Commission OKs more WMU offerings in Florida

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News

Brick entrance sign reads: WMU Punta Gorda.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University has just been authorized to add seven new degree and certificate programs in a range of disciplines for students studying at its Punta Gorda, Florida, regional location.

Acting at its March 27 meeting, the Florida Department of Education Commission for Independent Education approved a WMU request to make the additional programs available to students at WMU-Punta Gorda, beginning in the fall semesters of 2018 and 2019.

The new programs approved are in such WMU specialty areas as engineering management, supply chain management and music therapy. They will join the Bachelor of Science in aviation flight science, which has been offered at WMU-Punta Gorda since fall 2017. Students throughout Florida and beyond also may enroll in any of the more than 20 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online.

The new programs that have been approved include offerings at the undergraduate, graduate and certificate levels. New programs include the following delivery formats: online, hybrid or face-to-face. Online programs are completed entirely online while hybrid programs offer the majority of coursework online with limited face-to-face meetings each semester, typically one weekend meeting per month. Face-to-face programs follow the traditional weekly in-class meeting structure. Information about the new programs and other current offerings is available at wmich.edu/extended/academics.

"We are committed to supporting the economic, talent and individual needs in the region," says Dr. Dawn Fortin Mattoon, associate provost of WMU Extended University Programs. "I am confident these new program offerings will continue to expand WMU's Punta Gorda footprint and further enhance the attraction for Floridians and beyond to commit to the southwest Florida area."

New WMU-Punta Gorda programs

The new programs approved for launch over the next two fall semesters are:

  • Bachelor of Science in aviation management (fall 2018)—This traditional face-to-face program combines aviation and business, preparing students for positions in airport management, operations management, safety management, aviation insurance, aircraft sales or aviation marketing.
  • Master of Science in engineering management (fall 2018)—This master's degree provides students with the necessary skills to lead people and manage money and projects. It prepares students for additional professional certifications. As an accelerated hybrid program, students will complete most of their coursework online, and face-to-face classes will meet one weekend per month at WMU-Punta Gorda throughout each 15-week semester. The engineering management master's degree at WMU is one of only six programs in the world accredited by the American Society for Engineering Management and will become the only ASEM certified program available in Florida.
  •  Master of Science degree and graduate certificate program in supply chain management (fall 2018)—WMU's Haworth College of Business is offering the master's degree in supply chain management. The advanced degree capitalizes on the expert faculty who have helped the ISM bachelor's degree program become and maintain its status as one of the top-ranked programs in the nation.  The program prepares students to take lead roles in their profession, developing, directing and evolving supply chain systems in global corporations. The hybrid program will combine accelerated online courses with face-to-face class meetings monthly on weekends and can be completed in two years. A condensed 18-credit graduate certificate is also available. 
  • Master of Music degree and certificate program in music therapy (fall 2018)—The music therapy equivalency undergraduate certificate is a full time, face-to-face program offering students who may have undergraduate degrees in something other than music therapy to begin working toward becoming a board-certified music therapist. Students will work closely with their advisor to select only the courses required for board certification and can begin taking graduate level courses during their second year and work to earn their equivalency certificate and master’s degree at the same time. Board-certified music therapists can work in a variety of settings, such as correctional facilities, general and state hospitals, geriatric care programs, medical clinics, physical rehabilitation centers, public and private schools, and special education programs.
  • Master of Arts in organizational change leadership (fall 2019)—The master's degree in organizational change leadership is designed to address one of the most critical and sought-after competencies required in today's organizations—the ability to lead effective change. This program continuously draws on the latest experiences of not only students, but also business leaders from around the world, in order to further enhance students' abilities to be lead change agents and build leadership skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace. The hybrid program will host its first cohort in fall 2019, with class meetings planned for one weekend per month throughout each 15-week semester.

Learn more

Prospective students interested in the newly approved programs can submit an inquiry to receive more information about enrolling at wmich.edu/extended/contact.

More than 20 Online Programs

In addition to the seven new programs offered at WMU-Punta Gorda, WMU offers more than 20 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online. From nursing to gerontology, to art education and information security, WMU-Online offerings can be explored wmich.edu/online/academics.

All WMU-Online programs are currently enrolling students for the summer and fall semesters.

"Combining WMU's high academic standards with innovative instructional technology tools gives us the chance to bring some of our best programs to Florida," says Andrew Holmes, executive director of educational technology for WMU Extended University Programs. "We are pleased and excited our research-focused faculty will have the opportunity to bring their expertise and deliver high-quality education to the area."

WMU Extended University Programs and WMU-Punta Gorda

Western Michigan University Extended University Programs delivers higher education and professional development opportunities beyond its main campus. At regional locations across Michigan and in Florida, EUP is committed to providing support services to enhance the learning process and to assist students in achieving their professional, academic and lifelong goals. Learn more at wmich.edu/extended.

WMU-Punta Gorda opened with the bachelor's degree program in aviation flight science in fall 2017 and is focused on finding opportunities to offer additional programs in health care, business and information technology in the future to serve the needs of Florida's growing population. Learn more at wmich.edu/florida.