North Central will be expanding its horizons deeper into the business, science and technology markets beginning in fall 2015
Next semester, current and prospective students at North Central will have the opportunity to enroll in entrepreneurship, accounting and finance, and marketing programs in addition to the already existing business administration and sports management majors in the business department. The two computer science majors, computer science and computer information systems, have created a department of their own, bringing North Central a wider array of majors in the science and technology field.
A need was recognized among industry professionals for adding programs that had growing student interest according to Casey Rozowski, Chair of the Department of Math, Science, and Technology and Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. One of the greatest areas of interest was seen in the realm of computer science and technology. Seeing this need, Rozowski, along with members of the Strategic Planning Committee, President’s Cabinet, and other university faculty were prompted to introduce a computer science degree program to the university’s curriculum. These new majors have been in development for little over a year.
“I believe as an institution we recognize the potential of increasing our science and technology presence on campus,” Rozowski said, “It’s not just about adding new programs, but about strengthening the science core for the institution. This was an opportunity to create a new department … with a focus in math, science and technology.”
These new majors are expected to not only cast a wider net to students outside of North Central who are searching for a place that offers majors in the field of computer science, but to present more opportunities for existing students involved in computer science majors through North Central’s Applied Studies Program. The majors related to computer science were the ones seeing most participation in applied studies, and the transition from these external programs to new majors are expected to occur according to Rozowski.
“I think that there’s always been interest in this kind of thing,” Rozowski said. “It’s just a matter of not just adding programs, but giving them [students] an identity and a place on campus.” Computer science adds a “robustness” to the mathematics program, says Rozowski, and the computer information systems major is expected to have strong ties with the business department and its three new majors. Officially approved in November of 2014, entrepreneurship, marketing, and accounting and finance will provide students with various opportunities to partner with local businesses, spend time with other entrepreneurs pitching their own business ideas, and build rapport with local marketing firms.
“I think students were demanding and wanting these specialized majors,” says William Tibbetts, director of the school of business. “We’re just helping students be better aligned with their calling on their lives.”
The new business majors are one step closer to what Tibbetts hopes to be the “premier Christian school of business in the United States.”
“I did this because I felt like there is a demand for it, and we have strong capability to achieve it with excellence,” Tibbetts said regarding the new majors.
North Central is also offering scholarships to new students who plan on enrolling in these programs. These students, who must be first time applicants in the fall of 2015, will have the opportunity to apply for free-tuition scholarships as part of the “Degree-Launch Scholarship” program.
Scholarships will be awarded to 10 students per new major being offered, equaling 50 scholarships total. The scholarships will be combined with students’ financial aid packages to help them achieve free tuition.
In conclusion, new majors being offered in both departments are simply a response to a growing market and growing interest.
“There is benefit of adding programs that students are interested in,” Rozowski said, “… It’s a matter of not just adding programs, but giving (students) an identity and a place on campus.”