Stephen F. Austin State University

News

University strengthens academic offerings

November 9, 2017 - University Marketing Communications
Academic opportunities at SFA continue to increase as a result of new face-to-face and online degree programs that have been developed in response to initiatives in the university's strategic plan, "SFA Envisioned." The plan includes directives for the university to be innovative in the ways in which it engages students in experiences that prepare them for the challenges of living in a global community.

Nurses across the state now have access to an online family nurse practitioner program that began this fall and leads to a Master of Science in Nursing. Students are allowed to utilize preceptors for clinical experiences in their home communities when possible.

"This program offers nurses access to graduate nursing education and provides much-needed primary care to citizens throughout the state," said Dr. Sara Bishop, director of SFA's DeWitt School of Nursing. "We are already one of the best-known schools of nursing in Texas - our graduation rates are excellent, and our students perform remarkably on their state board exams. This program will increase the awareness of our nursing program statewide."

Among the requirements for admission are a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited institution, a current unencumbered Texas registered nurse license, and one year of full-time or equivalent experience practicing as a registered nurse.

Other new degree programs were approved by the SFA Board of Regents in October and will begin in fall 2018, pending approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

New degree programs in the James I. Perkins College of Education include a Bachelor of Science in human services and a Bachelor of Science in food and nutrition. In the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, regents approved a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice, a Bachelor of Arts in intercultural communication and a Master of Arts in publishing.

The board also approved new online programs: Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in both public administration and communication studies as well as a Bachelor of Arts in intercultural communication.

"There are 'three Rs' in higher education: rigor, relevance and relationships," said Dr. Steve Bullard, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We need to offer our students rigorous programs while staying relevant in regard to technology and industry standards. We must continue to develop meaningful and impactful relationships with our students, alumni and industry professionals to better prepare our students for successful careers.

"Part of SFA's Strategic Plan is meeting students where they are, and that involves offering content online and offsite," Bullard said. "Through our recent partnerships with select institutions and our development of additional online programs, we continue to expand SFA's reach and invest in the East Texas community and in opportunities to provide services to students throughout the state and beyond."

For more information about SFA Envisioned, visit sfasu.edu/strategicplan. For information about academic programs, visit sfasu.edu/admissions.