ST. GEORGE – Dixie State College of Utah received Utah State Board of Regents approval to offer a new four-year bachelor’s degree program in computer science at the USBR meeting held Wednesday in Salt Lake City.
The addition of the new baccalaureate degree continues the College’s progression toward fulfilling its mission to offer core, foundational and high demand educational opportunities consistent with four-year colleges, and to meet the demands of business and industry, including those in Utah’s public education institutions. Class work for the new computer science degree is currently underway.
The new degree program will prepare graduates for careers in computer programming, software engineering and related fields with emergent computer science needs. It will also provide graduates the preparation they will need in continuing their studies in graduate programs in computer science and related fields. In addition, Dixie’s new computer science degree program will benefit students in DSC’s service area by making their degree more attractive to employers, which could contribute to industry growth in Dixie’s service area by encouraging high tech companies to locate in the area, bringing tax revenue and high-paying jobs to the local economy.
“We pursued this computer science degree program in response to comments we received from a number of economic development advisors,” says Dr. Donna Dillingham-Evans, DSC Vice President of Academic Services. “This degree is a positive indicator for potential employers and corporations looking to relocate to Washington County.”
DSC’s computer science degree will complement the existing computer & information technology (CIT) degree program, which was one of the first two baccalaureate programs offered at Dixie State.
“We are extremely pleased to offer this new [computer science] program,” Dr Dillingham-Evans added. “This program will not only complement our already successful CIT program, but will also provide our students with industry-standard recognition.”
In 2000, Dixie State College was granted license to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in high demand areas, which initially included business administration and computer & information technology.
Several other degrees have since followed, including elementary education (2002), nursing (2004), English (2006), biology (2006), biology education (2006), biology with integrated studies education (2006), dental hygiene (2007), accounting (2007), aviation management (2007), communication (2007), integrated studies (2008), music (2009), psychology (2010), clinical laboratory science (2010), theatre (2010), music education (2010), mathematics (2011), mathematics education (2011), criminal justice (2011) and physical science composite teaching (2011).
In addition, DSC was given the go-ahead by the Regents to offer a secondary education teaching (SET) licensure program in four emphases; biology, English education, integrated science and theatre education, along with additional emphases in accounting, finance, management information system, and visual technology in Dixie’s business administration program.
In 2005, the Board of Regents approved a change in mission for Dixie State College, allowing the college to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in “core” or “foundational” areas consistent with four-year colleges. Dixie State College also continues to function as a comprehensive community college as well, offering associate degree and certificate programs to its students.
The overall strategic goal for Dixie State College is to offer core and high demand educational opportunities at both the associate and baccalaureate levels that are consistent with and responsive to the needs of the community. Future programs for Dixie State College will likely center in three primary strategic clusters, which include business & technology, health care and education.