4 certificate programs enhance educational offerings at UMSL

Students studying

UMSL students study in a classroom at Express Scripts Hall in a file photo from earlier this year. Students have new learning opportunities through four certificate programs the university added in September. (Photo by August Jennewein).

Adding interdisciplinary learning opportunities and fulfilling career-driven educational needs are what spurred the University of Missouri–St. Louis to create four new academic certificate programs, according to university officials.

In September, Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education approved the Certificate in Actuarial Studies, Evolutionary Studies Certificate, Gender Studies Certificate in Women’s Leadership and Certificate in Business Intelligence.

The College of Business Administration offers the graduate-level business intelligence program. The College of Arts and Sciences provides the evolutionary studies program, and the two colleges jointly offer the actuarial and gender studies programs.

The evolutionary, actuarial and gender certificates are undergraduate, interdisciplinary programs.

“Many issues facing our society are interdisciplinary in nature,” said Ron Yasbin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We have to adjust to this fact in the types of programs that we offer our students. We need to provide educational options that actually prepare our students to deal with these issues.”

The practice of business intelligence encompasses using software to analyze an organization’s raw data. Keith Womer, dean of the College of Business Administration, says UMSL’s new certificate program is geared toward graduate students who want to enhance their marketability by acquiring knowledge and skills in database development and data mining, analysis and modeling.

“Business intelligence is one of the most exciting new fields to be developed in the past 10 years,” Womer said. “It exists at the intersection of information systems and operations research, both strong fields in our college. This certificate will provide just the right skills to supply forward-looking St Louis companies.”

Program overviews:

* The Certificate in Actuarial Studies will provide the education needed to succeed as an entry-level actuary, a professional who uses the tools of economics, finance and mathematics to evaluate and price risk. The program has six required courses – four in mathematics and two in finance.

* The Evolutionary Studies Certificate offers students key links between science, social science and the humanities. The 20-credit-hour program includes a menu of nearly 40 courses from six disciplines – astronomy, biology, anthropology, psychology, English and philosophy.

* The Gender Studies Certificate in Women’s Leadership is an 18-credit-hour program that will help women develop a range of leadership strategies for careers in the public and private sectors.

* The Certificate in Business Intelligence is an 18-credit-hour course of study that will provide a focused, intensive study of the important issues within business and systems relationships. Four required courses will provide a thorough background in business support systems and analytics.

The four new programs join other 2012 additions to the university’s academic lineup, including undergraduate certificate programs in neuroscience and the history and philosophy of science and technology, as well as graduate certificate programs in history education, community college leadership and instructional communication.

Spring enrollment for certificate programs is under way.


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