ST. GEORGE — In alignment with Dixie State University’s strategic goal to broaden and enhance academic programs, the institution’s Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the addition of two new baccalaureate programs.
Starting in the fall 2018 semester, Dixie State will offer a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology-biochemistry and a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Art in design.
With the addition of these degrees, the university now offers 42 distinctive baccalaureate majors and has accomplished its strategic goal to offer 42 baccalaureate degrees by 2020 two years early.
Dixie State’s baccalaureate degree in molecular biology-biochemistry will prepare students to meet the needs of the community’s rapidly growing health science and biotechnology sectors. This interdisciplinary science program that merges chemistry, biology and health sciences will prepare students to perform a variety of tasks such as culture tissue and cells, run polymerase chain reaction techniques, molecularly clone genes and perform statistical analysis on data.
“The new degree in molecular biology and biochemistry offers students a rigorous program at the interface of biology and chemistry — where molecules interact at the cellular level and drive biological processes,” Dr. Rico Del Sesto, chair of DSU’s physical sciences department, said. “The program is truly a cross-disciplinary experience that will prepare students for careers in areas such as precision medicine, pharmaceutical sciences, forensics and biotechnology.”
The other degree approved by the trustees on Friday, a bachelor’s degree in design, will teach students hands-on design thinking, visual communication, image making and proficiency with tools and practices in the field of design. Providing students with a unique experience across a full range of design disciplines, this program will prepare them to pursue careers in graphic design and other emerging disciplines. This degree will provide students with marketable training, skills and experience that will make them employable immediately upon graduating.
“Design, good or bad, influences every aspect of our lives,” Rachel Ramsay, DSU assistant professor of web and digital design, said. “The new design degree strengthens Dixie State’s current offerings while adding more in-depth courses.”
The board also unanimously approved the addition of minors in dance and global studies, a Maker Certificate, certificates in professional writing and general education, an emphasis in global studies for the integrated studies baccalaureate degree and emphases in pre-physical therapy and occupational therapy for the baccalaureate degree in exercise science.
All new academic programs must receive approval from the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities, which is expected to occur this April, before they can be fully implemented.
Additionally, to reflect the growth of the college and addition of new degrees, the trustees approved to change the name of the university’s College of Science & Technology to the College of Science, Engineering & Technology.
Established in 1911, Dixie State began as a two-year institution and gained four-year status and approval to offer bachelor’s degrees in 1999. Last calendar year alone, the university added a record seven new distinctive baccalaureate majors. With the approval to add a Bachelor of Music in performance and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in January, the university has already been approved to add four new baccalaureate degrees this year.
Additionally, as part of its strategic goal, Dixie State is charged with adding three master’s degrees by 2020, a number the university is on track to meet before this date after adding a Master of Accountancy program in January.