By Janel Shoun on 7/1/2011
Lipscomb University’s engineering college and sustainability institute are introducing four new bachelor’s degrees in fall 2011 in high-demand career areas: conservation and sustainable ecology, environmental management and technology, sustainability, information security and civil engineering.
These programs will not only funnel talented youth into some of the hottest career fields today, but will also provide science- and math-minded students who want to make a positive impact on the world an opportunity to do just that through their future careers.
Beginning in the fall 2011 Lipscomb University students will have the opportunity to study in four new areas never offered at the undergraduate level before.
In the Institute for Sustainable Practice:
In the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering:
Be part of the solution…
The Institute for Sustainable Practice, within the College of Arts and Sciences, is debuting two new undergraduate majors and one revamped major in fall 2011 to replace the previous major in environment science. The changes are designed to meet the changing needs of students headed into a rapidly growing green job market.
According to recent media reports, just six major green initiatives in the state of Tennessee are expected to increase jobs by more than 16,500 in the next few years. In 2010, one in every 67 jobs in the state was a green job, said the June 28 Tennessean article.
“Environmental challenges are growing. As populations increase, climate becomes more erratic and businesses turn to the earth as the model for survival and prosperity,” said Dodd Galbreath, executive director of the institute and assistant professor. “Organizations are looking for professionals who can interpret and respond to challenges proactively and effectively.”
In fact, Lipscomb’s bachelors in sustainability were designed specifically to make sure graduates were not trained to simply be reactive to environmental challenges facing our ecosystem, but to be proactive in coming up with solutions for our society.
On top of that, students indicated they wanted programs to address their particular career interest, Galbreath said. Access to the best job opportunities and trends in the science profession helped define the two new undergraduate majors announced for this fall, he said.
“Sustainability professionals must be scientists at their core, but able to facilitate multiple disciplines and teams to solve
problems while functioning as applied professionals, navigating all sectors of the marketplace,” Galbreath said.
There is an increasing demand for urban and rural natural resource management professionals who have the skills to combine resource management, community quality and public recreation. This major is designed for a natural resource manager or conservation professional who would like to work mostly outdoors for:
- Private land trusts
- Government land conservation or wildlife agencies
- Urban or rural natural areas
- Public park and greenway management
- Private land management companies
- Non-profit resource management
- Preservation organizations.
This degree will combine basic science skills with introductory civil engineering instruction from the College of Engineering. There will always be a need for technical solutions to manage drinking water and clean-up projects, so it is crucial that these environmental professionals can work alongside engineers, with the same math and fundamental technical skills.
This major is designed for environmental systems and technology operators and managers who want to work mostly indoors operating or managing environmental systems like:
- Water/wastewater and drinking water treatment
- Industry or business regulatory compliance
- In laboratories, testing centers or in the field collecting samples or characterizing risks and impacts
- Outdoors in environmental cleanup, remediation and systems management.
In addition, the institute had revamped its original sustainable practice undergraduate major to include more courses from other colleges, allowing the program to draw in social science, business, psychology and communication. This major is designed for a general scientist or practitioner who would like working mostly indoors in business, non-profits, or government agencies as a sustainability expert. A graduate with this degree would serve as the interface between non-practitioners and technical experts, combining ecosystems thinking with business practice, using botany as well as conflict management, earth science as well as communication.
Keep safe in the storm…
After establishing a flourishing engineering missions program that sends multiple teams of students to Guatemala each year to build bridges, material transport systems, water distribution systems and radio towers, the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering
is funneling that experience and enthusiasm into a new civil engineering degree.
Lipscomb’s is the first civil engineering program at any of the Church of Christ affiliated colleges in the nation, said outgoing engineering Dean Fred Gilliam. Several current engineering majors have opted to switch over to a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, meaning the college’s first graduates in civil engineering will come in May 2012.
Nashville is a great town to start a civil engineering program, said Gilliam, because there are a wealth of civil engineering firms for Lipscomb to partner with to hire future graduates. It’s also a very attractive career to tech-savvy students who want a career where they can help people and benefit society, he said.
“If students want an engineering major or any technology based major that will help make the world a better place, civil engineering is the best way to do that,” he said.
Structural civil engineers are the people who keep us safe in earthquakes; water resource engineers provide clean water to areas with contaminated rivers; and transportation engineers keep drivers safe on bridges and roads, Gilliam noted.
|Engineering student Luke Burris does land surveying on a Guatemala mission trip.
The civil engineering program will offer courses in seven areas: transportation, construction, water resources, environmental, geotechnical, materials and structures. Students will be required to take in-depth courses in four of the seven areas.
Civil engineering students will participate in an annual steel bridge competition and will be highly encouraged to participate in one of the many mission trips to Guatemala, where teams have already built a solar-powered cell phone recharging tower, a water distribution system and a mechanical system to carry building materials up a steep hill to build a community center.
The Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering, which also offers electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and computing and information technology degrees, enjoys a 93.6 percent first-time pass rate on the Fundamentals of Engineering licensing exam over the past eight years, with students scoring a 100 percent first-time pass rate in the last three years running.
Securing the public’s privacy…
As the recent computer hackings of Sony and Google (even the Nashville Zoo) have shown consumers, protection of proprietary digital data is among the most important issue facing our society, however, few programs locally are preparing students to become leaders in information security.
“The demand for trained security professionals, who can protect a company from high-profile data losses and secure an organization’s information assets, is huge and growing with entry-level salaries at a very attractive level,” said Don Geddes, chair of Lipscomb’s CIT department. “But the supply coming out of universities is small. Companies are in desperate need of information security experts. It is critical that organizations lock down their information and continually look for new ways to keep it secure to new threats.
“This degree – which focuses on both the managerial and design issues in information security – prepares students for careers in a variety of scenarios from large corporations to the development of their own entrepreneurial information security capability,” he said.
In addition to the traditional undergraduate offering, students may also enroll in a master’s program or a five-year, 156-hour program in which they complete the bachelor’s and master’s degree concurrently.
Lipscomb’s CIT department, housed in the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering, offers undergraduate degrees in computer science, information technology applications, web application development and information security and a graduate degree in information security. These programs are designed to prepare students for careers in a variety of commercial computing environments.