EPC discusses alternate bachelor degree courses

Colin Morris

New programs proposed to answer industry demands

The Educational Policies Council heard proposals for new programs in horticulture and public health at its Monday meeting.


Two new horticulture programs are collaborations with nearby schools. The schools would send students to Kent State after they have completed a certain number of hours toward their degrees in horticulture.

The collaborations are called articulation agreements. One would allow students from Eastern Gateway Community College in Steubenville to transfer their core coursework to Kent State and complete an associate degree in horticulture.

The other is a bachelor’s degree that could be completed in two years at Kent State by students who have completed Cuyahoga Community College’s two-year associate degree.

Stanley Jones, academic director of the horticulture program at Kent State Salem Campus, said at the meeting that the expansion of existing horticulture curriculum is supported by market demand for workers.

“The green industry is screaming for help,” he said afterward. “We’ve doubled our numbers because of the associate degree program, and we’re creating more avenues for students to attend class.”

Jones explained those “avenues” as an alternating course schedule that allows students working toward bachelor’s degrees to attend classes Tuesdays and Thursdays and those pursuing associate degrees on alternating days so they can stay active in the field.

“More jobs are being created in horticulture and the green industry that require bachelor’s degrees,” Jones said. “And jobs that used to only require associate degrees are becoming more competitive and requiring bachelor’s degrees.”

Public Health

Students may soon have the option of completing an 18-hour certificate of public health online without declaring a related major.

Sonia Alemagno, professor of health policy and management, read the program proposal, which anticipates accommodating 50 students in its first semester.

“We already have 25 students in the intro course (Intro to Public Health),” she said. “We’re already anticipating 125 (Bachelor of Science in Public Health) majors in the fall semester, but we don’t know about other majors.”

Those other majors are the reason Alemagno thinks the program will be a hit.

“This concentration makes you more marketable to work in a public health setting,” she said. “Say you’re a journalism major. You could be better for writing about health care.

“Or maybe you’re a bio major,” she said. “But that’s very general. With (a public health certificate), you could work in a lab that’s working on biopreparedness, for example.”

Contact faculty affairs reporter Colin Morris at [email protected].