The Tseng College of Extended Learning will debut six new master’s degree programs in Fall 2007 and Fall 2008.
The programs are aimed to allow current professionals to work in their fields while upgrading their skills and education.
The new programs are Taxation, Humanities, Library and Information Management, Social Work, Pubic Policy, and Knowledge Management. Students will complete most of the programs in small groups over a period of about 18 months. Classes will be offered on campus at CSUN, off site at a location convenient to students and on the Web through the Distance Learning program.
“We see it as another way to offer the same kind of services the university offers, but in a different way,” said Dr. Tyler Blake, executive director of Distance Learning at CSUN.
The programs were developed from an assessment of the specific needs of colleges, departments, students and the availability of programs at other CSU campuses, said Joyce Feucht-Haviar, dean of the Tseng College of Extended Learning.
The Knowledge Management program will respond to students’ desire for more options, Blake said, admitting it might be difficult for students to return to complete a graduate degree.
“The university has to adapt,” he said. “Students have needs, and the university, I think, does a good job of that.”
The program is offered in partnership with the Oviatt Library and collaborates with the Colleges of Business and Economics and the Department of Communication Studies. It examines the way information is created, organized, shared and identified within organizations.
The Public Policy program currently being designed, Dr. Henrik P. Minassians, director of Public Sector programs at the Tseng College said. CSUN faculty members will teach 12 courses, and the program will be available on the Web in Fall 2008.
The Taxation program, set to kick off this fall, will join CSUN faculty members with leading attorneys and accountants, said Dr. Rafi Efrat, director of the master’s program in Taxation. This will provide an environment focused on practical experience combined with the application of theory, he said.
Some faculty said new programs are vital to professions given the variety of skills demanded by employers.
“We are in a highly competitive world where talented people are in demand,” Feucht-Haviar said.
She said the field of speech language pathology requires an advanced degree for licensing purposes. The field of public administration, which did not require an advanced degree before, now demands well-rounded personnel who are able to adapt to different settings and challenges.
Other faculty members agree that employers are now requiring more of professionals.
“Practitioners in the field need more skills as well as an advanced degree,” Efrat said, also an associate professor of accounting and information systems.
“You need, as a student, to become a lot more diverse in your thinking to solve real-world issues,” Minassians said, stressing the importance of utilizing critical thinking skills.