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Spring 2008

Innovative and accelerated programs attract motivated students

The University of Detroit Mercy has developed a number of specially designed programs to help students target their career goals and finish their degree programs more efficiently.

Through the College of Engineering & Science, three fast-track programs offer motivated students the opportunity to earn bachelor’s and advanced degrees at an accelerated pace. In 2006, the College, in collaboration with the College of Health  Professions, began a five-year B.S./M.S. track for the Physician Assistant program in addition to the long-standing seven-year B.S./D.D.S. dental program and five-year B.S./M.S. engineering and science programs. These accelerated options are intense, but they can reduce a traditional approach to earning two separate degrees by up to two years.

In recent years, the College of Health Professions has been looking at ways to address the national shortage of nurses. Since nurses are needed in the health care industry as soon as possible, the College has developed an accelerated nursing program to help alleviate this need. The accelerated nursing track enables nurses who either do not have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or have an undergraduate degree in another field to earn a BSN within 12 months versus the traditional four years. Students live and breath their nursing curriculum, but they are in the workforce much more quickly.

The School of Architecture has combined coursework from other UDM colleges so that students can specialize their architecture career goals. Through a collaboration with the College of Health Professions, students now have the opportunity to focus on health care design. The health care industry has expressed an emerging need for skilled architects who can design hospitals and other health facilities. This academic concentration allows Architecture students to understand current health care issues and their impact on the design of health care facilities.

The Colleges of Business Administration, Engineering & Science, Liberal Arts & Education and the School of Architecture recently collaborated to offer students an opportunity to work toward a certificate (and eventually a minor) in Entrepreneurship. The goal is to instill in students an entrepreneurial mind set and competencies aimed at making a difference in the workplace and in society. A cornerstone of the program is the IDEAS (interdisciplinary design, entrepreneurship and service) studio-based design course in which a team of junior-year students from architecture, business administration, digital media, psychology and engineering work on projects that address critical needs of the Detroit community.