Regents Approve New Academic Programs

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Dec. 16, 2005 – The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved several new academic programs. The Board approved a new option in musical theatre for the bachelor of fine arts in performing arts degree, an off-campus bachelor of science in elementary education degree, an off-campus bachelor of science in early childhood education degree, an off-campus bachelor of science exceptional child education cross-categorical (K-12) degree and certification in elementary (grades 1-6) for off-campus sites. The new option in musical theatre for the bachelor of fine arts in performing arts degree supports the mission of the new School of Visual and Performing Arts to enhance cross-discipline learning with integration of the arts. The option in musical theatre makes it possible for students to earn a unique degree integrating three separate disciplines – dance, acting and voice, said Dr. Jane Stephens, Southeast provost. “The option makes the program more marketable and able to meet demands of accreditation for a stronger program,” she said. Stephens said there are no additional costs associated with the new option. She said the new off-campus bachelor of science in elementary education degree and the off-campus bachelor of science in early childhood education degree are designed to help meet the needs of students in rural areas who have family responsibilities that preclude them from traveling to the Southeast campus for daily classes. “Effective classroom teachers are in demand throughout our service area and across Missouri,” she said. “The public school districts in the University’s service region area having a difficult time retaining and recruiting effective classroom teachers. Superintendents in the Kennett, Malden and Sikeston areas have reported the need for elementary and early childhood education classroom teachers in their schools.” Stephens says the programs provide a service to public schools in the University’s service region. “These programs encourage and increase the number of classroom teachers in many rural areas,” she said. “This program is directly related to employment.” Stephens said the off-campus bachelor of science exceptional child education cross-categorical (K-12) degree and certification in elementary (grades 1-6) for off-campus sites helps in meeting similar needs in the University’s service region. “The program permits Southeast and the Department of Elementary, Early and Special Education to provide a program for special education teacher candidates who will be employed in the public schools in the rural communities in the University’s service region,” she said. “The Exceptional Child program will fill a void that currently is not available for students in the southern counties of Missouri who want to pursue a special education teaching degree.”

No new costs are associated with the off-campus bachelor of science in elementary education degree, the off-campus bachelor of science in early childhood education degree, the off-campus bachelor of science exceptional child education cross-categorical (K-12) degree or the certification in elementary (grades 1-6) for off-campus sites, Stephens said. She said since all the courses will use classroom space at sites currently in place, and the proposed programs will be scheduled during the three-year course rotation already set by the department, no new costs will be incurred. She said these programs will be delivered at the Perryville Area Higher Education Center, at Southeast’s regional campuses south of Cape Girardeau and at Poplar Bluff, Mo.