Beginning this semester, two new degrees were added to the list of programs that Slippery Rock University has to offer with more programs to come.
Mary Hennesey, Assistant to the Provost, has been heavily involved in the process of developing and integrating these new programs.
“We’ve had some new majors that started before this fall; we only have two that are actually starting this fall,” Hennessey said.
In addition to those two majors, there are two others that will be offered beginning fall 2016, three others that are in the last stages of approval and five others that are in various early stages of development.
The two majors newly offered in this fall semester are Data Analytics, a math-related master’s degree, and a Physician Assistant Studies master’s degree. Freshman students on this degree path take biology courses starting out. This is part of one of the university’s Accelerated Affiliation programs offered for certain areas of study.
Fall of 2016 will see the introduction of two bachelor’s programs: one in Petroleum Natural Gas Engineering and one in Dance, both of which will be open to prospective students.
Currently in the last stages of approval, but not yet completely finalized, are bachelor’s degrees in Homeland Security and Corporate Security, and a master’s degree in Public Health.
“What happens is we have to get approval – different approvals on campus – [by] our council of trustees and then the board of governors,” said Hennessey. “[It] takes a number of months to go through, and then once they approve it we have to advertise before we start it. So we have some programs that we just got approval for that are starting next fall. We have a year to recruit new students and get the word out about [those programs].”
There are five degrees in early development that could also be introduced in upcoming years. These include master’s degrees in both Athletic Training and Music Therapy, as well as bachelor’s degrees in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language, Health Informatics and Healthcare Information Management.
While it may seem like the university is leaning toward programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, Hennessey said, there is plenty of focus on ensuring the success of all of its students.
“We’re very focused on majors that people can use to have valuable careers after they leave the institution,” she said.And so if you’re looking at the BFA in Dance, that will give our students the most flexibility when they have dance careers and eventually can’t be dancers anymore so they will have the background in business, so they will be able to start careers and and open a dance studio, [then] go into choreography or something like that. And so that’s really our goal.”