Seven new programs are now available starting this semester that were developed to appeal to both new and current students.
The new programs being offered starting fall 2016 include bachelor degrees in petroleum and natural gas engineering, corporate security and homeland security. Along with these are new master’s programs, including a master of public health, music therapy, teaching English to speakers of other languages and health informatics.
Mary Hennessey, assistant to the provost, said that two areas that university is focusing on are engineering and health.
“The president has a focus on health and wellness so we’re developing more health fields,” Hennessey said.
The programs have to go through a variety of approvals before they are offered, with the process starting in the department and then going up through the university before ultimately getting approved by the board of governors.
Hennessey said that the idea to offer petroleum and natural gas engineering came from students wanting to stay and finish their degrees at SRU.
“They would do their first two years and then go to other schools so they could get their bachelor’s degrees,” Hennessey said. “We’re hoping that as students know what we have these programs it’ll make it more attractive for them to come here as freshmen.”
The university offered a master’s degree in public health for a similar reason, adding the program so that after students completed their bachelor they could transition easily to the master’s program.
A master’s degree in athletic training was also approved to start in the summer of 2018. This was developed because now students need a master’s degree to practice as an athletic trainer. The university is phasing out the bachelor program and introducing the master’s program. The program will be in place in time for the nationwide change.
“That’s an example of how we’re trying to stay current,” Hennessey said.
Very early talk for new programs include health information management, a bachelor of fine arts in musical theater and a master’s degree in social work. Hennessey said these programs are still another year or two away before their introduction.
“I think that we have an awful lot to offer and students should look into different options that they have,” Hennessey said. “Keeping a broad perspective and seeing the career center is the best thing you could do.”