WCI and The Florida State University College of Law Partnership – Juris Masters Degree

06.19.2017


The Workers’ Compensation Institute (WCI) is pleased to announce its latest partnership which is in response to an expressed growing need to enhance the quality of professionals in the workers’ compensation industry. This newest innovative partnership is an arrangement with the Florida State University College of Law to sponsor an online Juris Masters Degree Program for industry employees/associates/executives who deal consistently with legal issues in their positions. It is not intended as a program to train attorneys or a seminar where participants merely obtain a certificate of completion. Rather the intent is to train non-attorneys allowing them to be able to recognize legal issues and provide a means to assist in the resolution of problems that develop in the workplace.

The FSU College of Law currently has a Juris Masters Degree post-graduate degree program in place mainly for students that actually attend classes at the college. This new program will use an on-line teaching model which has become extremely popular in American colleges and universities as a major part of higher education training. Although non-existent when many attended college, this new internet training opportunity has become a major resource to promote advanced training. According to the National Center for Education Statistics between 2004 and 2014, online enrollment in degree-granting post secondary institutions in the U.S. has increased by 147% reaching approximately 5 to 8 million students in 2014. Among the 5.8 million students, over 2.8 million students are taking exclusively online courses. Reference to the following websites will provide additional information in regards to the popularity of these cutting edge programs:

Expected to be completed by participants in 1 to 2 years depending upon completion of course offerings, the current curriculum includes basic law school courses related to tort and contract law, legal research, and other core subjects. Course offerings thereafter will be directed toward specific industries/positions within industry. The Institute has agreed to help formulate and promote advanced training at the masters degree level for Risk Managers. These courses will be developed in coordination with the College of Law and other departments at the university including the College of Business faculty who specialize in Insurance and Risk Management. Discussions will also include possible internship programs for undergraduate college students within participating partners.

Over the years, the annual Workers’ Compensation and Safety Conferences have expanded their breakout sessions to the point that industry leaders throughout the nation are regular participants in providing valuable information on all subjects of interest to risk managers, including information on basic risk management, safety, claims, employment law, HR laws, workers’ compensation, medical issues and other subjects. Because of the unprecedented level of experts that are attracted to the annual conferences, the Institute feels that it is in a unique position to identify subjects important to the development of an expertise in risk management, provide leadership in curriculum development, and provide industry support for the College of Law and the entire university in its efforts to create this new learning resource.

As a part of this year’s conference, the Dean of the FSU College of Law will make a presentation on the intent of this new program and encourage conference attendees to participate. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. in Crystal B (Conference Level) as a breakout session for this year’s conference. All interested parties are encouraged to attend and be in a position to ask questions if additional information is needed. If further information is needed prior to the conference, visit the WCI website at www.wci360.com or email Jim McConnaughhay at jnmcconnaughhay@mcconnaughhay.com.

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