​A dozen more new degree programs—all responsive to student and employer demand—will be offered beginning this fall at universities across Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. This comes as the system undertakes a redesign process focused on student success as the number one priority.
Harrisburg – A dozen more new degree programs—all responsive to student and employer demand—will be offered beginning this fall at universities across Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. This comes as the system undertakes a redesign process focused on student success as the number one priority.
Each of the new programs was approved by State System Interim Chancellor Karen M. Whitney under an accelerated degree-approval process, designed to shorten the time it takes from when a new program is conceived until it can be approved and introduced into the classroom. Nine new degrees were approved earlier this year using the same process, bringing to 21 the total number of new programs approved since January.
“This latest round of program approvals further demonstrates the strides we have made as we move forward in redesigning the State System to be more agile and more responsive to the needs of our students and their future employers,” Dr. Whitney said. “People ask me how our system redesign efforts are helping students, and all I have to do is point to this growing list of high-demand programs.”
Whitney said the System universities have embraced this new process for more quickly approving degree programs, which is helping to provide students new opportunities to succeed.
California University of Pennsylvania will offer new Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees in accounting, economics, finance, human resource management, interdisciplinary studies in business and commerce, management and marketing. The university previously offered concentrations in each of these disciplines, but now will offer each as a stand-alone degree program.
The other new degrees to be offered are:
• Associate in Applied Science in culinary arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
• Bachelor of Science in public relations at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
• Master of Science in information technology at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
• Master of Science in hospitality and tourism management at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
• Educational Specialist in school psychology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
The Board of Governors in January granted the chancellor the authority to approve new academic programs once they are submitted by the universities and reviewed by staff in the Office of the Chancellor. Previously, new programs had to be approved by the Board, which meets regularly only four times a year.
The accelerated degree-approval process includes the same rigorous review necessary to ensure new programs meet all appropriate standards, including those set by professional organizations that establish accreditation criteria.
In addition to the new programs being approved, 15 programs have been placed in moratorium since January as part of the review process to ensure existing degree programs remain relevant.
Each of the new Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree programs to be offered by Cal U. takes an existing concentration and expands it into a separate degree program. The concentrations are heavily subscribed and demand for the stand-alone programs is evident.
The Associate of Applied Science in culinary arts degree at IUP is an extension of the existing culinary certificate program offered at the university’s Punxsutawney campus, and will further enhance students’ employment opportunities. It will require only one additional semester of study beyond the current requirement for the certificate at an additional cost of about $3,000, while preparing graduates for supervisory and management positions in the culinary industry. Significant employment growth in projected in the field throughout Pennsylvania and in contiguous states.
The Bachelor of Science in public relations at Kutztown University will expand upon the current minor offered by the university while preparing graduates for successful careers in the field, including in public relations and social media. It will offer a skills-based curriculum—focused on writing, design and technique—designed to foster creative and critical thinking. Students will be challenged to complete projects for actual clients, culminating in a required one-semester, senior-year internship and a two-semester capstone sequence designed to enhance their professionalization with a real-world, on-campus agency experience.
The Master of Arts in information technology degree program at Bloomsburg University will focus on practical knowledge and skills and how IT affects corporate strategy and operations. It will seek to integrate the technical aspects of computer science with the “soft skills” necessary to operate successfully in a business environment. It was designed for both students with an undergraduate degree in computer science as well as those with only a limited IT background who want to integrate information technology into their skill set to enhance their career opportunities.
The Master of Science in hospitality and tourism management degree at Slippery Rock will be offered completely online. Not only is the hospitality and tourism industry growing, it also is evolving. Increases in crises are placing new responsibilities on managers within the industry. This program targets “career changers,” individuals who have undergraduate degrees in non-related areas who are interested in changing careers. Designed to be completed in two years, the program will include core courses in hospitality and tourism-focused finance, service management, marketing and human resources, which will be supplemented with courses in revenue optimization, asset management, law, contemporary global issues and convention and meeting planning.  Pennsylvania ranks ninth in the United States in tourism industry employment, with a growth rate nearly twice that of all non-farm jobs in the state.
The Educational Specialist in school psychology degree at IUP elevates the university’s post-master’s certificate to remain current with other school psychology training programs in the state and across the U.S. The university has offered the certificate program, which prepares psychologists to practice in primary and secondary schools, for more than 45 years. Some states have begun to require the degree over the certificate for credentialing.
For more information on any of the new programs, please contact the appropriate university.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, enrolling more than 100,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more in certificate and other career-development programs. Collectively, the 14 universities that comprise the State System offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas. Nearly 520,000 State System university alumni live in Pennsylvania.
The State System is undertaking a System Redesign, which began last year with a top-to-bottom review of the universities and the Office of the Chancellor. As a result of that review, the Board established three priorities to guide the redesign: Ensuring student success; leveraging the universities’ strengths; and transforming the System’s governance structure. The Board also affirmed its commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of all 14 institutions within the System so that each may continue to serve students, its region and the Commonwealth. To view regular updates of the redesign, go to http://systemredesign.passhe.edu
The State System universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. The universities also operate branch campuses in Oil City (Clarion), Freeport and Punxsutawney (IUP), and Clearfield (Lock Haven), and offer classes and programs at several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and in Center City in Philadelphia.
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