ISSUED: 19 July 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Students at Shepherd University can now choose from several new degree and certification programs after the university added one new undergraduate major, a new Regents Bachelor of Arts concentration, and three new graduate certificate programs to its offerings.
The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Shepherd’s Board of Governors approved the new major, a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Theater Studies, beginning with the 2017-2018 fall semester. Previously, the university offered only a theater minor. Dr. Scott Beard, acting provost, said the new major will feature academic components with the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF) that takes place on campus every summer.
“We have had a partnership with the CATF for 27 years, and for a number of years the CATF board of trustees and education committee have been looking at developing a theater major,” Beard said. “We’re really excited about this collaboration. I think it bodes well for something that’s been a strength for the community for a long time. CATF is recognized as one of the top new play festivals in the country.”
Beard pointed out that Shepherd offers students state-of-the-art facilities where theater students can learn their craft.
“This really aligns with our mantra of excellence, innovation, and opportunity,” Beard said. “We will have the ability to train the next generation of artists and of craftspeople for the stage that can help transform the artistic and economic landscape of the state and the region.”
R.B.A. human services concentration
Students earning the Regents Bachelor of Arts degree can also choose a new concentration in human services. Shepherd’s Board of Governors approved the new concentration, which Beard said bundles classes the university already offers in a way that will prepare students to work in areas like healthcare or with clients who have behavioral or developmental challenges.
“We find that by having these concentration areas, we’re able to meet the needs of not only the students by giving them the opportunity to customize their program, but also employers who are looking to specially train or qualify their employees,” Beard said.
According to Beard, Shepherd created the human services concentration at the request of area employers.
“This is a really big step forward for the R.B.A. program and it’s also a great example of the public/private partnership where we’re reaching out to employers and finding out what it takes to make their employees successful,” Beard said. “We’re then able to use preexisting coursework to meet that demand.”
New graduate certificates
At the graduate level, Shepherd’s Board of Governors approved three new certificate programs in sport management, health administration, and public management. The sport management certificate is geared toward students who are interested in careers in sports and covers topics like marketing, facility management, and sales. The health administration certificate prepares students to assume a leadership role in the healthcare industry, and the public management certificate is designed for students interested in working in local, state, and federal government.
“Certificates allow professionals to really personalize a program, to try out a graduate degree program, or respond to their employer’s request for additional training in a certain area,” Beard said.
Students can take certificate courses as part of the M.B.A. program, or pursue just the certificate.
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