Thursday, June 10, 2010

Scroll: Three new degrees to be offered in the fall

Note: Every week I have an article published in the Scroll, a newspaper on the BYU-Idaho campus.  The following is one of those articles.

Starting fall semester, BYU-Idaho will be offering three new degrees in humanities and welding fabrication.

Two of the new majors will be in the Mechanical Engineering Department and the third will be in the Humanities and Philosophy Department.

“It’s a really good liberal arts education preparation for grad school,” said Vaughn Stephenson, Humanities Department chair in regard to the new humanities major.

The humanities major will offer three areas of emphasis: intellectual heritage, law and life-long learning.

“We have a significant number of people who say that they would like a good well-round[ed] college degree and this finally allows us to offer something like that. I’m really excited about that,” said Stephenson.

Catch more after the break...

Instead of requiring a minor or two clusters, the humanities major will only require one cluster. This will allow students to graduate with the major in less time compared to other programs.

“For practical purposes, most students who graduate have had three different majors. This will allow them to not have to totally go back ... [and] pile on the credits,” Stephenson said. “This is one that I think can retrofit pretty easily from two or three different areas because it is inter-disciplinary.”

The degrees for welding fabrication technologies will be offered in two options: an Associate of Applied Science and a Bachelor of Science. These degrees are designed for those seeking to work in the welding, manufacturing or fabrication fields.

“This would be great for a student who loves to tear things apart and fix them, and then ask themselves how they work and how can I improve on the design,” said David Saunders, a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department.

The Associate of Applied Science will be offered as a two-year program.

“It will help individuals develop a better skill set and will make it so you are strong enough to go out in the field after,” Saunders said.

The two-year program was also designed to be an appealing trade degree for those who want to supplement their major.

“This is something that you could fall back on to support a family in hard times,” Saunders said.

The Bachelor of Science in welding fabrication will be a four-year degree with an emphasis towards business.

“It is designed to help a student start their own business,” Saunders said.  “This program will really help bless the lives of people here at BYU-Idaho.”

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