New Academic Programs Enhance Undergrad Opportunities at SUU

Published: August 10, 2011 | Category: Academics

In preparation for the new school year, Southern Utah University announces plans to add new academic programming to its curriculum.

The new academic options will be available beginning this upcoming fall 2011 semester and include an undergraduate philosophy degree; minors in museum studies and sustainability studies; a range management emphasis; and an associate of applied science degree in general technology.

Using the University’s “Academic Roadmap: 2010-2013” as a guide, according to Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Bill Byrnes, these new additions will further enhance the strength of SUU academics.

“The Roadmap clearly calls for SUU to develop distinctive programs and to capitalize on our unique geographic location,” Byrnes said. “Each of these new programs are distinctive and connect directly to the unique elements around us.”

Besides assisting the University’s advancement, Byrnes said the new academic offerings give the expanding departments and colleges a competitive edge when recruiting students, faculty and staff.

Byrnes feels the five new programs will “broaden and enrich opportunities for students.”

The process of adding these programs was also very beneficial to the faculty involved.

“The creativity and innovation used in creating these new programs has helped faculty engage in the important work of refreshing and updating curriculum and our course offerings,” says Byrnes. “There is a continuing process of working to improve what is already offered to SUU students.”

He said faculty should be constantly involved in surveying changes in their fields and incorporating these changes to their teaching.

The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Philosophy is built upon the noticeable success of SUU’s current philosophy minor. The University’s degree proposal included options for students to pursue a bachelor of science (BS) or bachelor of arts (BA) degree. The BS coursework is best for a more analytic approach, such as math, computer science or economics, which, together, forms one of four areas of emphasis for the philosophy degree. Students pursing the BA in philosophy may choose from among three different areas of emphasis: ancient or medieval languages, modern or contemporary languages, or course work in ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics or epistemology and any language.

The Sustainability Studies minor, within the Department of History & Sociology, includes course work in agricultural science, anthropology, biology, engineering, English, geology, geography, natural resources, outdoor recreation, psychology, sociology and hotel, resort & hospitality management. One of the goals of the program is to help students understand the human-environment relationship. The minor will require 21 to 23 credits.

"The creative drive by our faculty in proposing this minor has been outstanding," noted Byrnes. "All the courses offered in the minor already exist at SUU, but designing how these courses could come together to support the minor was really very creative and a positive collaborative process among the faculty."

The Museum Studies minor has been designed to prepare graduates for junior-level curatorial, curatorial assistant and other administrative or technical positions in museums of art. The 21-credit minor will draw upon the talented and qualified faculty in SUU's nationally accredited Department of Art & Design to teach courses and supervise projects. The minor is also going to be strengthened through its direct connection to the planned Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA). SUMA will be the learning laboratory for museum studies students.

The Range Management Studies emphasis is a direct response to changing professional demands. Federal agencies recently standardized the requirements for hiring across the nation and, as a result, students who were qualifying for positions in the natural resource/range area with a degree from SUU would have become markedly less competitive had SUU not added this emphasis. SUU students may now rest easy knowing they are getting the very latest instruction to meet the needs of the agricultural industry of Utah and the Southwest.

The Associate of Applied Science in General Technology is a degree formed by both SUU and Southwest Applied Technology College that will pertain to two emphasis areas in the AAS degree: construction technology and business. A unique aspect of this new degree is that since SUU worked with SWATC students from SWATC will be able to transfer easily to SUU while meeting current SUU admission standards. The degree will have a minimum of 63 credits, although additional credits may be needed to meet program requirements or course prerequisites.

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