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Expanding our curricula to meet demands

The University considers student interest, career needs and competitive advantage in providing new options for students

January 9, 2022

The title on this image reflects the third theme of the Mount's current strategic plan
The title on this image reflects the third theme of the Mount's current strategic plan

At Mount Saint Mary’s University, advancing education for the 21st century does not mean a departure from the tried-and-true hallmarks of a liberal arts education that prepares students to be thinkers, communicators, and doers. Rather, the University is creating course structures that enable students to not only become subject experts in their chosen disciplines but to gain broader knowledge both within and outside their majors, including gaining different academic perspectives from within the same class. 

The University considers the global economic landscape, student interest and needs, as well as regional demands when determining which new courses, certificates, and minors and majors to add to our current offerings. The ability to be nimble ensures that the Mount remains academically competitive and draws top students with great potential to become our future generations of leaders.

This fall alone, the Mount launched new majors and programs, including an iMBA (international MBA) in entertainment management; an MFA in producing for film and television; a dual MFA in film/television and MBA in entertainment management and a BA in women and gender studies. And those followed several years of other numerous additions to the curricula. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"We have worked diligently to accurately identify the overlap between student desire, industry need and limited local academic offerings when introducing new certificate programs, minors and degrees. We will continue to respond to the changing academic landscape to support evolving demands." — Michele Starkey, EdD, associate provost


Perhaps most interesting are the new certificate programs, the newest of which include six in film and two in creative writing; other recent ones include global Women in STEM, policy undergraduate research and spiritual direction. In October, a certificate in intermediate Spanish obtained approval. “Rather than just saying they’re fluent, students will have a certificate to show that not only can they speak Spanish but also that they have attained a fluency level in reading, writing and listening comprehension,” says Michelle Starkey, EdD, associate provost. New certificates in GIS (geographic information systems) and bioethics and slated to debut next fall.

Certificates enable current students the ability to hone in on particular areas of interest within their majors or to pursue a subspecialty of sorts even from outside their main academic focus.

Most certificate programs are also open to external students not formally enrolled in a degree program, which broadens the Mount’s visibility and reach in educating our communities. The blend of students in classes offered via certificate programs provides a unique mix of traditional degree-seeking students and those with varied life and professional experiences. The different perspectives a diverse group brings to the class enriches all involved.

By retaining its foundation as a liberal arts institution while meeting the needs of students to remain competitive with the skills required in today’s job market, the Mount is well positioned to continue to educate generations of new leaders for years to come.