The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) announced Thursday (June 8) it will offer two new degree programs, pending approval by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, in the Fall of 2023.
The UAPB board approved a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. These in-demand programs will expand the university’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education pathways.
“The introduction of the Bachelor of Science in Engineering and the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity programs at UAPB represents a significant advancement in our commitment to equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in today’s rapidly evolving job market,” said Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander. “With our exceptional faculty and fortified industry partnerships, we are confident these programs will provide students with a solid foundation for the future.”
The Bachelor of Science in Engineering program marks a significant milestone for UAPB, as it becomes the second engineering program offered by the university. The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering program, housed within the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, began in the Fall of 2020, and equips students to address the agriculture industry’s need for improved production methods through a market-driven approach.
The long-standing Industrial Technology Management and Applied Engineering (ITMAE) program, housed within the School of Arts & Sciences, has already demonstrated UAPB’s unyielding commitment to cultivating expertise in the engineering field. Whereas the ITMAE program emphasizes continuous system improvement and practical application, the Bachelor of Engineering program will consist of two tracks — Construction Project Management and Industrial Manufacturing.
The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program is the first of its kind offered to undergraduate students in Arkansas at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). The program will offer a comprehensive curriculum that includes core courses in computer science, science, criminal justice, and mathematics; prepare students to conduct research; and train students to prevent and detect cyber attacks across various systems. Graduates of the program will be ready to enter the workforce or pursue advanced degrees in cybersecurity, computer science, law, and related fields.
“These new programs complement and strengthen our existing STEM programs such as Industrial Technology Management and Applied Engineering and will enable students and faculty to work across disciplines and learn from each other,” said Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Andrea Stewart. “The Engineering program is one of the most in-demand degree programs amongst our current and prospective students, and the Cybersecurity program has the support of the Consortium for Cyber Innovation. These programs will develop a well-rounded student, combining classroom education with hands-on training along with participation in cooperation education and internship opportunities.”
“The Cybersecurity program is uniquely designed to address the consistently evolving cyberthreat landscape, and we are proud to offer this historic program as the first among HBCUs in Arkansas,” said Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Dr. Grant Wangila. “Current job market reports indicate a high employment demand coupled with a significant shortage of cybersecurity professionals, and our program looks to bridge this gap by producing expertly skilled graduates to meet industry needs.”
“African Americans and other minorities are consistently underrepresented in STEM fields,” said ITMAE Department Chairperson Dr. Charles R. Colen, Jr. “The new Bachelor of Science in Engineering program will help contribute to the diversity of new ideas in engineering and hone our students’ leadership and problem-solving skills for entering the workforce.”