The Utah System of Higher Education’s (USHE) 2016 legislative budget priorities reflect the most pressing needs of USHE institutions, specifically the need to increase market demand programs such as computer science, aerospace engineering, composite manufacturing, automation, robotics, respiratory therapy, and health information management. USHE institutions have started to take measures to add many of these market demand programs to their degree offerings.
Last year, USHE institutions added 79 new certificate and degree programs. The break down is: Four doctorate programs, four master’s degrees, eight graduate certificates, 13 minors, 25 baccalaureate degrees, four Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees, four certificates of completion, and 13 certificates of proficiency.
USHE institutions are also continually working to ensure their programs stay relevant to the needs of Utah’s economy, industry and workforce. As a result, 26 programs that no longer met the needs of today’s students were discontinued.
Last fall, Utah State University (USU) became the first school in the U.S. to offer an outdoor product design degree, and USU-Moab added a bachelor’s degree in accounting. USU also added PhD programs in aerospace engineering and neuroscience. Weber State University added a bachelor’s to master’s fast track program in computer engineering this spring, and hopes to add a Master of Science degree in respiratory therapy and a Master of Health Administration degree to begin this fall.
Dixie State University (DSU), in partnership with the University of Utah, is in the planning stages of offering a physician assistant program at DSU. It is currently projected to welcome its first cohort of students in May 2018. This spring, Southern Utah University started offering 3 new online bachelor’s degrees in business management, accounting, and communication. Their new Master of Science in Cyber Security program also started this year.