FROM STAFF REPORTS
Bethune-Cookman University President Dr. Edison O. Jackson unveiled the goals of the institution during his State of the University address on Monday. His speech focused on new programs, new degree offerings and a renewed focus on students.
In a push to connect all services to students across the campus, Bethune-Cookman University has created a Division of Academic Integration that connects service learning and civic engagement, career services, study abroad and academics.
The Division of Academic Integration is comprised of several units, including Academic and Career Development, led by Assistant Vice President Chelsea Shell; the Student Career Center headed by Director Davita Bonner; and the Interdisciplinary International Institute led by Director Cheryl Grimes-Long.
“Our goal is to equip students with the skills, tools and competencies to become self-directed learners and decision-makers who are able to successfully matriculate through a four-year curriculum,” Jackson said.
Noted Vice President for Academic Integration Dr. Michelle Thompson, “We want all students exposed to every opportunity available at Bethune-Cookman. Under the leadership of our president, Dr. Edison O. Jackson, we have a chance to build a greater university by putting the puzzle pieces together to provide students with the big picture.”
Jackson also unveiled the new College of Undergraduate Studies, headed by Dr. Alexis Brooks-Walters, which is comprised of the Freshman College, Honors College and the Student Success Center.
By 2016, the university will have 10 new graduate degree programs, Jackson said. The degrees are: master’s in counseling psychology, criminal justice, public health, education, educational leadership and policy development, divinity, athletic training, nursing, business administration, fine arts, and a doctorate in physical therapy.
More academic schools
In addition, B-CU will create three new academic schools over the next academic year. Those are the College of Entrepreneurship and Business Services; the School of Performing Arts and Communication; and the School of Religion.
Jackson repeatedly reminded the audience on Monday that “this is the year of creating success, one student at a time.
“We are committed to ensuring that students have the necessary knowledge, skills, tools and competencies to graduate from their chosen field of study with an undergraduate or graduate level degree within five years; have the necessary knowledge, skills, tools and competencies to obtain jobs in careers that lead to gainful employment within five years of graduation; have a commitment to living lives committed to B-CU Core Values and Civic Engagement; and have a deep appreciation and love for their alma mater that is evidenced by increased alumni engagement.”
Jackson challenged the staff and faculty to model the excellence that they want to see in students. “We have an exciting year ahead of us as we launch outstanding programs and initiatives,” he said. “Now, we have to unite to give our students the best experience possible as they enter to learn and depart to serve.”