NMU to offer its first-ever doctorate degree

MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University is planning to offer a number of new degrees in the fall, including its first ever doctoral program.

All offerings are still pending official review by the Higher Learning Commission, Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan and the NMU Board of Trustees.

Dale Kapla, assistant provost for undergraduate programming and faculty affairs, said new programming at the university is almost always sparked by faculty who see a need for it.

“Any new curriculum, whether it’s at the undergraduate or graduate level, the idea to get one going really comes from the faculty,” Kapla said. “The faculty are the ones who know the trends. If there’s a demand for a certain field, a certain type of program, they’ll go ahead and put a curriculum together.”

The program then moves through the university’s approval system, Kapla said.

Northern’s first doctoral program will be a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, run through the university’s School of Nursing.

School of Nursing Associate Professor and Coordinator of Graduate Programs Melissa Romero said work began on writing the program in 2010 and she was excited to see all that hard work finally come to fruition.

“We’re really excited about it,” Romero said.

Courses for the DNP will be delivered on a part-time basis, meeting online as well as on campus one day per week.

Clinical internship hours will be included and may be completed in the student’s local community with an approved preceptor.

Romero said Northern’s program is somewhat unique in that it offers instruction on the care of patients at any age, rather than focusing on one specific patient population.

“They’d be a family nurse practitioner. They could provide care for individuals across the life-span, children and adults and the elderly,” Romero said. “They also can work as administrators in a hospital. They can start their own business working as a nurse practitioner, many of them actually end up working in faculty as educators.”

The deadline to apply for the program is April 15. For more information, visit www.nmu.edu/nursing.

“It puts a feather in our cap,” Romero said of the program. “We’re the first doctoral program in the U.P. in nursing.”

Other new degree offerings include:

– Master of Science in Clinical Molecular Genetics

This program will feature a mixture of online coursework and on-campus laboratory experience. Students can choose from two tracks: the project-based track for working professionals or the research and thesis-based track in preparation for positions in the industry. For more information, visit www.nmu.edu/cls.

– Master of Higher Education in Student Affairs

This program was created for those seeking employment or ongoing professional development in college and university student affairs. Courses are offered online with internships available at partner institutions. For more information visit www.nmu.edu/education.

– Master of Science in Post-Secondary Biology Education

This degree will enable graduates to seek a position to teach biology in the college setting, particularly in community colleges. The two-year program includes a summer session. It’s offered jointly by the Biology Department and the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service. For more information, visit www.nmu.edu/biology.

– Master’s in Public Administration

This all-online program was designed for both professionals and students interested in entering the field, offering concentrations in criminal justice administration, human resource administration, state and local government and public management. For more information, visit www.nmu.edu/mpa.

– Bachelor’s in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense

This undergraduate program will combine courses in business, information systems and cyber security. For more information, visit www.nmu.edu/business.

– Bachelor’s and certificate in Paralegal

This degree will offer courses in legal research, writing and analysis. Courses will also include those focused on business, contract, family, probate and real estate law. The program includes an internship to prepare students for a career in the court system. For more information, visit www.nmu.edu/polisci.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.