Work on Dixie State University’s master’s programs is currently in motion for potential start in 2018.
Michael Lacourse, the vice president of academic affairs, has began work to build up DSU’s future master’s programs. While following the strategic plan put in motion by his predecessor, Lacourse said some of the aspects of the upcoming programs were the university is in the process of hiring new faculty, building policy committees and drafting new policies in preparation for the future master’s programs. He said he is also working on making more online classes to make the school more accessible for both traditional and non-traditional students.
The tentative timeline DSU would be ready to send the proposed plans for the master’s programs is 2017, Lacourse said. He said the master’s programs should be ready to launch by 2018 if this plan comes to fruition.
“Before we can request approval to go forward with our master’s programs, we need to show [the Northwestern certification board] that we can manage these programs and have all we need to implement them,” Lacourse said.
President Biff Williams said the three master’s programs DSU will be developing are accounting, education and an entrepreneurial degree.
The University of Utah will also be bringing a physician’s assistant, physical therapy and occupational therapy program through their partnership with DSU. If approved by legislature, DSU will invest $1.5 million to facilitate these programs, Williams said.
“In 10 years [University of Utah’s] programs become [DSU],” Williams said.
He said the programs would pay for themselves in three years time, and the money generated from the master’s programs could be used to create further degrees.
Williams said the medical programs from University of Utah should cause a huge increase in student retention, referencing his own experience while at Indiana State University where he was founding dean of its college of nursing, health and human services.
Lacourse said he hopes to build the prestige of DSU so students can look at their degree with pride that they attended DSU, and said the new master’s programs may be able to bring some of that prestige.