North Central Self Study
Chapter 5: Criterion Three
The institution is accomplishing its education and other purposes.
The 2002 Mission Statement (http://www.unk.edu/acad) states that the intent of the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) is to graduate students "who know the accomplishments of civilizations and disciplined thought and are prepared for productive careers, further education, and responsible citizenship." The University "requires its baccalaureates to complete an area of specialization and an extensive general studies curriculum that emphasizes the liberal arts." It places the "highest priority on programs of instruction and learning that educate students to be lifelong, independent learners." To accomplish its mission, the University emphasizes excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. Accordingly, it fosters an atmosphere that promotes each student's personal and intellectual qualities essential to responsible life in society, such as: integrity, respect for others, initiative, diligence, quantitative skills, and capacities for clear thinking, speaking, and writing.
The mission statements of each College stress the importance of excellence in scholarly teaching as well as endeavoring to focus on individual student development in order to meet the stated intent of the UNK Mission Statement. Furthermore, the mission statements and program objectives for each department or program also reflect the commitment to promoting the students' general educational background as well as more focused specializations through majors and minors offered within the individual programs.
Undergraduate Degree Coherence, Rigor, and Definition
The University offers six undergraduate degrees (with a seventh to be added in the next catalog) that are clearly defined by purpose, that are coherent in structure and course offerings, and that are intellectually rigorous. The faculty has established a number of general requirements students must meet to graduate (http://aaunk.unk.edu/catalogs/02-04cat/acinsreq.htm). Students are required to complete a minimum of 125 semester hours toward the completion of a Bachelor's degree. As a part of the goal of building a broad general education to enhance a student's understanding of civilizations and disciplined thought, UNK requires a minimum of 45 semester hours of General Studies courses. As part of the total coursework, each student is required to complete a minimum of 12 hours specifically designated as Writing Intensive in order to further their critical thinking and written communication abilities. In order to enhance their understanding of different cultures, students are also required to complete a minimum of six hours of coursework designated as Culturally Diverse.
A minimum of 32 hours of coursework must be completed within a selected major. Students may elect to complete a major and minor, two majors, or a comprehensive major. Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours designated as Junior (300 level) or Senior (400) level courses (See http://aaunk.unk.edu/catalogs/02-04cat/acregcou.htm).
Undergraduate Baccalaureate Degrees
Bachelor of Arts Degree: In addition to the general studies program and requirements for the respective major and minor, students seeking this degree must complete a foreign language requirement at the intermediate or upper levels of college coursework (See http://aaunk.unk.edu/catalogs/02-04cat/acdegba.htm)
Bachelor of Science Degree: In addition to the general studies program and requirements for the respective major and minor, students seeking this degree may complete a series of science related requirements. (See http://aaunk.unk.edu/catalogs/02-04cat/acdegbs.htm)
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree: The BFA is a professional degree intended for those pursuing courses of study in art, music or musical theatre with the intent of earning the Master of Fine Arts Degree. The BFA in Music will soon be replaced by the recently- approved Bachelor of Music Program which will be included in the next Undergraduate Catalog. (See http://aaunk.unk.edu/catalogs/02-04cat/acdegbfa.htm)
Bachelor of General Studies Degree: This degree is based upon completing coursework in the traditional humanities, arts, and sciences. The student may select one of two options of study. No more than six hours from the General Studies program may be applied toward the degree. (See http://aaunk.unk.edu/catalogs/02-04cat/acdegbgs.htm)
Bachelor of Arts in Education and Bachelor of Science in Education Degrees: Students seeking to earn certification as teachers in the state of Nebraska must complete one of these degree options. In addition to the general studies program, the student must complete coursework for one or two subject area teaching endorsements and a professional education sequence. (See http://aaunk.unk.edu/catalogs/02-04cat/acdeged.htm)
A listing of all current Bachelor degree programs is available at http://aaunk.unk.edu/catalogs/current/bachprog.htm. More detailed descriptions of the degree completion requirements and coursework for the majors may be obtained by using the links at this web site to refer to individual programs and departments. A listing of new offerings such as the Bachelor of Music degree is available at http://aaunk.unk.edu/catalogs/future/. The programs listed in this catalog represent the latest changes to be implemented in the next academic year.
Graduate Program Focus
The Mission Statement of the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) states that the institution serves the needs of Nebraska by offering both baccalaureate and graduate degree programs. Within the parameters established by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, UNK is accomplishing the stated mission of the University to offer graduate programs by offering five Master's Degrees and the Education Specialist Degree. As a comprehensive university, UNK is classified as a Carnegie Masters I (Comprehensive) University institution. Graduate programs are offered in selected areas for students who wish to advance their knowledge and increase their effectiveness in the arts and sciences, education and business. (See http://www.unk.edu/acad/gradstudies/gradcatalog/degreesoffered.html)
Graduate Degree Coherence, Rigor, and Definition
The Office of Graduate Studies is staffed by a Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, a Graduate Admissions Director, a Director of Sponsored Programs, and support staff. The Graduate Studies program at UNK is a member of the University of Nebraska Graduate College, which is a system-wide governing body. The UNK Graduate Program has a Graduate Council that establishes campus policy consistent with University-wide policy and provides oversight of the programs. Each department has a Graduate Program Committee that is responsible for implementing policy, developing programs, as well as oversight of the graduate students in the respective areas.
Each candidate is required to apply for and be admitted into the Graduate College and then the respective program of study. The following general guidelines must be adhered to as part of the degree completion process:
- Program of Study: A Degree Audit serves as the official program of study and is sent to each student who is conditionally or unconditionally admitted to a graduate degree program.
- Transfer Credit: Graduate credits earned at another accredited college or university are limited to a maximum of nine hours. Both the appropriate graduate committee and the Office of Graduate Studies and Research must approve this credit before it may be applied to a Master's Degree Program.
- Graduate-Only Level Course Requirement: Courses selected for a student's Program of Study must include 50% or more credit hours restricted to graduate students only (800- and 900-level courses), unless the Graduate Council permits the student to reduce this amount. 800-level courses designated with the letter "P" do not apply to this requirement.
- Special Topic Courses: Special Topic courses include seminars, workshops and classes that cover topics not generally available in the regular curriculum. Generally, no more than 6 hours of special topic-like course credits may be used in fulfilling the requirements for a Master's or Specialist's degree.
- Time To Degree Limitation: Students are normally allowed ten years to complete a degree program.
- Changes to the Approved Program of Study: Any substitution of courses or other change in an approved Program of Study must be recommended in writing by the student's advisor.
- Students are expected to maintain a record of excellence in regard to successful completion of courses. Students must maintain a cumulative "B" (3.00) average in order to graduate.
- Each department specifies additional requirements regarding admission and degree completion.
- Scholarship: Graduate level candidates are expected to engage in scholarly inquiry either through completion of course requirements or the completion of a thesis, field study, or some other creative activity. Specific guidelines for the completion of theses, field studies, and creative endeavors are specified in the Graduate Catalog (http://www.unk.edu/acad/gradstudies/research/fss.html).
Master of Arts Degree: English with an emphasis in Literature or Creative Writing; History
Master of Arts in Education Degree: Art; French; German; Spanish; Music; School Principalship K-6; School Principalship 7-12; Supervisor of Academic Area and Supervisor of Special Education; Exercise Science, General Physical Education; Master Teacher in Physical Education; Curriculum and Instruction; K-12 Reading Specialization; Special Education
Master of Science Degree: Biology
Master of Science in Education Degree: Science Teaching; Speech/Language Pathology; Community Counseling; School Counseling-Elementary; School Counseling-Secondary; School Counseling-Student Affairs; Instructional Technology;
Master of Business Administration: Accounting; Human Resources; Information Systems; Tailored (individualized) option
Education Specialist Degree: Counseling; School Psychology; School Superintendent
Next: Chapter 5> Sections> National and State Accreditations of UNK Departments and Programs
Previous: Chapter 4: Criterion Two