New degrees and programs to make their debut this semester

By Sarah Blanchette

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 Beginning this fall semester, OU will be offering new majors and degree programs for students. These additions include a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, a bachelor of arts degree in graphic design, and a doctoral degree and master’s of science in psychology.

Each program has been added to OU’s degree offerings in response to the demand for each profession in the world as well as the demand generated by students.

Criminal Justice

Dr. Albert J. Meehan, a professor of Sociology and  the Department Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, is especially looking forward to the criminal justice program’s first semester, which has been “in the works” for the past two years.

“The major is the criminal justice concentration on steroids,” Meehan said.

Unlike other criminal justice programs, OU’s program will focus on research and policy analysis.

“Our students are going to focus on some of the traditional (specialization) areas that criminal justice majors at other universities before it, such as the focus on law enforcement, courts, corrections and juvenile justice,” Meehan said. “We also added two other areas (which include) homeland security and, in partnership with the School of Business Administration, Information Security and Assurance.”

Currently, there are around 60 students enrolled for the programs.

“Our major has actually worked to both provide a new opportunity for students here who were starting the (criminal justice) concentration and can now can do a major, (as well as) retaining students who would have left Oakland to go elsewhere,” Meehan said.

Select courses for the criminal justice major will be offered at the Anton/Frankel Center in Mount Clemens.

In addition to being excited for classes to get underway, Meehan is also eager to see more undergrad students select Oakland University as their choice to receive a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

One aspect that students majoring in criminal justice will benefit from is having an advisor delegated to assist students in finding appropriate internships that will benefit their degree and education.

“It’s one thing to say ‘get an internship.’ It’s another to actually provide the support and supervision that we are doing,” Meehan said.

Graphic design
Due to the growing popularity of the graphic design industry, the Department of Art and Art History has decided introduce the option of receiving and bachelor of arts in graphic design.
In the past, graphic design was only offered as a minor to students.
With the recent popularity growth in the realm of practicing psychologists and research psychologists, the Department of Psychology has decided to answer demand and offer a Master of Science degree and a doctoral degree in psychology.
Doctor Todd K. Shackelford, a professor and the Department Chair of the Department of Psychology, has been in charge of steering the department in the direction of adding to their graduate programs.
“We have four fully funded Ph.D. students and 12 M.S students,” Shackelford said, “we (received) applications from all over the United States.”
The process of selecting the students who requested to participate in the programs was challenging.
“OU stands to benefit because the quality of the students coming into the Ph.D. and the M.S programs (is) very high,” Shackelford said.
The Department of Psychology received 150 applications for both the Ph.D. program and the M.S. program and is expecting to receive double that amount for the 2013-2014 school year.
“This is a very mentor-based program,” Shackelford said, “many (students) are coming to Oakland to work with specific faculty members.”
In terms of spreading the word about the new psychology Ph.D. and M.S programs, faculty rely on their connections in the psychology world to alert students of the development.
With students enrolling at OU for the new programs, more people, both nationally and internationally, are learning about the university and the programs it offers.
Contact Staff Reporter Sarah Blanchette via email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @S_Blanche_