Graceland is staying current, adding a doctoral program and a variety of majors and minors to help students find success in the 21st century
By Melissa Shephard
Graceland has made exciting additions to its list of programs in the last few years. Keeping pace with the latest medical demands, Graceland added a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree last fall. Pushing to remain current in other fields, Graceland also added high-demand undergraduate programs in Web Design and Environmental Studies.
In other fields, Graceland is strengthening recent programs in Agricultural Business, Film, Theatre and Performance Studies and Human Services. With dedicated faculty utilizing campus and community resources, Graceland continues to create a greater Forever.
Web Design (major/minor)
Graceland’s newest undergraduate program is catered to a high-demand field. Web Design is a cutting edge major that follows the most recent trends in technology. Graceland’s Web Design major promises to produce well-rounded developers, giving students a solid background in both graphic design and technology. Students will also develop their communication skills. With these focus areas of study, students will graduate with a number of marketable qualities and the ability to collaborate with other professionals. Assistant Professor of Art Zane Vrendenburg partnered with Assistant Professor of Information Technology Kevin Brunner and Professor of Computer Science Jim Jones to develop this exciting new program, offered both as a major and minor.
Environmental Studies (minor)
Created for the 2010-2011, school year, students use this minor to examine the environment through a number of perspectives. Students can study sustainability and environmental values from biological, business, cultural, historical, psychological and religious viewpoints. Environmental student Julia Dale ’12 says that the interdisciplinary traits of the minor help her with her current internship with the Graceland Sustainability Office. As sustainability efforts increase, this is proving to be a relevant and growing field. Associate Professor of Biology, Jennifer Poulton notes that the minor is universal, giving graduates an advantage in any field from biology to business to education. She also notes that the minor is fulfilling, empowering students to make a difference in society.
Agricultural Business (major/minor)
Students in Graceland’s new Agricultural Business Major are some of the most active students on campus. Started August 2010, the Agricultural Business program has given students the challenge of academic rigor, the access to agricultural professionals, and the opportunity to participate in Ag Club, where they can work with organizations like FFA and PAS to experience vital leadership opportunities. Justin Akers, Director of the Sandage Center for the Study of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, and Max Pitt, Coordinator of the Agricultural Business program, developed the major/minor to emphasize critical thinking and ethical leadership. The goal is to provide students with the tools to address agricultural issues and global problems. Students receive a strong background in related disciplines like accounting, business, economics, management, marketing, and finance. Preparing students for professional agricultural careers and advanced degrees, the Agricultural Business program continues to grow on the Lamoni campus.
Film, Theatre and Performance Studies (major—theatre minor available)
This contemporary major draws from the theatre talents of Assistant Professor of Theatre Tracy Salter and the film knowledge Assistant Professor of English Brian White to create an interdisciplinary approach to acting. This major creates marketable students who have explored a variety of methods to performance. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Gary Heisserer says the renovation and construction of the ShawCenter will greatly enhance the major, doubling the number of productions the students will put on annually. The building also promises to allow the university to draw in more events from world-class performers. Gary hopes that these performers will be able to assist in the classroom, giving Film, Theatre and Performance Studies students rare and valuable learning opportunities.
Human Services (major/minor)
Assistant Professor of Human Services Nancy Wallace says Graceland’s Human Services program prepares students to work in a rewarding and life-changing field. This interdisciplinary major draws from the disciplines of Psychology and Sociology to give students a well-rounded understanding of human behavior in the social environment. Human Services courses teach students how to bring about change in their communities while students learn how to provide direct service to families and individuals. Students also enjoy a variety of internships, working with battered or abused women and children, providing in-home counseling for families and supplying treatment for persons struggling with substance abuse. In the major’s short history, Wallace’s students have already spent time lobbying for domestic violence legislation in Des Moines and meeting with district congresspersons to learn about social action.
Sport Management (major/minor)
This popular major is offered by Graceland’s C.H. Sandage School of Business. The curriculum is rooted in the solid business fundamentals of economics, marketing, and management and is supplemented by coursework in legal and ethical issues in sports, psychology of sports and communications. Students are also given the opportunity to focus their studies in either sport administration or sport marketing with additional classes in these areas. The program has enjoyed phenomenal early success since its Fall 2010 launch, being endorsed by the late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis and visited by the Kansas City Explorers owner Jeff Launius. Graceland students have secured prestigious internships with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Texas Rangers, the Iowa Cubs, and more. Incorporating the specializations of many different faculty members, including Rob Poulton and Aly Aly, this well-rounded major is preparing its graduates for successful careers in the growing $300 billion sports industry.