New programs approved at University of Wyoming

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The board of trustees at the University of Wyoming has voted unanimously in approval of several new educational programs.

The Laramie Boomerang reports voting, which took place during the board’s November meeting, granted approval for a new computer science education certificate, a master’s in “environment and natural resources in society,” and go-ahead for a neuroscience and early childhood education bachelor’s degrees.

Planned to become available spring semester 2020, the on-campus as well as online computer certificate program, will be collaboratively offered by UW’s College of Engineering and College of Education. It provides opportunity for Wyoming educators to be endorsed for the teaching of computer sciences to their own students, a move UW associate vice provost for undergraduate education, Anne Alexander described as especially relevant now that the Wyoming Legislature has mandated such teaching in K-12 schools.

According to a report from the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs, $7,000 dollars was requested, and approved, in order to implement online teaching of the courses, which includes hiring of an “instructional designer.”

In addition to the computer science courses, unanimous trustee approval was extended to new proposals aimed at creating bachelor’s degree programs in early childhood development and neuroscience as well as a proposal for a master’s degree in “environment and natural resources in society.”

“This would allow us to have an interdisciplinary program that would serve new students but also a number of adult and non-traditional students who are serving in areas like child development centers, head-starts, or private child care,” Ann Alexander said. “It also bridges the gap between those individuals who are working in early childhood and early-elementary first, second, and third grade.”

The next step is a feasibility study determining details such as curriculum structure, student enrollment, and a program’s potential associated career prospects. Once those considerations are complete, final proposals are presented to trustees along with full budget proposals.

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