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New Programs, New Opportunities

Horizons Spring 2023 Home

Academics - Spring 2023

June 19, 2023 | Georgia Seagraves

Graceland’s academic divisions add new majors and programs to give students the OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE their passions and pursue their dreams in highly sought-after career fields, accelerated graduate degrees, and a new hybrid doctoral program in physical therapy.

New Undergraduate Programs

Beginning in the fall of 2023, three exciting new majors will be offered. Digital Content Creation is a unique interdisciplinary program combining communication, creative arts, and writing to provide students with a well-rounded education in the content creation field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment in media and communications jobs to grow 6 percent over the next decade, and the salaries are increasing rapidly as companies prioritize social media, video production, and content creation. This unique program will feature hands-on learning opportunities, internships, and a capstone course to give students the skills and experience they need to succeed in their careers.

Graceland’s Marketing major is the newest offering from the C.H. Sandage School of Business (SSOB) and caters to students interested in careers in strategic marketing, sales, and other similar occupations. Marketing is an in-demand degree, and this program builds on the popular programs that already exist in the SSOB, leveraging the talents of the new faculty members like Assistant Professor of Business Ioseb Gabelala, DBA, who brings knowledge of international business marketing to the department. Graduates will be well-prepared to enter the workforce and make an impact.

The SSOB also added a new Finance major for those interested in careers that require financial analysis, risk assessment, and strategic planning to contribute to the economic success of businesses and other organizations. The program is built on coursework in finance, economics, mathematics, and accounting that will provide students with strong quantitative, critical, and analytical thinking skills. Students will graduate the program equipped with career-focused, field-specific finance content that features experiential and simulation-based learning grounded in a professional code of ethics. These new majors were developed by faculty with an eye toward relevance and growth, and they are made even more valuable with the Transformational Leadership major.

A second major that all students receive as part of their undergraduate education, Transformational Leadership combines general education, leadership, and strategic skills courses. This bonus major provides Graceland students with a well-rounded education that is rooted in the liberal arts and readies them for the next step in their lives, regardless of their chosen career path. The National Association of Colleges and Employers published eight Career Readiness Competencies, and Graceland’s Transformational Leadership major explicitly develops all eight, setting up its students for success in the workplace and lifelong career management.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Graceland is launching a new Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, the latest graduate program for the 128-year-old institution.

In January 2022, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) formally approved the University’s second doctoral program, which will be delivered as a hybrid, accelerated program, providing students with a modern and collaborative learning environment. (Graceland’s School of Nursing provides a Doctor of Nursing Practice program online.)

“Approval from HLC is an exciting step,” said Graceland President Patricia H. Draves. “The team has been working hard to get our program to this point, and we are thrilled to launch this program.”

Students will experience an innovative, two-year curriculum and will graduate as movement system experts that can provide transformational care in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, homes, schools, sports and fitness facilities, workplaces, and nursing homes. The hybrid instruction format is provided through distance education and face-to-face onsite lab immersion sessions that allow students to live anywhere in the country. The program’s mission focuses on providing a learning community that reinforces justice, compassion, excellence, and a sense of belonging while adding to the diversity of the institution and profession of Physical Therapy.

“We have worked hard to build a program that is innovative, accessible, and will attempt to contribute to improving the diversity of the profession. We feel this focus aligns tremendously well with Graceland’s initiatives. I am so proud of the team we have put together so far, and I am looking forward to the future and how this program can positively contribute to the University!”

Leigh Murray, PT, PhD
Director, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program


New 3+2 Program Makes a Perfect Pairing

This spring, Graceland also launched a new Allied Health to Master of Science Nutrition and Human Performance (MSNHP) 3+2 program that allows students to earn their Bachelor of Science in Allied Health and Master of Science in Nutrition and Human Performance in five years.

Read the full story here.

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