In the face of the poor economy, Bradley is going back to basics to make itself stand out.
Although administrators hope amenities such as the Markin Family Student Recreation Center and Library Cafe will attract students, they have also made several changes to the academic catalog to offer students unique degrees, some of which can be earned in a shorter time than it takes at other universities.
Recent changes to the academic catalog include the addition of 3/2 programs in biochemistry, chemistry and quantitative finance and a 4 plus 1 program in biology.
These programs are degree curriculums set up so students can receive a bachelors and masters degree in five years.
Lauren Peterson, a fifth year participant in the 3/2 accounting program, said she thinks her program has helped prepare her more for a job than a bachelors degree would.
“For the accounting program the biggest benefit is that you have enough hours to sit for your CPA exam which four years won’t give you,” she said.
Interim Provost Robert Bolla said the masters degrees in sciences are becoming increasingly attractive to employers.
“The largest employment sector in the U.S. is now start-up businesses,” he said. “If you’re a new start-up, you can’t afford a Ph.D, so someone out of a professional masters program is exactly what you want.”
He also said students who choose the 3/2 or 4 plus 1 paths may have a chance to stand out even more.
“There’s a big push out there for a professional masters of science,” Bolla said. “You’re out a year earlier so it also means you have something very different, very research intensive. You’ve had more of an opportunity to get your hands into stuff. ”
Chemistry, biochemistry, biology and finance majors interested in switching to a 3/2 program or the 4 plus 1 program should check with their advisors to see if they are at a point in the program at which they are able to switch from the basic undergraduate degree. It is likely most juniors and seniors would be too far along to make the switch, Bolla said.
Other changes to the academic catalog include an accelerated bachelors of science in nursing, a masters of science in nursing education, the addition of a sports communication degree and changing multimedia degrees to interactive media degrees.
New certificates programs include graduate certificates in clinical mental health counseling and nursing education and post bachelors and masters certificates in management.
There is also a new major in the family consumer sciences department called food, nutrition, and wellness.
This major branches off from dietetics, which prepares students with the requirements to take the national examination to become dieticians, and focuses more on wellness, Family and Consumer Sciences Department Chairwoman Nina Collins said.
“A required minor allows students to select a secondary interest area to compliment their major,” she said. “Graduates, who have chosen appropriate complimentary minors, will be qualified to work in the hospitality industry, public health departments, food service management, event planning, fitness centers, recipe development, food corporations and pharmaceutical sales.”