The new art degree program, offered as both a bachelor’s of art and a bachelor’s of science, will feature a number a emphases programs students can pursue, including art education; 3D/sculpture/ceramics; graphic design; painting and drawing; and photography and digital imagery. The program is designed to prepare students to seek opportunities in art and design, and will also promote the development of transferable skills that can be applied in other settings, including K-12 education.
“This is a great day at Dixie State College! Our students and faculty have desired this degree for a long time and with this approval, those students wishing to major in art can now do so,” said Dr. Donald Hinton, DSC Dean of Arts and Letters. “I am very grateful to our art faculty for all their work to make this possible. It is nice to add this degree program and emphases to our fine arts degree offerings."
DSC’s art department faculty lauded the addition of the new program, including longtime professors Del Parson and Dennis Martinez, who both have worked hard in anticipation of this particular degree program. Parson noted the art faculty’s frustrations felt by students, who until now have had to transfer from DSC to complete their baccalaureate degrees.
“It has been so hard to see talented young artists study here for two years and want desperately to stay at Dixie, but can't because we have not had a degree,” Parson said. “This really is all about the students - they are the real winners with this approval. Now they can stay and get their art degree at Dixie State. This is very exciting.”
Martinez agreed, adding that courses have been built and offered to students preparing for expansion of discipline-specific areas of art.
“Since the college began offering bachelor's degrees, there has been a great want and need in the visual arts,” Martinez added. “Both new and returning students have made known their desire for this degree comparable to other art degrees in the state of Utah.”
In 2000, Dixie State College was granted license to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in high demand areas, which initially included business administration and computer & information technology.
Several other degrees have since followed, including elementary education (2002), nursing (2004), English (2006), biology (2006), biology education (2006), biology with integrated studies education (2006), dental hygiene (2007), accounting (2007), aviation management (2007), communication (2007), integrated studies (2008), music (2009), psychology (2010), clinical laboratory science (2010), theatre (2010), music education (2010), mathematics (2011), mathematics education (2011), criminal justice (2011), physical science composite teaching (2011), and computer science (2012).
In addition, DSC was given the go-ahead by the Regents to offer a secondary education teaching (SET) licensure program in four emphases; biology, English education, integrated science and theatre education, along with additional emphases in accounting, finance, management information system, and visual technology in Dixie’s business administration program.
In 2005, the Board of Regents approved a change in mission for Dixie State College, allowing the college to begin offering bachelor’s degrees in “core” or “foundational” areas consistent with four-year colleges. Dixie State College also continues to function as a comprehensive community college as well, offering associate degree and certificate programs to its students.
The overall strategic goal for Dixie State College is to offer core and high demand educational opportunities at both the associate and baccalaureate levels that are consistent with and responsive to the needs of the community. Future programs for Dixie State College will likely center in three primary strategic clusters, which include business & technology, health care and education.