Bonaventure, Siena Launch New Programs in Health Sciences, Cybersecurity

Maria Hayes Around the Province

A combined total of 1,514 new students arrived on the campuses of St. Bonaventure University and Siena College last month to begin their education in the Franciscan tradition. In the spirit of “making all things new,” both Province-sponsored schools are offering new programs to entice students.

St. Bonaventure University
The class of 2022 is one of the largest in a decade at St. Bonaventure , which welcomed 550 freshmen and 60 transfer students. This is a 44 percent from 2015, when only 390 students were admitted. To accommodate the surge in admission, the university has been forced to implement new living arrangements, including three- and four-person rooms.

Several initiatives are credited with the surge in enrollment – several new majors among them. Earlier this year, St. Bonaventure University unveiled the Western New York Cybersecurity Research Center, a collaboration between the university, National ICT Japan, Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity and New Zealand Cybersecurity Center. The center will engage in cybersecurity research using various state-of-the-art technologies and has been an added draw for students enrolled in SBU’s cybersecurity program, launched two years ago.

SBU will also launch a new online Master of Science degree program in cybersecurity beginning in spring 2019.  It will offer six start dates per year and will have no GRE/GMT requirements, making the program more accessible to working professionals.

The university also recently a generous financial gift to fund the expansion of its newly created School of Health Professions. Alumnus John (Duffy) Sheehan and his wife, Sharon, committed $1 million toward the growth of undergraduate and graduate programming in the health arena. In addition to existing bachelor’s degree programs in public health and health science, the School of Health Professions will add 12 clinical and non-clinical degree programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels over the next five years. Disciplines will include nursing, healthcare security, occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant studies.

“Initiatives like new majors in health science and cybersecurity, the School of Health Professions that we’re building, our veterans recruitment program, the addition of men’s lacrosse – all of these things and many more have revitalized our presence in Western New York and the Northeast,” said university president Dr. Dennis DePerro. “This didn’t happen by accident. This was a collective and collaborative effort across all divisions of the university, from academics and athletics to enrollment, marketing, ministries and student affairs.”

Siena College
In Loudonville, N.Y., Siena College welcomed 764 freshmen and 140 transfer students to campus at the end of August. Among the new offerings on campus is a joint program in health studies offered by Siena and Albany Law School that allows students to earn two degrees in four years – a bachelor of arts in health studies from Siena, and a master of legal studies in health law and health care compliance from Albany Law.

Health studies at Siena features three tracks: health administration, health sciences and health policy. Any of the tracks can be selected for the BA/MSLS program. Students will be required to study at least one of the three areas in depth and will receive an overview of the healthcare system and critical public health issues.

“Graduates will be qualified to work in the public or private sector,” said Duane Matcha, professor of sociology and health studies director. “With their strong background in legal and compliance issues, they’ll be an excellent fit for the management of health care facilities and organizations, as well as jobs with local, state and federal government agencies.”

Also new this fall is a communications program featuring four tracks – journalism, political communications, sports communications, and marketing communications and digital marketing. Siena expects to enroll 26 new students in the major for fall 2019, with a goal of 140 students within five years.

“Our communications program joins a growing list of new and innovative offerings built around student demand and professional opportunity,” said president F. Edward Coughlin, OFM. “I look forward to the profound and lasting contributions these programs will have on the college.”

Other academic programs approved by New York State in the past year include an MBA with four separate tracks of study, a B.S. in software development, a B.S. in applied physics, a B.S. in data science, and an advanced certificate in data and analytics.

Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.

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