Three new degree programs await Arkansas Tech University students as they prepare to begin the 2012-13 academic year.
The new degree options --- a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in business data analytics, a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture education and an Associate of Science degree in Ozark and Ouachita Studies --- were developed by members of the Arkansas Tech faculty.
The programs were approved by both the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees and the Arkansas Department of Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Arkansas Tech has developed more than 50 new academic programs over the past two decades.
“Academic innovation is the lifeblood of higher education,” said Dr. Robert C. Brown, who is beginning his 20th year as president at Arkansas Tech. “I applaud my faculty colleagues for their continued good work in identifying and developing relevant degree programs for our students. As the world around us continues to change, Arkansas Tech will continue to evolve in order to meet the educational needs of our constituents.”
The Arkansas Tech College of Business developed the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in business data analytics as a means of connecting students with career opportunities in a growing field.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employment in the closely related management analyst field is expected to grow 24 percent by the year 2018. The average salary for management analysts in Arkansas is $60,000 per year.
“This is a great collaboration between our faculty and our industry partners,” said Dr. Ed Bashaw, dean of the Arkansas Tech College of Business. “The faculty led the effort by conceiving of this program. We worked, and will continue to work, with our industry partners to fine-tune the program and to secure helpful resources. We see this as a classic win-win situation. Our industry partners will have more highly qualified candidates from which to choose. Our business data analytics students will benefit from the increased high-paying job opportunities that will await them upon graduation.”
The successful effort by the Arkansas Tech College of Applied Sciences to create a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture education is a tie to the very beginning of the institution.
Arkansas Tech was founded in 1909 as the Second District Agricultural School. Its primary initial mission was to provide training to the next generation of farmers. The study of agriculture has been part of the curriculum at Arkansas Tech throughout its 103-year history.
With the addition of the Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture education, Arkansas Tech will produce teachers who can share the knowledge that has made agriculture the No. 1 industry in the state.
“This new degree will fill an educational void that exists in the west-central portion of our state,” said Dr. William Hoefler, dean of the Arkansas Tech College of Applied Sciences. “Graduates with the Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture education will be prepared to teach at the middle and secondary levels. They will also have the tools necessary to work in a variety of state and federal agencies.”
Students enrolled in the new Associate of Science degree in Ozark and Ouachita Studies will enjoy the benefits of a program that will draw on the resources of several different colleges and departments on campus.
The degree is designed to provide graduates with a greater understanding of the region through the study of such topics as biology, English, fisheries and wildlife science, geology, history, recreation and parks administration and sociology.
“This program is designed to enhance the educational experience of students wishing to remain in the state after graduation,” said Dr. H. Micheal Tarver, dean of the Arkansas Tech College of Arts and Humanities. “It was derived from student interest in a variety of topics related to the Ozark-Ouachita region. In addition to a fostering of academic collaboration between the university’s colleges, the new degree will assist students in becoming employable to Arkansas businesses and to federal and state agencies targeted at cultural preservation, natural resource protection and social services.”
In all, Arkansas Tech offers more than 100 degree options within its seven colleges --- the College of Applied Sciences, the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Natural and Health Sciences, the College of Professional Studies and Community Outreach and the Graduate College.
The fall 2012 semester at Arkansas Tech will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
For more information about Arkansas Tech University, visit http://www.atu.edu/.]]>