The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved a new Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Technology and added new options in agriculture communications and agriculture systems management to the Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness.
Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Applied Technology
The new BAS in Applied Technology provides a streamlined baccalaureate degree pathway for students who previously completed an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) at a regionally accredited institution. Until now, the only option for AAS students at Southeast was a Bachelor of Science program requiring additional credit hours than the new BAS.
Dr. Karl Kunkel, Southeast provost, said the three regional two-year colleges and the St. Louis Community College system offer 58 AAS degree areas relevant to students wishing to complete the new BAS program. The new program also is expected to appeal to those with AAS degrees currently working in technical fields and seeking career advancement.
“While this degree is available to any student completing a technically oriented AAS at an accredited institution, it primarily will attract students from programs offered in our region and provides needed employee credentials for business and industry in southeast Missouri,” he said.
The curriculum for the new BAS is broad, allowing students to customize the program for their interests and career goals in a technical field with guidance from a faculty advisor. While 24 hours of the curriculum are in technology management, upper division technical electives will be chosen by the student to build on their knowledge earned through their AAS degree. BAS areas include computer graphics, construction management, electrical control systems, facilities management, machining, manufacturing and network administration.
Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate future growth is expected in administrative service managers, construction managers and network administration, all areas in which the BAS assists students in gaining training and credentials, Kunkel said.
A few Missouri public universities offer the BAS as a degree completion pathway. Arkansas State University is the only institution in this region offering such a program. Kunkel said Missouri Southern and Missouri State offer the BAS for degree completion in southwest Missouri for specific fields and Northwest Missouri State currently has a proposal under consideration by the Missouri Department of Higher Education to change the name of the Bachelor of Technology to a Bachelor of Applied Science with emphases in specific fields.
In other action, the Regents today approved two new options – Agriculture Communications and Agriculture Systems Management – for the Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness. No new faculty are needed for either option as both draw from existing courses.
New Agriculture Communications Option on Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness
According to Kunkel, demand exists in the agribusiness sector for Bachelor of Science graduates who also have advanced training in effective oral, written and graphics communication, using both digital and interpersonal techniques. Based on discussions Department of Agriculture faculty had with agribusiness partners, including their department advisory council, the industry now requires employees with skills in communication and marketing.
The new option will use existing courses in the departments of Agriculture, Management and Marketing, and Communication Studies, providing skill sets for communicating agribusiness information about product promotion, customer communication and market expansion.
New Agriculture Systems Management Option on Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness
The new option in agriculture systems management for the Bachelor of Science in agribusiness will meet demands of agribusiness employers seeking graduates with facilities management skills, according to discussions with external stakeholders and advisory council members, he said.
The option includes existing courses from the departments of Agriculture, Physics, Mathematics, Accounting and Polytechnic Studies, and provides students with a background in the corporate goals of system design and management.