5 new degrees, including 4 online, approved by IU trustees

The Indiana University Board of Trustees approved five new undergraduate degrees at its February meeting, including four that are collaborative online offerings:

A row of red Indiana University diplomasView print quality image
The collaborative online degrees offer flexibility for students to gain proficiency in the skills they'll need for careers in those fields. Photo by James Brosher, Indiana University
  • Bachelor of Science in digital media and storytelling.
  • Bachelor of Science in Spanish.
  • Bachelor of Science in German.
  • Bachelor of Science in French.
  • Bachelor of Science in environmental geoscience.

The degrees in digital media and storytelling, Spanish, German, and French are all online and are collaborative between multiple IU campuses.

Digital media and storytelling will be offered by IU East, IUPUI, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest and IU Southeast. The online format provides flexibility for students to obtain career-ready skills such as writing, editing, storytelling and project management. The skills graduates learn could help them land jobs in fields such as advertising, creative development, marketing, public relations and journalism.

IU East, IUPUI, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend and IU Southeast will offer Spanish virtually, which is intended to develop language proficiency, cultural fluency and professional competence. It will incorporate courses in applied health; business; communications; Latino studies; and tourism, event and sport management to prepare students for jobs in a range of fields where Spanish is a preferred requirement. That could include jobs in sales management; in social and human services; as a paralegal; or as a child, family and school social worker, for example.

The German degree, to be offered by IU East, IU South Bend and IU Southeast, is intended to build language proficiency and cultural fluency and aid students in professional areas where the language is advantageous, such as business, medicine and education. A goal of offering the online degree is to expand graduates' marketability. Courses in German for science and technical communication, as well as German for genealogical research and cultural tourism, are incorporated to help prepare students for a variety of possible working environments.

IU East, IU Northwest, IU South Bend and IU Southeast will offer French. The virtual format offers flexibility for students who want to become proficient in the language and fluent in the culture. Students can choose from one of three applied tracks to pursue: French for medical communication, French for business and French for cultural tourism. The degree is intended to open more job opportunities for graduates in fields such as business, medicine, education, the arts and social sciences.

IU Bloomington will offer the Bachelor of Science in environmental geoscience. The environmental sector of the geosciences is considered a rapidly growing industry. Students who want to pursue careers in the environmental geosciences need to be proficient with computational tools, such as geographic information system (GIS) applications, and general geoscience knowledge. The degree leverages existing courses in earth and atmospheric sciences and requires a field experience. Graduates could pursue environmental services careers that involve site assessment; environmental mitigation and remediation; and analysis of water, energy and mineral resources, for example.

The degrees approved by IU's trustees still await final approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.