/New Majors at Oswego

New Majors at Oswego

Integrative Professional Studies and Higher Education Leadership

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

SUNY Oswego students have two new majors this year, integrative professional studies and the higher education leadership master’s program.

Integrative professional studies “is focused on the adult learner or transfer student looking to use as many credits as possible from previous coursework they completed,” said Karen Archibee, academic planning coordinator at Oswego.

The degree can help students finish a program in a reasonable amount of time, typically students who have many earned credits, but they don’t add up to a particular degree—or their credits don’t apply to the degree path they now want.

The major emphasizes five industry-related areas that apply to the student’s future work. The focuses include communications–data analytics, project management, social justice–social systems, leadership–self-management and digital skills.

Many of these students want to complete a bachelor’s degree to help them make more money in their current position or to transition into a new industry. Some want to apply to a master’s degree program but must first finish their bachelor’s degree.

Archibee said that some people refer to the integrative professional studies major as a more business-focused general studies major. Various academic departments at Oswego worked with Jill Pippen, dean to extended learning, to develop the program.

“They’ll have a concierge experience with me,” Archibee said. “They’ll work closely with that advisement with me.”

The program had a “soft launch” last spring with 30 enrolled. This year, 45 to 50 are anticipated.

New associate professor Peter Ghazarian leads Oswego’s new higher education leadership master’s program.

“It has a primary focus on prepping new leaders for higher education and the changing landscape we’re seeing in society today,” Ghazarian said. “Higher education now is going through a rough patch. In some places, public sentiment is turning away. We’re dealing with an aging population, so fewer applicants are coming in. We’ll need new leaders to take on these challenges arising in the field.”

The program can prepare people who want to work in higher education in academic affairs, the registrar’s office, business office and the international education office.

Anyone with a bachelor’s degree relating to business or human sciences would likely find their undergraduate degree providing the right prerequisites for the Higher Education Leadership program. Gharzarian anticipates about 13 students to enter the program this fall. A “handful” entered the program’s soft launch in the spring 2023 semester.

“One of the most exciting parts is there is a fellowship program where students will do 20 hours in one of the offices at the university and their tuition is waived for up to nine credit hours per semester,” Gharazarian said. “They also get a stipend and valuable workplace experience.”

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