Board of governors approves new degree programs


data analytics

July 10, 2015

Harrisburg, Pa. - Slippery Rock University students will have three new career-focused academic degrees available to them as a result of action today at the Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education Board of Governors meeting.

Noting the System's need to respond to economic and workforce needs, the BOG authorized the University to begin offering a Bachelor of Science in petroleum and natural gas engineering, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and a Master of Science in data analytics. The Board also approved 13 new programs at SRU's sister institutions.

"We are very excited the Board of Governors supported the Slippery Rock University Council of Trustee's recommendation to begin offering these three new degree programs," SRU President Cheryl Norton said. "These programs demonstrate our commitment to providing students with educational opportunities that will serve both them and the commonwealth today and into the future."

"Our universities are responding to the needs of students, their future employers and the workforce as a whole," said Chancellor Frank Brogan. "We continue to invest our limited resources in a way that will most benefit Pennsylvania and all of its citizens."

SRU's Bachelor of Science in petroleum and natural gas engineering degree program will provide students with hands-on, in-depth learning experiences in areas including the exploration, production and transportation of oil and natural gas resources using safe and environmentally friendlier methods. It will provide graduates with the knowledge and capabilities required to successfully practice as petroleum and natural gas engineers and/or to continue their education at the graduate level. Slippery Rock currently offers a pre-engineering program, in which students are typically enrolled for three years, and then transfer to another institution for two additional years to complete their degree. The new program can be completed in four years, with all courses to be taught at SRU.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance is designed specifically for students seeking multilayered careers as dance professionals and will provide students with the advanced training needed to pursue performing, choreography, technology and teaching careers in dance. The University also will continue to offer a Bachelor of Arts in dance. The BFA will enable students to achieve professional level mastery of dance while the BA degree provides a broad-based curriculum in dance studies and an opportunity to earn a second major in other content areas, such as exercise science and education.

The Master of Science in data analytics will be offered in both full-time and part-time models to accommodate working professionals. It is designed to prepare graduates to work in the rapidly growing field of data analytics and big data. Students who complete the program will receive a joint certificate in statistical applications and data analytics from Slippery Rock and the SAS Institute. SAS is one of the most widely used software platforms in the world for performing data analytics and statistical analysis.

Both the BFA and PNGE programs will go into effect fall 2016. The MS in data analytics goes into effect spring 2016.

In addition to the new programs at SRU, the BOG approved the following:

• Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in supply chain management at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

• Doctor of Health Science in health science and exercise leadership at California University of Pennsylvania

• Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in paralegal studies at Clarion University of Pennsylvania

• Bachelor of Science in sport management at Clarion University

• Master of Science in applied data analytics at Clarion University

• Bachelor of Fine Arts in applied digital arts at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

• Master of Arts in arts administration Kutztown University

• Master of Education in music education at Kutztown University

• Master of Science in actuarial science at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

• Bachelor of Design in interactive and graphic design at Millersville University of Pennsylvania

• Master of Education in assessment, curriculum, and teaching with concentrations in online teaching and in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education at Millersville University

• Master of Science in clinical mental health counseling at West Chester University of Pennsylvania

• Doctor of Education in education policy, planning, and administration at West Chester University of Pennsylvania

"Today's action demonstrates the universities' commitment to serving the needs of their students and the Commonwealth," said Guido Pichini, BOG chair. "It also shows their ability to adapt and evolve as those needs change."

Over the last five years, the universities have introduced more than 270 new degree and certificate programs and minors. During the same time, they have placed in moratorium or discontinued more than 385 outdated and low-enrolled programs and reorganized or reinstated 75 others to meet new market demands.

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