MU at Night & Extended Learning Announce Changes

The Office of Methodist University at Night and Extended Learning announces several changes in staffing and hours. The office, which includes MU at Night, the Fort Bragg Office, and MU Online, provides educational opportunities for non-traditional students such as working adults, those with major family responsibilities and military personnel. Classes are designed for exploring new careers, upgrading professional skills or providing individual enrichment.

Dr. Tina Miller

Dr. Tina Miller has joined Methodist as the director of MU at Night and Extended Learning. Miller had a 30-year career in public education before retiring in December and moving to higher education. She spent 20 years as a teacher and administrator in Cumberland County Schools, worked as an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Hoke County, served as a transformation principal in Union County and finished her career as a principal in Harnett County. During her time in public education she also served on a state assistance team as a team leader to work with a low-performing middle school in a neighboring county.

Miller is a graduate of Westover High School in Cumberland County, and holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Concord University in West Virginia, a master’s in elementary education with licensure in education administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and an educational specialist degree and doctorate in educational administration from Wingate University.

“We want to focus on providing quality customer service,” Miller said. “We act as a conduit for a lot of the campus services for our students. Most of the campus closes at 5 p.m., so if students need something from the registrar, or the business office, we help with that. We try to be very nurturing and responsive to students.”

Miller said she is also working to emphasize MU at Night opportunities for students who are looking for a place to start a transition into traditional day classes.

“Our biggest strength is we offer students opportunities to be successful in a smaller environment in the evening,” Miller said. “Many of our students are working adults and/or parents who cannot attend traditional day classes, so the MU at Night program allows them to further their education and complete their degree with a schedule that better meets their needs. Some high school students finish up their graduation requirements in January, and they can start their college career with us in mid-spring, rather than sit out until the fall semester. It’s a good stepping stone to get a jump start on a college career for those students.”

MU at Night terms run in eight-week cycles, allowing students to take just two classes each session for a total of four in a semester, which is enough to qualify for full-time financial aid options. Online courses run the full length of each semester. The MU Evening program offers 10 degree programs that are obtainable entirely at night and three degree programs that require some day courses.

Colonel Billy Buckner

Colonel Billy Buckner (Ret.) has joined Methodist as the director of MU at Fort Bragg. As the director, he is responsible for planning, coordinating, synchronizing, and marketing military programs, and directing day-to-day activities at the Bragg office. Prior to joining MU, Buckner worked at Fayetteville Technical Community College. He has also worked as a military business development specialist for the North Carolina Military Business Center and as a public relations manager and strategic communications trainer for TigerSwan, Inc.

Col. Buckner was commissioned in the infantry upon graduation from Truman State University in 1982. His initial assignment was with the 82nd Airborne Division, where he served as a platoon leader with 1st Battalion, 325th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Buckner has also served in the 10th Mountain Division (Light), 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division, and as commander, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light). He retired as the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg public affairs officer in 2010 after serving nearly 29 years on active duty with multiple deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployment to Haiti in 2010, where he served as the deputy director for the Joint Interagency Communications Center for Operation RESTORE HOPE.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., he holds master’s degrees in strategic studies from the United States Army War College and administration from Central Michigan University.

“I am extremely humbled and honored for the opportunity to continue to serve our military community and to helping each of our students to achieve their educational and career goals,” Buckner said.

One of Buckner’s first changes to the Fort Bragg office was adjusting the hours the office is open on post. Since mid-August, the office is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. During times between terms when class is not in session, the office will be on an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule.

“As always, we will continue to provide students with the full range of services to include advising, admissions, registration, English placement testing, and other assistance they may need,” Buckner said.

MU Online

Methodist University Online is the third component of the Extended Learning department. Dr. Bruce Morgan is the director of Instructional Technology and E-Learning. He has been with Methodist for four years. MU Online allows qualified students from around the globe to earn college credit over the Internet. Class size is limited, in order to provide the same quality of interaction found in traditional Methodist University classrooms. Methodist University Online courses use the World Wide Web, e-mail, threaded discussions, and chat rooms to foster the meaningful exchange of ideas, both professor-to-student and student-to-student.

For more information on the MU at Night program, contact Miller at tmiller@methodist.edu, or 910.630.7190. For more information on the Fort Bragg campus, contact Buckner at bbuckner@methodist.edu, or 910.436.3624.

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