As we begin a new year and another academic semester, I am very happy to share with you news and updates from the Woods College. We have continued to build on our strategic transformation of the College to expand and elevate our graduate programs, increase the academic rigor and brand of our undergraduate programs, and extend our mission to meet the needs of the growing population of non-traditional students.
We continue to move forward with our comprehensive strategic online education initiative, introducing online and hybrid courses, and planning several fully online graduate and undergraduate Applied Professional Certificate programs. We have initiated several research projects related to the effectiveness of these efforts. We also recently released a new video online, close-captioned in English and Spanish, which highlights successes of some recent BA program alumni and emphasizes the mission of the Woods College.
On Friday, January 13, we wrapped up our weeklong US-Latin American Sisters Exchange Program. Some 36 religious sisters who serve poor immigrant communities composed of Latin Americans living in USA mission dioceses spent a week on the BC campus, learning about operational leadership and organizational development in a program spearheaded by Liz Hiles, program director of our MS in Leadership and Administration program. The sisters also attended a BC Men’s Basketball game against North Carolina State, where they joined the team on the court during the national anthem and enjoyed time with University President William P. Leahy, S.J.(Photos courtesy Catholic Exchange.)
Our graduate programs continue to flourish. Among recent highlights:
Our MS in Cybersecurity Policy and Governance program will partner this Spring with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for the first Boston Conference on Cyber Security. More than 50 students are enrolled in the MS in Cybersecurity Policy and Governance program, which just celebrated its first anniversary. We expect enrollment to increase to nearly 75 in 2017.
The MS in Applied Economics program, now starting its second year with more than 30 students, continues to grow. It is expected to double in size in the next 12 months. Philip Palanza, a student in the program and an associate vice president at State Street Corporation, co-authored “Discovering Phi,” a State Street Center for Applied Research report on how investor motivations affect long-term returns. It was profiled in the New York Times. Read more from BC News.
Students in the inaugural cohort of the Master of Healthcare Administration program, Boston College’s first fully online master’s, applaud the competency-based program, which launched in August 2016. Twenty-one students were enrolled as of January in the MHA program, which is expected to double in size within the next six months.
Nearly 150 students are currently enrolled in the MS in Leadership and Administration program (including students in the former Administrative Studies program), the largest graduate degree program at Woods. In October, the program collaborated with the Carroll School of Management (CSOM) to present a colloquium on Ignatian-based Ethical Leadership. Executive career coach Foster Mobley, Catholic Health Initiatives chair and author Chris Lowney, Joan Lee of Fairfield University, and Sarah Cabral of CSOM were featured speakers.
We are also preparing for another robust, two-semester Boston College Summer Session (May 16–June 23 and June 26–August 4). In addition, the Boston College Experience (BCE) has expanded its program for high school students to include two- and three-week non-credit courses as well as the six-week Boston College Honors program courses offered for college credit.
New BCE programs this summer will include STEM-focused courses such as Natural Disasters and Catastrophes and Exploring Forensic Science with Connell School of Nursing Professor Ann Wolbert Burgess, an internationally known expert on forensics and a recognized pioneer in the assessment and treatment of victims of trauma and abuse. We will also offer a career and leadership program, English Language Institute for international students, and courses in creative writing, psychology, communications, and media. In addition, we will reprise our collaboration with the New England Center for Investigative Journalism with a two-week long investigative journalism course focused on social justice issues.
We are finalizing the schedule for the Summer Session, which will encompass 150 courses from across the University, including the first Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences and CSOM online offerings. This summer, too, we will launch BC’s first domestic study courses (offered entirely off campus) in cities such as New York City, Detroit, and Chicago.
As you can see, 2017 has been a remarkable year already. We very much look forward to the semester and summer ahead.
Rev. James P. Burns, IVD
Dean, Woods College of Advancing Studies