Regents Approve New Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity, Minor in Jazz Studies


The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved a new Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and a new minor in jazz studies.

Both new programs are expected to begin during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

The new Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity will be offered by the Department of Computer Science in the Harrison College of Business and Computing, pending approval by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. The certificate is designed to appeal to individuals having an undergraduate degree, not necessarily in computer science or cybersecurity, who seek a current working knowledge of system security. The 12-credit-hour certificate program requires completion of four courses available both online and face to face.

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), the computer occupations – information security analysts’ annual growth rate is 3.55% with over 350 openings annually in Missouri alone, said Dr. Mike Godard, Southeast provost. Nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected increase of employment of more than 30% by 2028.

The new certificate enhances Southeast’s current cybersecurity and computer science programs, Godard said. Southeast currently offers a Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity, which has grown to over 150 majors, highlighting the demand for the discipline and skillsets provided. Additionally, this graduate certificate will allow for interested students to directly apply the credits earned via the certificate towards the master’s degree requirements in cybersecurity which launched in 2019.

Minor in Jazz Studies

He also outlined a new minor in jazz studies, to be offered by the Holland College of Arts and Media. Godard explained that new courses associated with the minor are designed to supplement the full range of degrees offered within the Department of Music and create opportunities for engaging students in a new medium of performance style and technique, including jazz improvisation, jazz harmony and analysis, jazz history and jazz combo.

With the growing popularity of jazz in the southeast Missouri region, as well as the University’s proximity to Memphis, Tennessee, and other well-known jazz and blues music areas, it is anticipated the new 20-credit-hour minor will be in high demand, Godard said.

The Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts in music programs had a combined enrollment of more than 130 students last fall, with instrumental majors comprising more half of those students. There has also been increased interest and consistent growth in the two jazz band ensembles over the past three years.

Additionally, Southeast’s Annual Clark Terry/Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival drew the largest attendance in its history this year, with 29 high school bands participating — a good indicator of the regional interest in jazz, Godard said.

Option Title Change

In related action, the Regents changed the title of an option within a graduate program in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The heritage interpretation option within the Master of Arts in public history will now be known as digital heritage, reflecting the changing technical needs of the discipline.

The change addresses the shift in employment and outlook currently experienced by heritage institutions, where digital proficiency is increasingly necessary, Godard said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows national employment growth for the occupational classification for this program increasing by more than 8 % between 2018 and 2028.

Southeast is the first institution in the United States offering this program at the graduate level. The name change  on the option is expected to assist in elevating the reputation of Southeast’s nationally ranked public history program, Godard said.