The Bachelor of Art in Art degree is being cut from Missouri Western State University’s degree program and will no longer be offered starting this fall.
Gov. Nixon requested a program review of all public institutions of higher educations two and four-year degree programs. The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) was responsible for conducting the review. The review took place from Sep. 2010 to Jan. 2011
The MDHE, through a process of program review, decided what programs should be eliminated. The Western academic affairs department did a degree audit for degree programs that had less than 10 students graduating on average per year over three years. Programs that fell into the above listed criteria were evaluated. The academic affairs department then sent their findings and suggestions to MDHE and they will have the final decision on what actions should be taken. Western had 19 programs up for review and was able to save all, but one.
The Bachelor of Art in Art degree was terminated. Dr. Allison Sauls the Chairperson of the Art department said, “We had about three graduates in the last five years. The Bachelor of Arts was targeted for our low graduation rate,” Sauls said. “The Bachelor of Arts degree does not affect any other program in the department.”
Students who are currently enrolled in the program will be able to finish their degree. Jeanne Daffron, provost and vice president for academic affairs said, “Any student that is in the program now will definitely be able to finish the program.” Sauls also wanted to make sure that students understood this point. “We haven’t really lost the bachelor of arts degree because it can be carried out to graduation. We no longer will be offering it in the future,” Sauls said.
The Art department offers several other degree programs. “We have doubled in size in the last 7 years we are one of the strongest departments on campus and we are excited about the future; we are excited about everything going on in the department.” Sauls also said, “Last semester we had the largest freshman class we have ever had, we had 101 freshman students.”
When program review started it was to save money in higher education “In going in to it, people thought that it would save a lot of money, a reallocation of funds in higher education. That is not really what you get when you delete programs,” Daffron said. “Art is growing in demand so any money saved would be reallocated back into the art department,” Daffron said. “We lost no courses what so ever we lost no faculty,” Sauls said.
Western was not the only institution to cut programs. According to the MDHE report in public institutions of higher education, they reviewed 587 and deleted 119. For the full report from MDHE go to http://www.dhe.mo.gov/documents/ProgramReviewSummaryReport1.pdf. Western has seven programs that are slated for follow-up reviews.