Henderson State University will offer two new degrees this fall following recent approval by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences will serve students pursuing prerequisites for professional programs and careers in the health sciences with discipline-specific tracks.
The Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a focus on mathematics addresses the high demand for secondary educators both state-wide and nationally by placing emphasis on teacher preparation and math content courses.
As a meta-major, the natural sciences degree plan “provides students with a strong background in the sciences, while giving them the freedom to hone in on the careers that really interest them,” said Dr. Shannon Clardy, director of Applied Professional Sciences and Technology. “A heavy emphasis is placed on experiential learning and laboratory-based applications.”
Students can choose a track that’s primarily for one of the pre-professional programs, such as pre-med, pre-physical therapy, pre-optometry, and pre-dental, Clardy said.
“But there’s also the general track which allows students to pick and choose the upper-level science classes they want to formulate their own degree,” according to Clardy. “If a student starts out in a track, and they discover that particular track is not their passion or the direction they want to go, they can change tracks and still count the courses that they’ve taken.”
The new secondary education degree will attract prospects desiring to teach secondary math, said Dr. Charlotte White-Wright, director of Health, Education, and Social Sustainability.
“This degree will be housed under the education umbrella with other educator licensure programs,” Wright said. “It will have a strong focus on education coursework while maintaining the rigor and high expectations of state math competencies.
“Given the changing landscape of teacher licensure in Arkansas, we believe a degree in Secondary Education provides a crucial pathway to teacher licensure in mathematics.”
A third degree program has been re-named with a focus on the ever-changing digital landscape.
Digital Media Production, formerly Innovative Media, aims to prepare students for employment in the modern media workplace through practical, hands-on experiences, and by introducing new media technologies and production.
The program integrates courses in design, mass media, marketing, digital technology, gaming, with other fields such as aviation and business. Students will work on real-world challenges, such as creating virtual and augmented reality experiences, produce drone-based content, and create new media products including video games, phone apps, and podcasts.
Classes include motion graphics, visual storytelling, video art, sports broadcasting, media writing, podcasting, documentary filmmaking, and many more.