Dixie State University approved to offer first master’s degree, 2 new bachelor’s programs

Dixie State University reached a historic milestone on Friday, when its Board of Trustees unanimously approved the addition of the institution’s first-ever graduate degree program, a Master of Accountancy. Along with the master’s degree, the Trustees approved two new baccalaureate degrees, a Bachelor of Music in performance and Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. Increasing the university’s offerings to 193 different academic programs, including 40 distinctive baccalaureate majors, both the master’s and new baccalaureate degrees were added in accordance with Dixie State’s strategic goal to broaden and enhance academic programs. “The addition of the Master of Accountancy, Bachelor of Music in performance and Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering programs increases the depth of Dixie State University’s academic offerings and provides our students with more opportunities to prepare for rewarding careers,” DSU President Richard “Biff” Williams said. “Adding new degrees is an important part of accomplishing our strategic goal, but it’s not the whole picture. The university continues to enhance the student experience by offering small class sizes, personalized attention and great support services.” DSU’s Master of Accountancy program, which is expected to be offered starting this fall semester, will fill students’ professional accounting educational needs by teaching them the conceptual, technical, analytical and communication skills required for working as tax and accounting professionals. “This is a red-letter day for DSU,” Dr. Kyle Wells, dean of DSU’s College of Business & Communication, said. “It is more than just the addition of another degree, it opens the door to the opportunity for students to start and finish at DSU. This is the first step toward a future that will provide the education and talent pool this area desperately needs.” Adding to the excitement of the momentous occasion, President Williams read a declaration made by Gov. Gary Herbert proclaiming Jan. 26, 2018, as Dixie State University Day in Utah. The declaration recognized the educational and engagement opportunities the new program offers not only Dixie State University and Washington County, but the entire state. Additionally, the new Kevin Barrett Accounting Lab, established in memory of the DSU accounting professor who taught at the institution from 2002 to 2017, was unveiled in the Ernö and Etel Udvar-Hazy School of Business immediately following the meeting. Another degree approved by the Trustees on Friday, a Bachelor of Music in performance, will provide students with the formal training and credentials necessary to prepare them for careers in the music industry. The program, which will start offering classes this fall, will require students to work through a set of core music courses including theory, ear training and musicology training. Students will perform in public recitals and music ensembles of varied sizes and purposes including a unique requirement to participate in an electro-acoustic, early music or new music ensemble. “There has been strong student demand for a Bachelor of Music, and we are excited to see the continued growth of our music program,” Dr. Jeffery Jarvis, dean of DSU’s College of the Arts, said. “This degree represents the maturing of our program.” Across campus, the new Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering will expand the capabilities of students interested in mathematics and science by providing unique hands-on education beginning this fall. The degree will prepare students to pursue advanced degrees or careers in engineering, science or computer science disciplines. The program will offer students the option to choose an area of emphasis to provide depth in topics that interest them, such as design and manufacturing, mechatronics, thermofluid sciences and solid mechanics. “This is a historic time for Dixie State University, and the impact of the mechanical engineering program will be felt long term on campus, in the community and regionally,” Dr. Eric Pedersen, dean of DSU’s College of Science & Technology, said. “The new program looks forward to working with companies to meet their needs for mechanical engineering talent.” Additionally, the board approved two certificate programs. A Certificate of Proficiency in Social Research Methods, an 18-credit program that will be offered starting in the fall of 2019, will teach students how to create, implement, analyze and present social research, preparing them to be successful in graduate programs and a competitive job market. The other program, a Certificate of Completion in Retail Management, will be offered starting this fall to meet the needs of professionals and small business owners in the growing retail market. It will require students to complete 30 credits of coursework. All new academic programs must receive approval from the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities, which is expected to occur by this spring, before they can be fully implemented. 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. Just last calendar year alone, the university added a record seven new distinctive baccalaureate majors as part of its strategic goal to offer 42 baccalaureate and three master’s degrees by 2020, a number the university is on track to meet well in advance of this date. In alignment with this goal, the institution is working toward building master’s programs in software development and genetic counseling. To learn more about Dixie State University, visit dixie.edu.