||New Degrees Approved
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|Michigan Technological University's Board of Control approved two new degree programs Oct. 3 that are designed to prepare graduates for key roles in the Information Age. |
The Board also approved changing the name of the School of Forestry and Wood Products to the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.
The proposed BS degree program in Computer Systems Science, based in the Department of Computer Science, will give students a foundation for careers in system and network administration, computing environment engineering and network technology management.
"Students in this program will receive a solid foundation in the field of computing systems," said Linda Ott, chair of the computer science department. Most students in this area end up receiving most of their education on the job. "With this degree, they'll be able to start in higher-level positions and have a much broader perspective on computer systems," she added.
The BS program in Computer Network and System Administration, proposed by the School of Technology, will provide a practical education in maintaining computer systems, including installing hardware and operating systems on networked computers. Graduates will be well-prepared for employment as systems administrators.
"What excites me is the number of contacts I've had from interested students for a program that doesn't even exist," said Tim Collins, dean of School of Technology.
Potential employers have also expressed an interest.
"I've talked to representatives from the computer industry, and they felt these programs would be a very good match for them," said James Turnquist, director of the University Career Center.
If approved by the State Board of Academic Officers, which includes the academic officers of Michigan's 15 public universities, the programs would be subject to a final vote by the Board of Control. Both degree programs could then begin in fall 2003.
Forestry dean Glenn Mroz said the new name, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, better describes the school's focus. The school offers undergraduate degrees in forestry, and applied ecology and environmental sciences; and graduate programs in forest molecular genetics and biotechnology, forest science, and forestry.
"Environmental impact statements and forest management based on scientific research are the industry standard," Mroz said. "Employers want professionals with diverse skills—at home both in the woods or in front of a computer analyzing satellite images.