The College of Arts and Sciences introduced 13 new academic programs this year, including certificates, minors, specializations, and degree programs.
New certificates will be offered in forensic anthropology, professional ethics, professional writing and Spanish translation; new minors are linguistics, Russian studies, and nonprofit studies; new specializations are in human and natural systems, environmental science, analytics for large data sets and professional writing; and new degree programs are both a master’s and doctorate program in sustainability.
John Dudley, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said all of the programs are in place this semester, with students currently involved in all of them.
“They’re happening. They’re in place,” Dudley said. “I’m not sure how many students are currently in each program… but there are students in all of those programs at this point.”
Dudley said many of the programs are made up of courses that already existed, but are being repackaged in a way for students to put on their transcripts.
“In a lot of cases, we’re taking courses that were already being offered and redesigning and repackaging them in a way that will make sense for students,” Dudley said.
This repackaging will allow students to be more marketable and have more experience for their résumés, Dudley said.
“It’s a competitive job market, and if a student can get a credential on their transcript… if you’re going to hire someone for a job, they might get a second look,” he said. “I think students appreciate the opportunity to get that extra credential.”
Ilmira Dulyanova, a Russian language instructor, said USD is the first and only school in South Dakota to offer a minor in Russian studies, and this program will help students gain experience and knowledge for their future careers.
“The Russian studies minor provides our students with appropriate language skills and cultural, historical and/or contemporary societal knowledge and thus makes our students more competitive in the job market,” Dulyanova said in an email interview with The Volante “Our students with the Russian Studies minor have additional opportunities to get a job in federal agencies, the Foreign Service, military intelligence, cyber security and academia.”
Meghann Jarchow, the chair and associate professor in the Department of Sustainability and Environment, said an undergraduate or graduate degree in sustainability will allow students to have a degree that “distinguishes them from others.”
“USD is one of only a handful of schools in the United States offering master’s and Ph.D. degrees in sustainability,” Jarchow said in an email interview with The Volante. “By USD having these degrees, it gives our students the opportunity to continue their education in sustainability.”
Dudley said the program additions are in response to student demand and national trends.
“In many cases, we are following the trend, and we hope we are kind of on the front end of that trend,” he said. “It’s a combination of what we have to offer and what we have expertise in, combined with what students are interested in. We can’t do everything for everybody, but if there’s a place where those things come together, then it’s what we try to do.”
The College of Arts and Sciences has been working with Admissions and the Academic and Career Planning Center (ACPC) to market these new programs to current and potential students, Dudley said.
“We as a college have been more involved in marketing these programs and making sure we have enough materials and brochures and posters and things like that to get out to potential students,” he said. “We’ve also been sponsoring major fairs in the MUC throughout the semester, and we have people from the departments who are there to answer questions and address student interest.”
Dudley said new programs in biomedical engineering, neuroscience and legal studies will hopefully be in place for next year.