idea of where things stand, a copy of your resume, which is pretty typical. The personal statement is a little bit of a background about you. It's a lot of times things that we talk about on the phone while we're having our initial interest discussions. Statement of purpose, that's equally important. What is it you're trying to do with this degree? And what we want to do with that document is review to make sure that your goals align with the goals of the program. So, these are all put into your best interest. A recommendation letter, very simplified process. Basically, you enter the contact information for the person that you want to recommend you or write the recommendation for you, and it's a very automated process. So, it's extremely simplified in that regard as well. We're really only looking for one recommendation in that regard, so.


33:32 Brad Grey: I do want to come back, if I may, David, really quickly, just on this calculus, linear algebra and introductory statistics. Don't be disappointed. Most people do not have all these classes. We can get on the phone and talk specifics. Obviously, we've talked about linear algebra several times. It's been a very successful program. And people that have taken that course have gone on to be very successful within the master’s and the certs program. The calculus is a kind of a one-on-one discussion and I'd be more than happy to have that discussion with you. But we do have some strategies and some options available to you, which really make a lot of sense for you to easily and quickly pick up the missing prerequisites. I would not let that be a deterrent. That has a tendency probably to slow most people down because they're excited about the program, and maybe a little less so about the pre-reqs, but it's those that take the pre-reqs that are in the program before you know it. Thank you, David. Next slide.


34:32 Brad Grey: The military part. The tuition piece, it was in the chat. The one thing I would really want to make sure you realize that former and current members of the military do receive a substantial discount. It's 33 percent. That's basically unheard of. We're very comfortable working with the G.I. Bill and anything that goes along with it. Again, remember that that tuition reduction isn't contingent upon you using your G.I. Bill. So, if you're still paying out of pocket or using Federal school loans, you would still be eligible for that reduction. Similarly, returning Peace Corps volunteers are eligible for that. The spouse part of this: that's actually for undergrad students only so, I don't want to spend a lot of time on that. It would not be eligible. But if you did know anybody from a military spouse perspective that was looking for something at the undergrad level we could certainly talk to you about that as well. Start dates – so basically, what we try to do is work 1 or 2 start dates out right? So, we have a strong stable of students starting in fall. I recognize some of the names in the chat here. I appreciate your coming by, appreciate your interest in this session as well. That starts on August 28th.

35:54 Brad Grey: We're working diligently with those students. There still is time to get in. It certainly it would require a conversation, and we can kind of talk through any individual particular situation that you have. But I find the team here, Amanda and Jacques and David to be very responsive in terms of accepting students. So please don't let that be a deterrent. We're also working with students for that January eighth term. Typically, when students are looking that far out, it relates to the prerequisites. And so, we just, you know, get you in the in the hopper. We give you what they call a conditional or provisional acceptance. So that you know where you stand. We're able to audit everything and confirm that you may only need one of these classes. And so, we allow that opportunity for people to apply, and really have an understanding that yes, I will be accepted, provided I complete any of those math courses. And we do have, obviously like I said, that third start. Jacques mentioned that earlier. Usually, people are motivated and senses like that right? They're excited about starting, and when you have these one start dates a year, it sometimes can lose some momentum. So please do not let that be a deterrent, you know. We certainly work with any students depending on their circumstances. I'm sorry, David. Next slide, then. Yes. The application process. Here we go. We talked about it. Application deadline is August eleventh for that next August start. Many of you I've mentioned we've spoken already, but if we haven't had that pleasure my contact information will be on the next slide, and we'll send a follow up to you in terms of our ability to jump on the phone and have a conversation.


37:34 Brad Grey: Basically, there is no application fee. We're not again just looking for the application; we're looking for interested and qualified individuals. But we've broken down as many barriers as we can from the application process itself with no application fee; very automated, working with unofficial transcripts and things like that. As an enrollment advisor, I work with you very closely. We monitor progress of documents; we maintain contact so that I can share and advocate on your behalf again with the team of Jacques and Amanda and David. Very simplified process.


38:11 Brad Grey: And here is that contact information we mentioned right here. Again, many of you I've spoken with, but we can, you know, either set up an email or via email or also I can send you a link to my calendar, which will allow you to schedule time on my calendar. It accesses my Outlook so that we can have some dedicated time to speak. Those conversations are as long as you need them to be. Some of them are 10 minutes long; some of them are 40 minutes long. It really just depends on the number of questions that you may have and some exceptions. But we're certainly looking forward to it. I think that also we talked about differentiation points with Michigan Tech. How many schools have you requested information from that no one's ever even followed up with you? That's not what Michigan Tech is all about. We're very vested in your success within the program and making sure we're getting you accurate information upfront.


39:10 David Lawrence: So, thank you, Brad, we're going to open it up. I know that looks like some more questions have come in. Amanda, if you want to just go ahead and start reading some of those off.


39:20 Amanda Irwin:  We had some questions but sent links out to answer some of those. So, one of them was, "What was the average compensation for the Midwest?" And Shelley grabbed some information for us and shared that in the chat. "Not sure about Midwest, but the medium pay for mathematicians and statisticians was about 96,000 in 2021." Dr. Zhang shared some information in the chat as well. I don't know if you want to talk about those couple of items that you shared.


39:55 Kui Zhang: Oh, yeah. So, one I shared, like, a syllabus from a Generalized Linear Model Course. That's the course I built. So, you can take a look, you know, to have a general idea about the course, but every course is different. So that’s, you know, how I built that course. And I also attached, you know, the Keypath class schedule. If you really look, you know, open that excel file, you will see like 2 courses, as I have mentioned. You know, basic courses are provided in each term. And with each term, there are 2 other additional courses, so you can apply now and begin your study, according to that schedule. I think, you know, that schedule is up to 2024 Summer. We will, that will be updated, you know later. And as I may, as you know, already have mentioned, you don't need to take, you know, all these courses at the same time. So, you can like take them based on your like schedule. You can take, maybe, one course per semester, and you can take two if you have more time. It's very flexible.


41:04 David Lawrence: Thank you.


41:07 Amanda Irwin: Another question was, "Is the GRE or TOEFL required as part of the application process?"

41:40 Brad Grey: I can jump in on that one. Thank you, Amanda. There is no GRE requirement. Again, I think we find this to be very humanistic. You're actually on this webinar with people that are making the decisions, people that I interact with on a daily basis that are reviewing documents. And if something comes up where there is a question, we're certainly willing to reach back out to the student. But the short answer is for the GRE, no. The TOEFL is on a case-by-case basis. It really depends on if you have an international undergrad. I would focus more on getting an evaluation completed. Again, a lot of it is citizenship-based. So, if you're a citizen, even though your degree is from outside the States, if you're a permanent resident, then we do not require the TOEFL. Again, that is more in a case-by-case basis. If you had any more specifics, I'd certainly be able to jump on the phone and answer those for you.


42:03 David Lawrence: Great. Good.


42:05 Amanda Irwin: And I've got one more question here. "So, what kind of support do online students receive while they're in the program from faculty and or staff?"


42:15 Kui Zhang: I can answer some part of this question. So, it depends, you know, on what kind of support you want to have. So, if you want support from the course, I think, you know, the faculty or the like, those that are teaching that course will definitely help you, you know. For me, if I'm teaching a course, I will set up several like office hours, so you can like ask me questions through the Canvas message system. You can post your question on the discussion board in Canvas. You can, also, you know, have a Zoom meeting with me. If that and the office hour doesn't work for you, you can always set up an appointment with me and I can have a meeting with you, and you can always send me the message. So, I try to respond to the message as quick as possible. If you want some support from, you know the other issues other than those in the course--so for example, computer issues, software issues--you have the IT department. They can always help you with that. But also, you know, if you look at the syllabus links, there is a lot of information about how you will be supported from the faculty and the staff from MTU.


43:45 Amanda Irwin: I think we're all caught up on questions.


43:52 Brad Grey: I just put, if I may really quick I just put, obviously you know, if you're not in the program it's not going to necessarily help. But if you, I'll give you an idea, I just put the link into the help desk; they are very, very qualified. If I have any issues with systems which I rarely do, I find them to be very responsive, very knowledgeable. So, we're a STEM school and we have been for 150 years. And so, we definitely have strong technology support. I mean, we wouldn't have been as successful in and shared that longevity. The other thing is, I just wanted to piggy back onto what Dr. Zhang said. I do find these instructors to be extremely responsive. If I get a very specific question, I will filter it through the appropriate party, and oftentimes I'll hear back from Dr. Zhang directly, and that's not very common at many topflight universities in terms of their engagement and their level of support within students. Office hours, Zoom calls: all those are eligible, and that's not only for Dr. Zhang, but across the board with your instructor. And then the other thing is, we do have a student success advisor. It is exclusive to fully online students. Her name is Kimberly Hopkins. She is extremely knowledgeable about the program. Extremely engaging and responsive in terms of having any questions she can help you with course planning. She will do outreach either the week before school or the very first week of school to introduce herself, to make sure that you are feeling comfortable. And you have one person to go to, as it relates to the administration part of your degree. Obviously, if it's in the classroom, it would be an instructor question. But I can't speak highly enough about Kimberly Hopkins and what she can do for the students in the program. We talk about students on a on a case-by-case, individual-by- individual basis where we do know your name.


45:40 David Lawrence: Oh, that's great. Other thoughts or questions about the program itself, about the certificate versus the degree, what some of the differences are there? Again, on the start dates? I know there's some questions about prerequisites and software that came up all great questions and even questions around career trends as well. Other questions that you might have for us while we're here on any of those topic areas? Or even comments that you might have as well?


46:13 David Lawrence: Any other questions, Brad, as we're waiting for comments that you believe that will come up in a discussion that might be valuable here?

46:23 Brad Grey: The biggest question I get is about software. And so, I'm so happy that I'm not the only one that addressed that. I think that was very insightful, and if Dr. Zhang can just echo what he had said earlier, just in terms of our level of support. He can speak only to his class, but I also think on a broader scale, he can speak to. If a student had a question about Python, who would they turn to, I think, would be probably at the most base level question.


46:50 Kui Zhang: I would say, if that course uses Python, you know, students can ask the instructor, the instructor. I think they will answer most of the students' questions unless you know that question is very difficult. So, but I would say so, you know, for my class, you know, I'm using R so, and I think that I haven't experienced that one: a question regarding R, I cannot answer for my class.


47:24 Brad Grey: That's the magic words. I think the last part of that is; you haven't run into an experience where you haven't been able to answer a question. You not only have the support of the instructors, but you're surrounded in your classroom with equally knowledgeable people. They've all gone through the screening process. They've all fulfilled the mathematics requirements. Some of them have experience with the software and other ones don't. And they've all been successful in the program regardless. So definitely, if you have any questions or concerns. I get asked that question. a lot.


47:57 Brad Grey: And then, if I may, and just one more very quick one is: we talked about the different industries. How universal is our degree? If you were looking at something like biostats versus someone who wants to do market research for a consumer package goods company?


48:24 David Lawrence: Dr. Zhang,I think you're on mute.


48:27 Kui Zhang: Okay? So, you, you want me to answer this question?


48:30 Brad Grey: Please. And again, I’ll reframe it. Some people want work in health care. Some people want to work in business. How universal is our applied statistics degree? And how beneficial can it be virtually regardless of the industry you're in?


48:47 Kui Zhang: I think you know; our program is not designed to fit any specific field. And basically, I would say, it is for any field that you are interested in. So, you are still able to get this appropriate statistical extra knowledge and skills. So that's I would say, is what the advantages are, not disadvantages. From my experience, I would say so. I mean from like the graduate school, students graduate Statistics program. Many people, for example, they find a job in the financial sector, or in that, you know the health research sector. They don't have that specialized knowledge. But I think from a student's perspective, if you want to really work like in a special field, you may want to study some knowledge in that field that will greatly increase your opportunity in that field.


50:00 Brad Grey: Excellent. Okay, well, thank you. Those are the biggies for me, David, thank you.


50:06 Amanda Irwin: We did have one more really good question. I don't think we've I addressed it yet, but "Can certificates or a certificate be stacked towards a degree, towards the masters?"


50:17 Brad Grey: Again, I will jump in. Yes, it can. The certificate courses are a direct subset of the master’s degree. So, if a student said, "You know, let me start with the certificate," every one of the courses that you complete will be applied. And it's pretty common, actually, for people that go into the cert. realizing the benefits of the courses that they've already taken, that it really just makes sense for them to make a continuation and to move on to the master’s. Conversely, if you came into the master’s program, after approximately 6 months, and you've completed the requirements for the certificate, you can petition the registrar. This is particularly of interest to people that are trying to break into the field that want to beef up their resume. And so, they have that opportunity, then to utilize, and to add that blurb or that ammunition, if you will, to their resume so that they can then kind of tout that as they're looking for jobs. And there's no reason to say you can't look for a job in statistics only after you finish the degree program.


51:21 David Lawrence: Yeah. Good point. We'll be wrapping it up here in just a minute. There may be some last questions that you might have. We'll also be on for a few minutes afterwards in the call, in case there's a question that you wanted to ask just us directly. That'll be available too. But if there are other questions, I give a last call for some of those questions around enrollment programs, the online process itself, the financial process. Again, a lot of good data today that we've discussed already. But there may be any last questions out there in this, and any last words that anybody wants to make here too, whether from Jacque or Shelly.


51:59 Jacque Smith: Well, I'll throw in there, there's, you know, fall semester coming up. There is still plenty of time to start an application, get through the process, and get accepted into the program. Brad had mentioned Amanda, him and I, we all work very closely together. So, we you can talk with Brad about any of your questions. We talk on a daily basis, and we can help kind of shepherd your application through and get you the information. So, if you're interested in taking advantage of this, you can start soon. You could start this fall. Start on August 28th and we’re here to help you make that happen.


52:38 David Lawrence: Great. Well, we'll leave the last word to Brad here to close this up here. Last comments, Brad?


52:39 Brad Grey: Yeah, no. I obviously again thank you for the opportunity. Both on the Michigan Tech side, but also for the students and the student participation. I've been very fortunate to work with some very bright individuals. For those of you I know, again, thank you. And for those of you I haven't had a chance yet to meet, certainly my contact information is still on the screen. I would love to have the opportunity. It looks like Shelly just put a link to my calendar in there. Thank you, Shelly. It provides that opportunity and what it also illustrates is our commitment again to student success. I keep hearing like, you know, I've requested information from multiple schools and you're the only one who's called me back. So we appreciate that and I think you can expect that throughout the duration of your program. And I think that's as important as probably any element is just feeling like you're connected.


53:39 David Lawrence: Great. All right. Well, appreciate that. This, we’ll bring this session to an end here. Again, we will be on for a few minutes afterwards if you'd like to have some additional questions. If you’d like to take the next step to apply, again there are links in there to be able to do that, and or to connect with Brad as well. I think that'll be really important. So, but I appreciate your time today. But we'll go ahead and bring the session to close. We'll stop the recording as well and go into the next part of it for personal questions that you might have. So, we really appreciate you. Thank you.