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Board of Trustees Approve Academic Degree Changes

pictureThe Ferris State University Board of Trustees, in a special session today (Dec. 17), approved a series of changes related to academic degrees.

Trustees approved a new academic concentration in Sports Communication, the reinstatement of the Bachelor of Science degree in Social Studies Education and a new academic minor in Medical Informatics.

Due to the growth of sports as an industry, University officials sought to address statewide, regional and national needs for support personnel to administer, market and broadcast events. The 2010-11 edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook (a biennial publication on employment projections from the U.S. Department of Labor) predicts that jobs in the sports industry will increase 20 to 25 percent during the next six years, second only to careers in the healthcare industry. It is the intent of the University to begin enrolling students requesting the Sports Communications concentration beginning in the Fall 2011 semester.

The addition of the Medical Informatics academic minor, approved for implementation in Spring 2011, is in response to healthcare information technology becoming one of the hottest career options for graduates according to a new trend study from the University of California. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that professional and service (healthcare) occupations will account for more than 50 percent of the total job growth during the next decade. Courses for the new minor will be offered online, and those courses that are not currently being offered online will be transitioned to an online format. The minor will require students to be familiar with computer software, maintaining electronic health records security and analyzing electronic data to improve healthcare information and health information networks.

“A university curriculum is a dynamic enterprise where new programs are created and innovative ideas are implemented,” said Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Ferris. “We are excited about the opportunities to align programming with student and development interests.”

The trustees also reviewed and evaluated the possible closure of several existing academic programs.

In other board news:

  • Trustees approved and ratified the collective bargaining agreement tentatively agreed to on Dec. 2 between the Ferris State University Board of Trustees and the FSU Birkam Health Center Registered Nurses Unit, Teamsters, State, County and Municipal Workers, Local 214, affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The agreement is in effect through June 30, 2015.