Two new academic majors will be offered to Catawba College students beginning this fall. The Ketner School of Business adds a new Economics and Finance major, while the Goodman School of Education adds a new Special Education major with a variety of concentrations.
According to College Provost, Dr. Richard W. Stephens, Jr., the new majors are in response to the projected needs in the marketplace. "Both majors were recommended by faculty in those areas who believe that they will make students who choose to pursue them more employable after graduation."
Economics and Finance Major
The Ketner School of Business is creating a new curriculum that will complement the region's strong financial industry. That School's new degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Finance, will require a foundation in accounting and finance that will support a deeper study of banking, finance and capital markets.
"Employment in business and financial operations occupations is projected to grow by 18 percent resulting in 1.2 million new jobs," noted Dr. Jamie Slate, Dean of the Ketner School of Business. He said that growth outlook was from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2008-2018 projections.
Catawba students pursuing the degree in Economics & Finance will complete a Senior Seminar or an Independent Study in Finance and will be encouraged to complete an internship in the industry.
Slate added that the Ketner School of Business currently holds candidate status with the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and seeks to become a full member of that organization in 2013.
Special Education Major
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts "faster than average" growth in Special Education jobs, with the number of Special Education teachers expected to rise 17 percent between 2008 and 2018. A recent article in "The Boston Globe" noted that teaching waivers in Massachusetts, allowing school districts to hire teachers who are not formally licensed for particular subjects or specialties due to difficulty in finding qualified candidates, increased in recent years for positions teaching students with disabilities or other special needs.
The number of students requiring special education services has grown in recent years because of improvements that have allowed learning disabilities to be diagnosed at earlier ages. Special Education teachers work with children and youths who have a variety of disabilities – from those who are intellectually challenged, to those with autism and those with severe cognitive, emotional, or physical disabilities. Most Special Education teachers work with children who have mild to moderate disabilities using and modifying general education curriculum.
Catawba College students who choose to major in Special Education can select one of five concentrations offered: 1) Elementary; 2) Middle & High School Language Arts; 3) Middle & High School Mathematics; 4) Middle & High School Science; and 5) Middle & High School Social Studies.
An application has been made to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to offer a licensure program in Special Education, with approval anticipated by fall 2012. Dr. Lyn Boulter, a professor of psychology at Catawba who will soon teach classes to those students majoring in Special Education, says under the new major, candidates seeking licensure as Special Education teachers will obtain a major in Special Education and pursue a concentration in either elementary or middle/secondary education, successfully complete a semester-long student teaching experience, and complete a professional portfolio. A student majoring in Special Education will have the opportunity to pursue dual licensure (Special Education with an elementary concentration as well as a major in Elementary Education; Special Education with a middle and high school concentration as well as a major in the comparable Middle Grades Specialization or Secondary Subject Area). Dual licensure will require additional coursework and students interested in pursuing dual licensure are encouraged to talk with a member of the Department of Teacher Education for additional information.