CoT approved to offer three department-level master's degrees
Michael Kane works with graduate student Nick Iannotti.
Three academic departments in the College of Technology are now authorized to offer master of science degrees at the department level.
At a recent meeting, the Indiana Commission on Higher Education (ICHE) approved the College of Technology proposals to offer master’s degrees in computer graphics technology (CGT), computer and information technology (CIT), and industrial technology (IT).
Previously, these areas were only specializations within the college-wide master of science in technology degree program.
“Graduate enrollment in these areas is high enough now to support a stand-alone program,” says Gary Bertoline, associate dean for graduate education. “There are strong numbers in funding, in graduate faculty, and in courses offered.”
Students who pursue graduate degrees in these departments will have the option to choose the departmental degree or the specialization within the college-wide degree. Likewise, current graduate students in these departments will be able to switch to the new degree program if they wish.
Department heads and graduate education coordinators are excited by ICHE’s vote of confidence.
“The difference is ownership,” said Kathryne Newton, head of the Department of Industrial Technology. “ICHE has acknowledged that our department is capable, with its skill sets and resources, of offering a stand-alone master of science degree.”
The departments will now be able to approve their own areas of specialization for their degrees. For industrial technology, for example, graduate students can study Quality, Supply Chain, Biometrics, or Engineering/Technology Teacher Education, among other areas.
For the other two departments, the change has also allowed for additional creativity.
“It has provided our department greater autonomy in the ability to collaborate more effectively in interdisciplinary graduate education,” said Michael Kane, associate professor of computer and information technology and chair of the department graduate committee. “For example, CIT is working with CGT to create more interdisciplinary master’s level courses.”
Kane said the change may also provide the ability to procure discipline-specific scholarship funding.
The college has offered a master’s degree program since 1995 and a PhD program since 2002. From the start, Bertoline says, the college-wide degree programs were planned for maximum flexibility. That flexibility allowed each department’s offerings to grow and mature.