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Responding to student and employer demand, five universities across Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education—California, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Shippensburg and West Chester—will offer a combined nine new degree programs beginning this fall. Each of the new programs was approved by State System Interim Chancellor Karen M. Whitney through a new practice that accelerates the degree-approval process.
– Responding to student and employer demand, five universities across Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education—California, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Shippensburg and West Chester—will offer a combined nine new degree programs beginning this fall.
Each of the new programs was approved by State System Interim Chancellor Karen M. Whitney through a new practice that accelerates the degree-approval process.
“This new approval process enables our universities to respond more quickly to the needs of students and their future employers,” Dr. Whitney said. “This is an important element of our System Redesign, and further demonstrates our commitment to and passion for student success.”
While shortening the time it takes from when a new program is conceived until it is approved; and, ultimately, is introduced into the classroom, the new process still includes the same rigorous review necessary to ensure new programs are of the highest quality and meet all appropriate academic standards, Dr. Whitney said.
Previously, new academic programs had to be approved by the Board of Governors after they were submitted by the universities and reviewed by staff in the Office of the Chancellor. The Board meets only four times a year.
The Board voted in January to grant the chancellor the authority to approve new programs, as soon as the staff reviews are complete. The change, along with other refinements to the process, shortens the time it takes from when a new academic program is conceived until it can be considered for final
The first nine new degrees to be approved using the new process are:
• Bachelor of Science in exercise science at California University of Pennsylvania
• Master of Arts in criminal justice studies at California University of Pennsylvania
• Master of Arts in conflict resolution at California University of Pennsylvania
• Doctor of Education in education administration and leadership at California University of Pennsylvania
• Master of Science in athletic training at Clarion University of Pennsylvania
• Bachelor of Science in accounting at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
• Bachelor of Science in marketing at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
• Bachelor of Science in civil engineering at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
• Bachelor of Arts in media and culture at West Chester University of Pennsylvania
All of the new programs have been approved since January, the last meeting at which Board approval was required.
The new Bachelor of Science in exercise science degree at Cal U. is an accelerated program than can be completed by new students in three years; or, by those already holding an associate degree, in only two years. It converts an existing concentration in sport management studies into a bachelor’s degree, offering students a blend of science-based courses in anatomy and physiology, functional kinesiology and physiology of exercise, as well as practically applied coursework in youth fitness, senior fitness, fitness for special populations and other related areas. The program dovetails with the university’s multiple graduate programs in exercise science and health promotion, most of which can be completed with an additional year of study.
The Master of Arts in criminal justice studies at Cal U. will prepare students with skills in behavioral crime analysis, criminal investigative analysis, equivocal death analysis and geographical crime analysis. By gaining an understanding of advanced criminological theories and the behaviors of violent offenders, graduates will be able to apply what they have learned to develop policies and practices to prevent and/or predict the occurrences of serious offenses and to identify offenders and develop relevant admissible evidence before any number of courts or tribunals.
Cal U.’s Master of Arts in conflict resolution degree program will prepare students with specific skills in conflict resolution, mediation, dialogue, diplomacy, peace building and intervention. Students will analyze fundamental conflict resolution theories and best practices and incorporate their knowledge and skills into practical applications or applied research.
The Doctor of Education in education administration and leadership program at Cal U. will address a significant demand for educational leaders, especially in school districts that are experiencing extraordinarily high turnover because of both fiscal and political pressures of the jobs. Building on the university’s successful post-master’s certification program in Administrative Leadership for Superintendents, it will combine elements of educational enterprise leadership with a special focus on developing fiscal resource management competencies in order to prepare administrators with a solid background in academic enterprise management built on sound business practices, fiscal management and human resource relations. Graduates will earn the post-master’s Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility and will be able to apply what they have learned in real-world contexts through integrated field experiences and a field project.
The Master of Science in athletic training degree program at Clarion University will prepare graduates to work as professional athletic trainers, as well as clinical product specialists or athletic training equipment and supplies sales representatives. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the required Board of Certification Examination. Like those in the current collaborative undergraduate program, students in the graduate program will complete clinical practicum experiences in house at Clarion’s Athletic Training Facility, as well as at established and contracted clinical placement sites at local and regional high schools.
Both of the new degree programs to be offered at East Stroudsburg University take existing concentrations within the Bachelor of Science in Business Management and convert them into free-standing majors.
The Bachelor of Science in accounting degree program will prepare students to work as controllers, chief financial officers, tax accountants, government accountants, budget directors and internal or external auditors. Following the national trend, the program will emphasize critical analysis, practical problem solving, effective communication and the appropriate use of technology. To provide access to advanced coursework needed for licensure, the university also intends to submit a proposal for a complementary Master of Science in accounting degree program in the near future.
The Bachelor of Science in marketing degree program at ESU will prepare students for a broad range of employment in marketing and sales, advertising, marketing research and supply chain operations, as account executives, retail managers, marketing research analysts, brand managers and chief marketing officers. It will provide students with essential knowledge and skills in such areas as advertising, sales management, marketing research and strategy and international marketing while emphasizing the application of ethical principles. In addition, the program will provide an understanding of marketing perspectives that include the coverage of ethical and global issues; the influence of political, social, legal, regulatory, environmental, and technological issues; and the impact of demographic diversity on organizations.
Students will be able to enroll directly into either program; or, though articulation agreements with several community colleges, will be able to transfer from those schools to ESU using a streamlined course transfer process.
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania’s Bachelor of Science in civil engineering degree program marks the university’s continued involvement into the high-demand field of engineering. The university already offers degrees in computer and software engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. The new degree in civil engineering will prepare students for a wide variety of careers, including the design, inspection and management of structures, transportation systems and environmental systems.
All of the engineering programs at Shippensburg provide a careful balance between teaching theory and hands-on experience to develop pragmatic engineers. Students will use the latest design and construction techniques augmented with Computer Assisted Design, simulation and modeling systems to prepare to meet the critical demands of the Commonwealth now and in the future. This will be the first civil engineering program in the State System and will be one of only 12 such programs in Pennsylvania.
The Bachelor of Arts in media and culture degree program at West Chester University will prepare students to work in a wide range of fields, including media production, broadcasting, advertising, strategic communication, social media, public relations, international media and diversity training. Their employers could include private companies involved in communications operations, marketing and public relations firms; television and radio stations; and publishers, as well as public entities, including government agencies and higher education. The program merges critical media analysis skills, cultural literacy and an ability to use and create content for a variety of media technologies.
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
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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