DSU Board of Trustees approves two more master’s degrees

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Dixie State University’s goal to offer 50 baccalaureate majors by 2020 is closer to its goal due to plans to offer two new master’s degrees.

According to DSU academics, they offer 52 bachelor’s degrees with 65 distinctive emphases, 19 associate degrees and 36 minors. Other competitive programs are in the works, adding to the list a master’s of athletic training and a Master of Arts in technical writing and digital rhetoric.

“These new programs align beautifully with our goal of becoming a comprehensive polytechnic university and deliver increased program diversity that expands student opportunity,” said Pamela Cantrell, director of curriculum and graduate studies, in a university news release.

The master’s in athletic training degree will prepare students with comprehensive knowledge in areas of care, aiding a patient, preventing injury to athletes, rehabilitation, evaluation and diagnosis in a clinical setting. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, athletic training demand is projected to grow 23 percent between 2016 and 2026.

According to a news release by DSU on Feb. 1, “the master’s program in technical writing and digital rhetoric will focus on the partnership between technology and composition. Students will study rhetorical theory while gaining communication skills and essential writing experience.”

“There is a lot of research that goes into any new program,” said Kelly Peterson-Fairchild, dean of the library and learning services. “We work really closely with the faculty, look at what other schools have, what would we need to get so that that way it is ready when students get here.”

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth for technical writing will be driven by the continuing expansion of scientific and technical products, thus increasing demand for technical writers.

“It is meeting the local needs and job opportunities, is what we really look at with master’s degrees and build[s] up that need so that people aren’t having to leave our local area to get the education that they need,” Peterson-Fairchild said.

The decision to add these new programs was approved at a board of trustees meeting on Feb. 1. These proposals still need approval from the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities.

“It is important for [DSU] for growth, but it’s really important for the students and community,” said Peterson-Fairchild. “I think we are going to continue to grow; I mean it is inevitable. As we are meeting the needs of our local community, the state, we have to be able to offer more.”

To see what DSU has in store, check out the program approval tracker, but note that some programs require a more distinctive approval than others.

“I believe that students who can think critically about how we use and persuade through technology and who can compose in a technological environment are going to excel in their professional careers both now and in the future, [in ways] we can barely currently imagine,” said Cheri Crenshaw, dean of the college of humanities and social sciences.