SAN MARCOS The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved several degree name changes and a departmental reorganization for Sam Houston State University during the board’s quarterly meeting at Texas State University on Friday (Feb. 28).
SHSU was granted approval to change the name of the Department of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences to the Department of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering Technology. In addition, the degree program name will be changed from the Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology to the Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology.
“The curriculum in industrial technology has evolved over time with changes in technology and changes in workforce demands,” SHSU President Dana Gibson told the regents. “What were once blue collar disciplines focusing on skill development in wood, metal and concrete construction have evolved into more modern technical disciplines incorporating computer-aided drafting, electrical engineering technology, system design, project management principles, materials sciences , and site safety management.
“Following current trends in educational and industrial terminology, all of these programs are more correctly characterized under the general term engineering technology,” she said. “These name changes more accurately reflect the current curricula within the program and align with appropriate educational and industrial terminology.
“Likewise, the term engineering technology is recognized by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology for national accrediting purposes, and nearly 100 percent of graduates in these fields find immediate employment in supervisory positions in the construction or manufacturing industry,” she said. “The name changes will enhance marketability and frame the strategic vision for future developments.”
The university was also given authority to divide the current Department of Health and Kinesiology into two separate academic departments—the Department of Kinesiology and the Department of Health Services and Promotion.
“The separation will allow for the future expansion of specialized undergraduate and graduate degree programs in public health and wellness, health services administration, health informatics, and other related programs within a new Department of Health Services and Promotion, while allowing the Department of Kinesiology to provide academic degree programs in physical activity, sport science and education,” Gibson told the regents.
“The new Department of Health Services and Promotion will focus resources and programs that prepare students for related health careers in public health/wellness and health services administration,” she said.
SHSU was also authorized to change the name of the Master of Education degree in Counseling to the Master of Education degree in School Counseling. The name change does not involve changes to the type of degree designation, existing courses, completion requirements, new courses, or other substantive changes related to the program or the program’s students.
Within the College of Criminal Justice, the board approved a name change for the Master of Science degree in Security Studies to the Master of Science degree in Homeland Security Studies.
“The wide focus of the homeland security enterprise includes all of the topics which historically have been covered in the security studies program at SHSU,” Gibson said. “The proposed name change more accurately reflects the substance of the program and better aligns the program with other programs throughout the country offering similar curricula.”
The board also authorized SHSU to offer the degree online.
The college was also authorized to offer the Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice via distance learning. Students enrolled in the program will have access to a full-time online academic adviser.
Fee changes include an increase in the PGA Golf Management program from $2,150 per year to $2,400 per year and the implementation of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program fee of $750.
“All students enrolled in the nursing degree program are currently required to purchase nursing uniforms and accessories, miscellaneous personal medical equipment, drug tests, and fingerprints out-of-pocket for a total cost of $800 prior to their first semester in the BSN program,” Gibson said.
“In addition to these materials and services, each semester, students mush also pay for access to embedded assessment and virtual testing software that prepares them for the national licensing examination, as well as electronic health record and student portfolio management software, so that they are prepared for contemporary healthcare practice and have a professional portfolio of demonstrated knowledge and skills upon graduation,” she said.
“These combined software costs are approximately $550 per semester. Therefore, all together, students currently pay approximately $750 a semester out-of-pocket, above and beyond tuition, for these various materials and services.
“The fee will consolidate the out-of-pocket student expenses for supplies, standardized testing, and software into a single payment and standardized the payment process,” Gibson said. “Through this consolidation, qualified students will be able to apply financial aid to purchase these materials and services. Additionally, bulk purchase should reduce individual costs for some goods and services.”
In other business, SHSU was authorized to charge a 4 percent increase in room rates for several residence halls and the Bearkat Village Apartments, and to increase board rates to accommodate increases in repairs, renovations, operating expenses and food costs.