As a stepping stone along with the transition of becoming a university, UVU will be offering their first graduate program starting fall of 2008: a master’s program in education.

The program was approved by the Utah State Board of Regents last March and had a high demand of interest among students and school districts according to UVU spokesperson Chris Taylor.

“We had 110 students indicate an interest in the program initially, which gives an indication of the demand for this program,” Taylor said. “Currently, 25 students have been admitted into the program. They will start the program this fall and will go down in history as the very first graduate students of Utah Valley University.”

The program will consist of two emphases: instructional models and processes and English as a second language. School of Education Dean Briant Farnsworth said that students will be able to choose their emphasis, and he expects the program to be successful due to faculty, strong teachers, and understanding methods.

“We really expect the program to grow very rapidly, and it will enhance opportunities to bring new skills in education,” Farnsworth said.

Farnsworth also stressed that the Education program will help graduate students to have better opportunities to find employment due to their enhanced curriculum.
UVU is also planning to add two other programs in the near future.

“From the beginning, UVU has targeted the areas of education, nursing and business administration as the most ripe for graduate programs,” Taylor said. “The regional need and demand in all three areas is very high. Education turned out to be the most ripe at this point in time. A master’s degree in nursing is currently planned for fall 2009, and business administration is planned for fall 2010, pending Board of Regents approval.”

Taylor said that the school of education has a corp of faculty that have already taught at the graduate level, and this was a leading factor to have a master’s in education prior to nursing and business programs.

Ramendra Thakur, an assistant professor of marketing in the business school, said that an MBA requires more preparation than other programs.

“The requirements of MBA programs are different from the requirements of masterís programs in other disciplines. A school that has an MBA program should have more faculty who are doing serious research,” Thakur said.

According to Taylor, the master’s program in education will enhance and a0dd more credibility to undergraduate programs at UVU.

“This program demonstrates the institution’s immediate readiness to operate at a university level, and as such, the program adds instant credibility to the entire institution at every level. Speaking specifically of education, it adds credibility as well,” Taylor said. “This program will bring with it a deeper and richer level of training for students — that will be attractive to students at both the undergraduate and graduate education levels.”

The application deadline for the education program is June 30. “Students can still apply and be admitted. The school of education is comfortable with the current number that has been admitted, but more could be admitted.” Taylor said.