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Utah Valley University is meeting the regional needs of growing industries and advanced degree-seeking students by adding five new master degree programs beginning fall semester 2017. The five new programs include: Master of Social Work, Master of Computer Science, Master of Public Service, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Science in Cybersecurity. UVU will begin accepting applications Nov. 1.
“This marks the culmination of a major effort to expand the range of, and give institutional support to, graduate education at UVU. This is a monumental step forward for the University,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland. “By design, these five programs respond to some of the area’s most pressing needs in business and the social sector. The new student opportunities this creates for learning and employment are just outstanding.”
“These five programs have been carefully formulated in direct response to community needs,” says Jeff Olson, senior vice president for academic affairs. “They represent an important addition to our graduate degree offerings.”
Olson says the industry responses have been very positive since UVU’s announcement. “They respect our graduates and have been encouraging us to offer these programs. We are also getting excellent response from individuals interested in attending these programs.
UVU officials anticipate a high demand for the new offerings, especially computer science. With the current high emphasis on STEM areas, this program allows UVU to meet the needs of both students and regional businesses.
The Master of Social Work program was the most requested graduate program by students across campus. Recent reports from the State of Utah and the three counties that UVU serves (Utah, Wasatch and Summit Counties) show an increasing demand for clinical social work. This program will have three different specializations: mental health, addictions, and engaging with diverse populations, which will focus on the Latino, Polynesian, and refugee communities. These areas of focus are projected to be significant areas of growth within the social work field over the next decade and beyond. This graduate program plans to admit 20 students for Fall 2017. By its third year of operation, the program plans to have 48 students enrolled. Coursework for this degree will be mostly face-to-face and hybrid courses, but may offer some online courses for increased flexibility. The Master of Social Work helps prepare students to become Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW).
Utah County’s technology industry is demanding more trained computer science professionals at the post-graduate level. The focus of the Master of Computer Science program will prepare students to enter the local, national, and global workforces as leaders and innovators rather than focusing on preparing students to conduct basic research. This program plans to admit 20 students for Fall 2017. By its third year of operation, the program plans to have 58 students enrolled. This program will offer face-to-face instruction.
The Master of Public Service is designed to develop the next generation of public service administrators in the areas of emergency services and criminal justice and will expand to other public service areas based on student demand. The MPS program offers students an applied public sector education with skills and abilities in public service administration, focusing on administering vital public services, public safety functions, ethical considerations, leadership, and strategic communications. Professors have proven public service experience in their respective professions and set high academic standards for the academic discipline. The Master of Public Service plans to admit 20 students for Fall 2017. By its third year of operation, the program plans to have 50 students enrolled. Master of Master of Public Service plans to use a combination of face-to-face, hybrid, and online methods. The majority of the courses will be hybrid where students attend a few classroom sessions at the start and end of the semester and perhaps a few in the middle of the semester. The remaining coursework will be online. A hybrid approach will provide maximum flexibility for working professionals to complete the degree.
UVU’s Master of Accountancy program will offer required courses in CPA exam-focused areas such as financial auditing, accounting theory and research, business regulation, advanced corporate tax, and accounting strategies for achieving profit goals. It will also develop management and analytical skills through managing and facilitating professional teams and financial statement analysis courses. This program plans to admit 30 students for Fall 2017, and it plans to maintain this size enrollment for several years. The Master of Accountancy qualifies students to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination. This coursework will be taught face-to-face.
Industries in Utah, including the National Security Agency, are increasingly in need of employees with advanced skills in the field of cybersecurity. UVU’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity will offer both face-to-face and online instruction. The program is designed to provide students with advanced technical and managerial knowledge, preparing them for senior technical and leadership roles in the field. The Master of Cybersecurity plans to admit 15 students for Fall 2017. By its third year of operation, the program plans to have 38 students enrolled. Instruction will be offered both as a hybrid and face-to-face program.
In preparation for offering these and additional graduate degrees, UVU established an Office of Graduate Studies, directed by Jim Bailey, and Graduate Council, which consists of graduate faculty from each college in the University. It has oversight responsibility of graduate programs and graduate faculty. The Graduate Council approves all new graduate programs as part of the University curriculum process. It also approves appointments of the graduate faculty to teach in graduate programs.
“UVU takes its mission to meet the educational needs of our service area seriously,” Olson says. “We have carefully reviewed those needs and identified five programs that build on present strengths to address a variety of them. Other programs will be proposed in the future to address important remaining needs.”
Pending accreditation approval of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, this increases UVU’s total number of graduate degree offerings to eight. UVU already offers graduate degrees in nursing, business, and education. Olson says UVU is in the process of discussing the possible addition of other master programs in the future based on regional needs.
For more information on the graduate programs contact UVU’s Graduate Studies office at 801-863-7348, or visit uvu.edu/graduatestudies.