In a time when the economy is down and the budget is tight, SF State has found a way to incorporate four new degree programs into the school's curriculum this fall
October 7, 2003 7:15 PM
In a time when the economy is down and the budget is tight, SF State has found a way to incorporate four new degree programs into the school's curriculum this fall.
Students are now able to pursue a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree in interior design, apparel design and merchandising, computer engineering or atmospheric and oceanic sciences.
According to consumer and family studies / dietics department chair Nancy Rabolt, a B.S. degree is better understood in the design industry than a B.A.
Instructors in the meteorology department concur with Rabolt. "You're more employable with a B.S. than you are with a B.A.," SF State meteorology professor David Dempsey said.
Prior to this semester, students interested in meteorology were only able to pursue a bachelor of arts degree with an emphasis in meteorology.
"We had the courses to allow students to meet employment requirements and the equivalent of a B.S., but it didn't show up on their transcripts," Dempsey said.
Because of the tight budget, each of the departments had to find ways to be cost efficient with their courses and resources. For example, the computer engineering program did not require new facilities or courses because the labs are already on campus and the required classes are already being offered.
"Computer engineering is a huge growth area and there's a lot of demand for it," administrative analyst / specialist for the school of engineering Rebecca Shonkwiler said. "The labs and resources are already here, so it is not an expensive program to begin."
"What we've found our first semester," Rabolt said, "is that we can't accommodate all the students who want to take the classes."
"This gives students a taste of what's to come in the program," SF
The department has also received hand-me-down computers from the computer science department and are using the same resources they were before the current semester.
Although the budget is a big issue, all three departments are looking for at least one new teacher to add to their faculty. Rabolt said the consumer and fanily studies / dietics department is looking to add one new tenor track faculty member by next fall. The College of Science and Engineering is currently searching for two new computer engineers to join their faculty. And over the next five years the oceanography and meteorology departments are looking to add one more physical oceanographer to their faculty.
The atmospheric and oceanic sciences program is one of the smallest at SF State, comprised of only 10 students enrolled in the major. Both the students and faculty enjoy the intimacy of their program. "I was pre-med, so I'm familiar with classes full of students and a high level of competition," atmospheric and oceanic sciences major Kathryn Saussy said. "Here the competition is more friendly and, because the classes are so small, we can have really good discussions - discussions you couldn't and didn't want to have in a big science class."
Because the school only offered a B.A. Saussy did not want to pursue the degree. "Now that it's a B.S. I had to switch," Saussy said with a smile. "This is my real love."
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