Two colleges in the state plan to begin new degree programs this fall. Taylor University will launch a major in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics. Franklin College will offer two new master's degrees in athletic training and physician assistant studies. March 5, 2014

News Release

UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor University will launch a new major – Political Science, Philosophy and Economics – at the start of the Fall 2014 Semester.

The program (PPE) will be jointly offered by Taylor’s departments of Political Science, Business, and BSCEP (Biblical Studies, Christian Education and Philosophy). Students will take three required courses in each department and can select electives from over 30 courses. According to Dr. Nicholas Kerton-Johnson, associate professor of Political Science, students can balance their major across the programs or specialize in a particular field that is tailored to their individual interests and gifts, especially during their junior and senior years as they prepare for graduate school programs.

“As globalization pulls cultures, practices and people together it is vital that Taylor graduates have the ability to engage globally, and be equipped to grapple with complex processes and interactions. PPE is explicitly designed to achieve this goal,” said Kerton-Johnson. “This is a very successful major, taught at Oxford and Yale, and now Taylor. The disciplines fit together excellently and the faculty who will be teaching in this new major are all highly regarded by students and their peers.”

Kerton-Johnson said PPE graduates can choose from a wide variety of careers in the business, politics, law and non-profit sectors.

“The PPE major presents the opportunity for students to be accustomed with the core of these three disciplines, equipping them with a wide grasp of approaches to knowledge and critical thinking, significant political and economic structures and processes, and to be globally engaged and trained in discussing leading contemporary issues,” said Kerton-Johnson.

Source: Taylor University

March 5, 2014

News Release

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Franklin College will expand its curriculum with the launch of two master's degree programs, in athletic training and physician assistant studies. The programs will create additional career opportunities for Franklin graduates entering the health care industry. With their combination of scientific knowledge and liberal arts training, Franklin graduates will be well prepared to fill critical employment gaps in the region's burgeoning health care industry, explained David Brailow, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college.

“Preparing students for the health professions always has been a strength at Franklin College. With the addition of master's degree programs, we will be able to serve students and the health care providers in our region in an entirely new way,” he said.

The master's program in athletic training will enroll its first cohort of approximately 10 graduate students in the summer of 2016. Students enrolling as undergraduates at Franklin after 2013 may apply to the graduate program in their junior year. Students with bachelor's degrees from other institutions are also welcome to apply to the graduate program starting in the fall of 2015 for admission to the 2016 cohort. Franklin College students accepted into the program will have the advantage of completing a master's degree in one year since several requirements will be integrated into their senior year of undergraduate studies.

The master's program in physician assistant studies is made possible by a nearly $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, as part of its Initiative to Promote Opportunities Through Educational Collaborations.

“This grant will strengthen Franklin College's academic programs and enable us to contribute meaningfully to our whole region,” said President Jay Moseley. “We deeply appreciate the Endowment's generosity and commitment to higher education in Indiana.”

The master's program in physician assistant studies must receive national accreditation prior to implementation. The accreditation process may take up to three years, according to Brailow.

Both master's degree programs support a strategic plan that is based on findings from interviews Franklin College conducted with employers in the health care industry. Leaders in the industry indicated a critical need for employees with strong skills in communication, critical thinking, teamwork and problem-solving, the pillars of a liberal arts education. Furthermore, regional job growth in the health care industry is projected to outpace the supply of qualified professionals. The demand for mid-level primary care providers, such as physician assistants, is high and should increase in the coming years.

Along with the master's in physician assistant studies program, Franklin College’s Professional Development Program for Health Professions will introduce new co-curricular opportunities and internship placements. Annual town meetings for employers and internship providers will ensure that Franklin's academic programs align with the changing demands of the health care industry. Further, the master's degree programs will enable Franklin College to collaborate extensively with key partners while helping Hoosiers live healthier, more active, longer lives.

In a letter supporting the college's plans, Larry Heydon, president/CEO of Johnson Memorial Health, stated, “Taken together, these programs hold great promise for helping to strengthen the opportunities for employment in the health care industry in Johnson County and the surrounding area.”

The master's degree programs build on the college’s strong track record in science and pre-professional health programs. One out of every five of graduates in recent years has majored in science or a pre-professional health program. Since 1981, approximately 83 percent of graduates who applied to medical school were accepted, more than 1.5 times the national average.

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential four-year undergraduate liberal arts institution with a scenic, wooded campus located 20 minutes south of downtown Indianapolis. The college prepares men and women for challenging careers and fulfilling lives through the liberal arts, offering its approximately 1,000 students 36 majors, 39 minors and 11 pre-professional programs. In 1842, the college began admitting women, becoming the first coeducational institution in Indiana and the seventh in the nation. Franklin College maintains a voluntary association with the American Baptist Churches USA. For more information, visit

Source: Franklin College

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