July 1, 2014
University also creates new College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Grand Canyon University is creating a new College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) to better align its academic offerings with the school's focus on STEM education and job opportunities in those fields.
CSET will include computer science and information technology programs that will launch this fall, engineering programs that are planned for 2015, and existing programs such as biology pre-med, pre-physical therapy, pre-physician assistant, pre-pharmacy, exercise science and forensic science that had been housed in the College of Arts and Sciences.
"We've seen such huge demand from students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and we knew we needed to develop the best possible learning environment for those disciplines," said Dr. Mark Wooden, dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. "Creating this new college really allows us to focus on the needs of those students."
Research from the Washington-based non-profit group Change the Equation found that there are 1.7 STEM jobs for every one unemployed person in Arizona, compared with more than four unemployed people for every one non-STEM job.
"Educating a stronger STEM workforce in Arizona will help fill those needs," Wooden said, "and also help Arizona attract more high-tech companies that count on having that workforce in place."
Wooden previously served as dean of GCU's College of Arts and Sciences, which is being split. Lab-based sciences, technology and engineering will now fall under CSET, while traditional liberal arts programs will become part of the new College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) under the direction of acting dean Dr. Sherman Elliot.
CHSS is applying a similar employment-focused mindset to its programs, which include communications, counseling, English literature, history, justice studies, psychology and sociology.
"Our humanities and social science programs focus on application and critical thinking," Elliot said of the new humanities college. "These programs hold immense value to students who are looking for the opportunity to apply their skills in a wide range of industries."
GCU currently has nearly 50 percent of its traditional students studying in the hard sciences. GCU offers more than 150 bachelors, masters and doctoral programs and emphases.
- Sophia Zaft
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