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At its regular meeting on November 7, 2013, the University of Southern Indiana Board of Trustees approved a proposal for a new Master of Arts in English degree program within the College of Liberal Arts. The proposal now goes before the Commission for Higher Education for final approval.
The program will offer advanced studies in English for secondary education instructors to develop credentials required to teach dual credit courses in regional high schools; provide opportunities to teach in two- and four-year post-secondary institutions, and enhance the expertise of professional writers in the area workforce, including business, industry, and the non-profit sector, by providing advanced studies in writing and rhetoric. The proposed program will emphasize hybrid courses, combining classroom and online instruction, making them more accessible to all students.
Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System shows that the workforce in jobs traditionally held by English graduates is underdeveloped in the state of Indiana. Categories designated as common options for English graduates are expected to see strong growth, including editors, technical writers, authors, public relations specialists, and postsecondary educators. The proposed Master of Arts in English will allow current and future members of the workforce to gain greater levels of expertise in fields that are projected to grow.
The board also approved an authorizing resolution for renovation of the lower level of the Science Center and selected areas of the Technology Center. The 2013 Indiana General Assembly appropriated cash funds to the University to undertake the projects. Renovation of the Biology Department on the lower level of the Science Center, the University's oldest academic facility, will complete a multi-year renovation program of the building that first saw the Mathematics and Chemistry departments renovated. The proposed Technology Center renovation completes a multi-phase upgrading of the second-oldest academic building on campus.
In other business the board approved candidates for doctoral, master, baccalaureate, and associate degrees to be conferred at the 2013 Fall Commencement on December 14.