PASSHE announces fall launch of new degree programs

Five schools from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) are offering nine new degree programs starting this fall as a response to student and employer demand, according to a PASSHE press release.

The new degrees are: Bachelor of Science in exercise science, Master of Arts in criminal justice studies, Master of Arts in conflict resolution and Doctor of Education in education administration and leadership at California University; Master of Science in athletic training at Clarion University; Bachelor of Science in accounting and Bachelor of Science in marketing at East Stroudsburg University; Bachelor of Science in civil engineering at Shippensburg University and Bachelor of Arts in media and culture at West Chester University.

SU’s Bachelor of Science in civil engineering will be the first in any PASSHE school and one of 12 in Pennsylvania. It is an addition to the computer and software engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering degrees that are already offered. However, this new degree will prepare students for careers that involve design, inspection and management of structures, transportation systems and environmental systems.

The degree, like the other engineering degrees, will use teaching theory and hands-on experience. Students will use Computer Assisted Design to simulate model systems with design and construction techniques that will prepare them for the demands of the commonwealth, the press release said.

The degrees were approved by PASSHE Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney using a new accelerated degree-approval process.

In the past, new programs had to be submitted to and approved by the Board of Governors and then reviewed by the staff in the office of the chancellor; however, the board only meets four times a year. In January the board voted to allow the chancellor to approve new programs after staff reviews are complete, according to the press release.

“With this new approval process, we’re able to go from concept to classroom much more quickly while conducting the same rigorous review to ensure the new programs being introduced are of the highest quality and meet all appropriate academic standards,” Whitney said. “This is an important element of our system redesign, enabling our universities to be more responsive to the needs of students and their future employers.”

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