Monica Randolph is psyched about starting in Clayton State University’s new Masters of Archival Studies (MAS) program this spring.
“I'm really excited about it,” says the Johns Creek, Ga., resident. “My perspective is that of an enrollee entering the program with an eye towards starting a new career.”
A 1986 graduate of the University of Missouri - Kansas City, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Randolph is in many ways typical of the type of students who tend to be attracted to all of Clayton State's graduate programs… non-traditional students who need to earn an advanced degree to better compete in the job marketplace.
"For the past couple of years I have been contemplating how best to re-enter the workforce after several years of concentrating on raising my family," she says. "While I have developed experience in many areas through years of volunteering, I feel that I need the added credentials of current, cutting-edge training in a field that I find exciting in order to be a viable contender in today's workplace.
“I am an avid reader of the AJC, and I happened to see the article announcing Clayton State's receipt of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to start the MAS program.”
One reason Randolph was attracted to the MAS was an interest in process… as well as history.
“I enjoy process, and I enjoy projects,” she says. “Couple that with my love of history and you come up with archivist, as opposed to public historian or even librarian.”
The MAS, which is housed in Clayton State’s College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, is designed to prepare archivists of the 21st Century by emphasizing the influence of technology in the creation, preservation and access to a broad range of information. This blend of traditional knowledge, technology, and experiential learning makes Clayton State’s MAS program distinctive in Georgia and the southeast in its breadth and contemporary approach.
The MAS curriculum was designed to align with the guidelines established by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). Students will complete 18 semester hours of core archival knowledge as well as 18 hours of interdisciplinary coursework in information technology, conservation, research, historical methods and other disciplines. In addition, students will participate in nine semester hours in research methods and internships, or thesis.
More than strictly a degree for future archivists – a field that, by the way, has become very technologically-oriented -- the MAS is an excellent masters-level program for adding skills in many fields.
“For the undergrad wishing to continue their education through to the Masters level, the MAS program can add tangible skills to almost any degree field,” says Randolph. “The medical community, government institutions, scientific programs, universities, museums, all these have one common denominator; they need people trained to organize and store information. Add an MAS degree to an undergrad discipline and you become a very competitive, multi-faceted player in the job market.”
Another asset to an MAS degree, notes Randolph, is that it provides individuals with a chance to take their career "one step further" with their current employers.
“As organizations world-wide formulate plans to store, organize and manage their data, they will need individuals trained in archival and digitization processes,” she explains. “Who better than someone who's already in the company?”
Although Randolph isn’t in a company at present, she has high aspirations.
“I want to work for a company or institution where I can become well-versed in both its past and present and then participate in the preservation of its history and its current data information, making that information accessible so that its value is maximized,” she says. “We all want information at the touch of a button nowadays. Getting everything to that state is going to be a monumental task for a lot of years.”
For more information, please visit the MAS website at http://cims.clayton.edu/mas or contact Dr. Jeff Chastine of the College of Information and Mathematical Sciences at JeffChastine@clayton.edu.