Saginaw Valley State University launches two new degree programs

SAGINAW, MI – Saginaw Valley State University added two new degree programs in STEM-related fields.

The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control recently approved the addition of a Bachelor of Arts degree program in environmental studies and sustainability and a new Bachelor of Science degree program in Computer Engineering. Students may begin enrolling in both programs for the fall, 2022 semester.

The environmental studies and sustainability program is an interdisciplinary major that covers a broad range of knowledge and skills. Students in the program will take courses in the departments of biology, chemistry, communications, economics, history, mathematics, philosophy, political science, rhetorical and professional writing and sociology. No new courses are needed to support this major, according to SVSU.

“We’re excited to offer this new degree program because it will satisfy employer demand and student interest,” said Marty Arford, professor geography and chair of the new department.

Arford explained that the environmental studies and sustainability program provides a pathway to environmental careers for students who are oriented toward the social sciences more than the physical sciences.

“This program links social sciences and natural sciences, which is the very nature of geography,” he said.

Many students in the new program and the existing environmental science major will have opportunities through the Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute at SVSU. Both programs will collaborate on research projects and share resources, especially those involving water quality in the Saginaw Bay.

Meanwhile, the new computer engineering program curriculum will be supported by the Chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics physics, and philosophy departments. Nearly all of the courses required for a major in computer engineering are already offered at SVSU through the electrical engineering and computer science departments. One new course ― a modification of a course previously offered in the electrical engineering program ― is being added to SVSU’s course offering, according to the university.

“The computer engineering field continues to be stable, and qualified employees are consistently in high demand,” said Rajani Muraleedharan, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Muraleedharan added that employers in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region supported the creation of a computer engineering major.

“Our electrical and computer engineering advisory board unanimously supported the program initiative and provided valuable feedback on its design,” she said.

The advisory board includes professionals from a number of regional companies, including Consumers Energy, General Motors, Halla Mechatronics, Hemlock Semiconductor, Magna International, Means Industries, Nexteer Automotive, Savant Group and Wineman Technology Inc.

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