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UVCC SEEKS BOARD OK TO OFFER 2-YEAR DEGREE IN COMMUNICATIONS

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If approved by the State Board of Regents, Utah Valley Community College will soon be offering a two-year degree in communications.

Last week the Institutional Council approved a program that would offer students an associate of applied science degree, an associate of science degree and an associate of arts degree in communications. School officials will now pass the proposed program on to the Board of Regents and hope it will approve the program at its next meeting.Elaine Englehardt, acting dean of general studies, said a communications program is needed at UVCC and school officials believe now is the best time to get one started. She said that the communication departments at most of Utah's major colleges are full and students are being turned away. UVCC's program would provide a place for those wanting to get started in a communications field sooner.

"We've wanted a program like this for some time but it never really seemed like the right time," Englehardt said. "But now this is the communications age."

Currently the school offers an introductory journalism class and a few communications classes but does not offer a major in communications. Englehardt said that in the past students interested in communications have had to transfer to another school. But she hopes with the new program students will come to UVCC with the intent of leaving with a degree in communications.

"Instead of transfer credit, students will be job-ready when they complete this degree," Englehardt said.

Englehardt said several local companies have expressed a need for qualified people in a variety of communications areas. She said the proposed program would teach students specific skills according to demand and that students would be ready for entry-level positions after completing the degree.

New courses would be offered in desk-top publishing, public relations, telecommunications, photography and several other related subjects. Students who complete the degree would acquire basic skills in journalism, telecommunications, computer interfacing, radio and television production, public relations, advertising, desk-top publishing and several other communication fields.

Englehardt said UVCC would begin offering the program to students this winter if it is approved. At first the school would incorporate its current communications classes into the program and would then add new classes as student enrollment increases. One additional full-time faculty member and several adjunct faculty would be hired. The school's current staff would also help teach some of the new courses.