Thursday, July 25, 2024

Seven new programs in works

By Aleksandra Sidorova


SUNY Plattsburgh is implementing seven new programs, informed by a report commissioned from a data analytics and strategy consulting firm.

Three of the new programs have already been implemented: master’s degrees in data analytics, offered online, and in natural resources and ecology, as well as a bachelor’s in computer security, offered at SUNY Plattsburgh’s branch campus in Queensbury, New York. 

A master’s in social work is anticipated to start being offered this fall, though it is still pending further approvals, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Brent Carbajal wrote in an email. 

A certificate in cannabinoid chemistry is nearing readiness. A bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity management is undergoing review and an accelerated undergraduate nursing program is in its early planning stage.

Carbajal wrote that there are talks about more new programs, but didn’t share details.

“I’m not confident that I even know all the good planning work going on,” Carbajal wrote.

Depending on the number of certifications, accreditation and approval required, programs can take from one to three years from the start of planning to accepting students, Carbajal wrote. None of the new programs will require other programs to be cut, though the university may need to hire new faculty in order to teach the programs in accordance with accreditation requirements.

The university and Academic Affairs hired the consulting firm Gray Associates to “help us rethink our academic portfolio” in April 2023, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Meg Pearson wrote in an email. 

The analysis involved a workshop with 25 participants, including the deans of all three schools, then-Provost Anne Herzog, President Alexander Enyedi, along with select faculty and senior staff. As part of the workshop, participants brainstormed ideas for 45 programs and voted on those they thought would be most in demand and “not too new or unusual,” according to the report. Each participant could vote for five programs.

Six programs received votes from at least one third of the participants, some of which were reflected in the programs now being implemented. A bachelor’s program in digital arts received nine votes, but scored low in regional market demand. 

Other program suggestions were a graduate certificate in diversity, equity and inclusion leadership as well as bachelor’s degrees in climate change adaptation, disinformation intelligence, forensic psychology, esports and cartography. They all received two votes from workshop members or fewer.

Carbajal wrote that the most important takeaway from the report was data on student demand, density of programming in New York and employment needs estimates.

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