Hundreds of students have had success after earning a dual degree from St. Joseph’s College.
Within just five years, students have the opportunity to receive both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees, helping them save time and money.
St. Joseph’s alumni who earned dual degrees at the College shared how the programs have benefited them since graduating.
“I did not expect the program to change my life and approach to leadership as it did,” said Cory Sargeant, who earned a B.S. in Health Administration in 2018 and an MBA in Health Care Management in 2019. “SJC has helped me reach my goal of becoming a leader in the health care industry.”
Sargeant thanks St. Joseph’s College for how the dual-degree program allowed him to advance his career even before earning his master’s.
“While attending SJC for my MBA, I was hired at The Brooklyn Hospital Center as assistant direct of access, engagement and outreach, as well as the Call Center manager,” said Sargeant, who before that worked as a clinic coordinator for a private health organization that provided care for the patients at the Rikers Island jail.
Counting on SJC
“I was working at a local accounting firm, and many of the junior and senior accountants working there had either graduated from St. Joseph’s College dual-degree program or were currently attending,” said Gambino, who earned a B.S. in Accounting in 2018 and an MBA in Accounting in 2019. “After diligently interviewing each of my co-workers, they all agreed it offers a family environment, and that the education and the staff were excellent.”
Gambino chose the dual degree because he wanted to fast-track his educational career.
“My time at St. Joseph’s College has enabled me to efficiently and effectively manage my time even more than I could’ve imagined,” Gambino said. “With various life obligations as well as a list of rigorous educational obligations, I was able to accomplish all tasks and objectives I was given, while maintaining a desirable GPA that anyone can achieve.”
Now, Gambino is thriving in his role as a government auditor — a step up from the accounting position he previously held, and one that required a master’s degree. His advice to anyone considering or currently enrolled in one of St. Joseph’s dual-degree programs is to draw a connection between class and your personal life.
“Try to correlate at least one lesson learned in each of your classes to something relevant in your own personal/professional life,” Gambino said. “This tip can assist you in grasping the material much better, rather than just ‘going through the motions’ of the coursework.”
Affordability Was Key
Katelyn Jones loved the affordability that St. Joseph’s College offered.
“I chose SJC because I would be able to stay home and get my degree at an affordable rate, which was essential,” she said. “Now that I’ve graduated with no student loans — which a great deal of my friends have — I am happy I made that move.”
But it wasn’t until her junior year that Jones decided to follow the path of the dual-degree program in health administration.
“As an undergrad, my goal was to get into the program,” said Jones, who earned a bachelor’s degree in health administration in 2018 before graduating in 2019 with a master’s in health care management with a concentration in health information systems.
“I knew there would be immense pay off from a financial standpoint,” she continued. “I was able to take 12 graduate credits as an undergrad at the undergrad rate before officially being a master’s student. There were other benefits as well, like being able to be done with school quickly and to make networking connections with people that already worked in the field that I aspired to be in one day.”
Because she earned a master’s degree, Jones went from being a medical receptionist for a primary care office to serving as an administrative assistant to the vice president of primary care and women’s/children health in that office, where she’s also a credentialed trainer.
“Climbing the administrative ladder, I needed to gain more experience before I could move up,” Jones said. “I’m blessed I was able to through my time at SJC.”
Preparing to Teach
When Thomas Ekstrom learned about SJC Long Island’s dual-degree programs in education, he felt it was a no-brainer to enroll. As an educator in New York, he knew he’d be required to attain a master’s degree within five years of becoming a teacher.
“I knew it would be much more beneficial if I was able to complete the master’s degree a year earlier,” said Ekstrom, who in 2020 earned a B.A. in History with a Concentration in Adolescence Education and a Minor in Spanish.
Ekstrom expects to graduate this year with a master’s in adolescence special education with an annotation in severe and multiple disabilities.
“I felt special education would be a great field to go into and I would have a lot of unique opportunities by becoming special-education certified,” he said. “As it turns out, this was one of the greatest decisions because I absolutely love the program for its authenticity and practicality within the classroom. Everything you learn within the program can be directly facilitated within the classroom, and the students are such a blessing to my life. “
Now, Ekstrom can’t wait to start his career as a teacher.
“St. Joseph’s College gives you more than what you need in order to start your career as an educator,” he said. “When compared to other schools, I found that our program is very organized, structured and rigorous. Since this is a smaller school, it allows for better teacher-student relationships, where the students are able to receive the help they need in order to succeed.”