Athens State Receives Approval to Offer Two New Degree Programs

Dateline: June 12, 2020

Athens State University has been approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) to offer two new bachelor’s degree programs and two new “badge” programs, all within the University’s College of Business.

Beginning fall 2020, Athens State will admit students seeking bachelor’s degrees in Advanced Manufacturing Management and Occupational Health and Safety Management, programs that aim to satisfy the growing need for professionals with industry-specific skills to lead Alabama’s diverse and ever-changing workforce.

The Bachelor of Science in Advanced Manufacturing Management program was developed to provide a clear pathway for graduates of the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) program or other AAS programs to pursue bachelor’s degrees and advance their careers to the management level. This program is specifically designed to attract those students with advanced manufacturing technology exposure who desire managerial advancement opportunities in manufacturing operations. It is also designed to provide the growing Tennessee Valley manufacturing sector with local talent skilled in both advanced manufacturing technology and strategic manufacturing leadership.

The Bachelor of Science in Occupational Health and Safety Management program was designed in response to local and regional demand for manufacturing management professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities related to occupational health and safety management. Students will learn how to identify and mitigate safety matters and potentially hazardous conditions while protecting property, productivity, people, and the environment, with a management-centric focus that prepares students for various leadership roles.

Athens State also received approval to offer two “badge” programs – the Forensic Accounting Badge and the Tax Accounting Badge – designed for students seeking short-term, micro-credentials to boost knowledge and employability within a competitive job market. Micro-credentials are digital certifications that verify, validate, and attest an individual’s competence in a specific skill or set of skills and provide a pathway to personalizing and recognizing professional learning.

With financial fraud on the rise, there is an increased need for professionals with a solid understanding of forensic accounting. Earning the Forensic Accounting Badge demonstrates a solid comprehension of forensic accounting concepts including fraud, accounting crimes, careers, ethics in accounting, litigation, interrogation, evidence, and related topics. Students earn the badge credential upon completion of Forensic Accounting I and II.

The Federal Tax Accounting Badge is geared to help finance and accounting professionals navigate the complex world of federal taxation. Earning this badge demonstrates knowledge of federal tax laws and regulations applicable to individuals, sole proprietors, corporations, and partnerships, along with the practical application of the federal income tax laws by preparing various tax return forms. Students earn this badge credential upon completion of Federal Tax Accounting I and II.

The new badge programs, which can be completed entirely online, were implemented during the summer 2020 semester with provisional approval by ACHE to meet the changing needs of both students and employers as the COVID-19 pandemic created rapid fluctuations in the job market.

Athens State also moved up the launch date for two new certificate programs – Early Childhood Teacher Assistant and Health Care Administration – to provide additional options for those seeking short-term programs to assist in finding a job, getting a promotion, or earning more money. Certificate programs include a series of courses providing an in-depth study of a specific subject area or topic, allowing learners to gain the most up-to-date skills and information needed to excel in a chosen career field or transition to a new one.

“We are laser-focused on providing educational opportunities that allow our students to directly enter the workforce in good-paying jobs that business and industry have told us are needed,” said Dr. Philip Way, Athens State University President. “We have listened and responded, and we are grateful for the support of ACHE and our business partners in North Alabama.”

To learn more about Athens State University’s program offerings, please visit the Athens State website.

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