by M. B. Miller
Wednesday, March 27th
Pippa Passes, KY — Alice Lloyd College has added four new bachelor degrees to its curriculum: a Dual Degree in Nursing, a B.A. in Liberal Arts, a B.A. in Accounting, and a B.A. in Special Education. The programs for the Dual Degree in Nursing, Liberal Arts, and Accounting will be initiated this fall. Classes will be offered toward the degree in Special Education in fall 2013, but the major will not be completely instituted until the spring of next year.
The addition of these programs comes as a response to the current needs of the Appalachian region. Part of Alice Lloyd College’s mission is to produce student-leaders for Appalachia, and perhaps now more than ever, the College’s service area is in need of that leadership.
“We feel as if there will be a demand for each of these majors within our region,” said Dr. Claude Crum, the College’s Academic Dean, “and we believe graduates should be able to get jobs in these fields.”
Alice Lloyd chiefly serves five states and 108 counties in central Appalachia. Since 83% of the College’s graduates return to the Appalachian region, students who complete a bachelor’s degree in one of these programs are likely to return to the area to work.
“Providing this region with graduates who are well-prepared and dedicated to serving this area may help us attract new industry and increase efficiency and innovations in existing businesses,” Dr. Crum said.
Initiating a new degree program can be a long process, requiring the support of the faculty, approval from the College’s Board of Trustees, a review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges, and a vetting process by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.
Dual Degree in Nursing
Alice Lloyd’s decision to launch a Dual Degree in Nursing program was guided by a projection for an increased need for bachelor degree-level nurses in central Appalachia. Demographics have indicated a dramatic shift in the rural Appalachian population from a youth-dominated population to an aging population. In light of these statistics, the need for healthcare providers in the region (a region from which Alice Lloyd recruits exclusively) is sure to grow.
The Dual Degree in Nursing curriculum was devised by the Division of Natural Science and Mathematics with the goal of preparing students for a professional degree in nursing. Students who fulfill the requirements of the Dual Degree in Nursing major would spend three years at ALC in order to complete the 98-hour program before transferring to an accredited school of nursing to finish the B.S.N. degree. The student would transfer 30 hours of credit back to ALC to complete the Nursing degree before completing the B.S.N. degree at another institution. Alice Lloyd College has reached an agreement with the University of Kentucky College of Nursing guaranteeing admission to two qualified ALC Nursing graduates each fall. The College is currently attempting to establish similar relationships with other nursing schools in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Degree in Liberal Arts
The curriculum for the Liberal Arts degree was designed by the Academic Affairs Committee with the purpose of providing students with a background in a wide range of disciplines. The program requires that students recognize the interconnectedness of these disciplines in their larger understanding of the world. The degree focuses on a lot of the key skills that employers are hoping for, such as critical thinking and writing.
“As graduating students seek jobs in the global economy,” Dr. Crum explained, “a self-tailored degree in liberal arts makes them attractive candidates in a multitude of careers in both the public and private sector.”
New Accounting Major
The Accounting major at ALC has been implemented as part of the new and expanded Business & Entrepreneurship program. The major prepares students to proceed to the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination and to pursue careers in public accounting, industrial accounting, governmental accounting, or to go on to pursue graduate studies. Alice Lloyd routinely seeks to help students obtain advanced study beyond their program at ALC, which is a practice unique to the College.
Graduates are expected to provide leadership in the region through self-employment, employment in area businesses, governmental agencies, and not-for-profit organizations, and through graduate work. It is the College’s hope, as well, that these students will go on to create new ventures in the region that might help to create jobs for others.
Special Ed Set for Spring 2014
Alice Lloyd will also begin offering courses in Special Education in the fall of 2013. It is anticipated that by spring 2014 the major will be complete.
Norman Bishop, a former education program specialist with the Arizona Department of Education, has been brought in as the College’s new Assistant Professor of Education and has overseen the creation of this new major and its implementation.
“The need for a special education program in this area has been very great for a long time,” said Bishop. “This is a national shortage area, and this region is not immune. A number of teaching positions in the area are either not filled or have been filled with unqualified personnel. The addition of this major will add to our offerings and will enhance our service to the region.”
The program will offer a dual major in Special Education/Elementary P-5, Middle School Math and English and Special Education/High School Content (English, Math, Social Studies, Science, or P.E.). This format will give graduates a solid understanding of the teaching field and give them a competitive employment advantage over those training in only a single major model, as school districts now need a special education teacher to be certified in special education and a typical teaching area.
“All of these new programs have been developed so that we can focus on areas where jobs currently exist and on where jobs will be in the future,” Dr. Crum said.
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