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Colleges and universities in the Greater Dayton area continue to invest in programs for the benefit of their students.

Miami University

With an eye towards the future, Miami University invested in new academic programs designed to better prepare its students for the workplace after graduation.

Underclassmen now have two new options when choosing a major: Data analytics and organizational leadership. These Bachelor of Arts degrees will be implemented following approval from the Ohio Department of Education.

“The new degrees in organizational leadership and data analytics are designed to leverage core liberal arts knowledge and skills to prepare students for successful careers and fulfilling lives,” says Carolyn Haynes, associate provost of undergraduate education. “The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services reports that the most job openings in Ohio require strong analytical and leadership skills.”

Interactive Media Studies—no longer considered an academic program—is now recognized as an academic department in the College of Creative Arts. This department accounts for over 900 students.

In the past year, Miami students and faculty may have noticed changes across Oxford as well.

Pearson Hall, Miami’s biological science building, was renovated to create more classrooms and labs. Two residence halls, Scott and Minnich, were upgraded, while Miami also unveiled Withrow and Presidents hall for the first time.

Sinclair Community College

Sinclair, a premier destination for community college students in the region, launched its Registered Apprenticeship Program in spring 2018. The program’s goal is to provide training areas such as electrical maintenance and mechanical maintenance, while Sinclair is one of 10 colleges in the nation to be awarded this apprenticeship grant.

“It is critical that we prepare our students for the workforce,” says Chad Bridgman, internship coordinator at Sinclair College. “Sinclair works towards this by not only providing workforce aligned academic programs but also creating opportunities for students to get hands-on training.”

Among other grants, Sinclair received money to participate in the Community College Accelerated CyberCorp Pilot Program. This should increase the number of qualified cybersecurity professionals that graduate from Sinclair College.

Although primarily a school comprised of local students, Sinclair joined the U.S. Japan Collaborative Online International Learning Initiative. This provides an opportunity for students to learn about other cultures through online teaching and collaboration.

The Modern College of Design

The Modern College of Design, formerly the School of Advertising Art, is a baccalaureate institution for the first time. Starting in fall 2019, students have the option of enrolling in the Design Leadership Bachelor’s Program or opting for the associate degree. The curriculum directly suits individuals interested in graphic design and web design.

This intensive program will add faculty and staff jobs to the local community, and the Modern intends on constructing additional on-campus housing. A new Student Success Center provides a workspace for various clubs and programs.

President Jessica Barry says, “After three years of development we are thrilled to release a program that not only strengthens students’ design skills but also increases their knowledge of entrepreneurship, leadership and strategy. Graduates from this program will strengthen the Dayton creative community and the national design industry for generations to come.”

Students who choose the bachelor’s degree route must complete one year of the associate degree.

University of Dayton

Founded in 1850, The University of Dayton has offered multi-disciplined undergraduate and graduate programs for generations. This past year is no different as Dayton launched numerous academic degrees for all types of students.

Beginning operation in August 2019, UD introduced Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in sustainability. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Bachelor of Science degree focuses on energy and sustainable watersheds, while the Bachelor of Arts degree centers around food studies and urban sustainability.

“We are placing vocation and community-based, hands-on learning at the center of the curriculum,” said Rebecca Potter, director of the sustainability program. “These programs will provide students a foundation for using sustainability to serve others regardless of their career paths.” Earning a sustainability degree will require students to take courses in many different disciplines that may include biology, economics, statistics and ecology to name a few.

Dayton is also offering a nursing degree in partnership with Sinclair Community College. Students are required to take courses and complete clinical rotations at both institutions over a four-year period.

Graduate students can now earn a master’s degree in dietetics and nutrition after concluding an internship with Premier Health. This program qualifies students to work in places such as hospitals, schools and sports medicine, says Jennifer Dalton, director of the didactic program in dietetics.

Finally, the UD School of Law started an online Master of Laws program, including an optional U.S. legal practice certificate, in January 2019.

Wilmington College

Originally established by Quakers in 1870, Wilmington College is a private, liberal arts school known for its strong agriculture and athletic training majors. Starting in 2022, however, undergraduate athletic training programs will no longer exist at accredited schools. Therefore, the athletic training program is transitioning from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree.

“These are exciting times and we’re at the forefront,” says Dr. J. Brett Massie, program director and associate professor of athletic training. “I like where we’re sitting right now. We’re well ahead of the mandate.”

Wilmington College’s partnership with Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is continuing to thrive. Students receiving associate degrees from Cincinnati State can apply credits towards a bachelor’s degree from Wilmington College. These students may work toward a Wilmington College diploma at Cincinnati State’s campus, an idea designed to benefit the working adult populations on both campuses.

Adults, beginning in fall 2019, may enroll in Wilmington Institute for Lifelong Learning courses. Topics such as gardening, history, art, literature and many more are offered for six-week periods.

Wright State University

Wright State University is a public research university that sits on a 557-acre campus in Fairborn, Ohio. Its mission to, “build a strong foundation for student success at all levels through high-quality, innovative programs,” was strengthened this past year when it announced a new Division of Student Success.

Four separate divisions—Enrollment Management, the University Center for International Education, the University Registrar and the University College—will function and work together. This administrative shift is designed to provide more opportunities and improve the student experience.

Wright State also revamped its career services in preparation for life after graduation. Early intervention services will offer pre-professional development guidance for both first-year students and upperclassmen alike in the Wright State Career Center. These career services will be a new addition to the Division of Student Success.

“For students who are exploring and not firmly set in their career plans we want to have the services they need to help them achieve their career decisions,” says Cheryl Stuart, director of the Career Center.

To provide additional guidance to the student body student tutors in the Academic Success Centers will now adhere to national training standards when assisting their peers. Tutors earned the International Tutor Training Program Certification from the College Reading and Learning Association.

Wittenberg University

Established in 1845, Wittenberg University is a Lutheran-affiliated liberal arts college that enrolls over 1,700 undergraduate students. Wittenberg students have the advantage of using the recently overhauled School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Formerly the School of Community Education, Graduate and Professional Studies benefits sectors such as graduate programs, the Center for Musical Development and the College Credit Plus Program.

Graduate and Professional Studies also offers master’s degrees in analytics, coaching, and education, as well as an undergraduate degree in organizational leadership.

“My goal is to bring us together as a team to grow our current three fantastic programs to their fullest potential, and work has already begun along these lines,” says Barbara Randazzo, executive director of Graduate and Professional Studies. “I would also like to see new programs developed.”

“I want ( Graduate and Professional Studies) to be a place within the university where innovative programs are launched and effectively administered for the overall benefit of students and the institution,” says Randazzo.

Sociology majors, as of fall 2019, also have the option of selecting a cultural anthropology concentration. Students must create a senior thesis to earn this designation.

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