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UNT New College at Frisco to offer new degree plan next fall

UNT New College at Frisco to offer new degree plan next fall

UNT New College at Frisco to offer new degree plan next fall
September 29
11:50 2018

UNT’s New College at Frisco will offer a new cohort-based degree plan next fall, along with other advancements and programs.

The plan, introduced by UNT President Neal Smatresk, allows students to have an integrated learning experience in collaboration with professional partners. It will be implemented in the fall of 2019 for incoming freshmen.

“The goal is for students to see clear, work-ready skills connected to a name of a concentration and a degree,” said Wesley Randall, Dean of the New College at Frisco. “Then to see industrial partners who are also recognizable and to lead them to get a credible degree that will help them get a job.”

The degree plan will be co-curricular and integrate learning across the core curriculum and specialty programs. Business partners and organizations in the Frisco area will collaborate with students on various projects. This degree plan will emphasize hands-on job experience while students complete their degree.

“We are just focusing deeply on the idea of partnership-based education and applied education where students learn by doing,” Randall said.

The degree plan can be completed by students in three years. If everything goes as planned, Randall said he wants it to be utilized on the main campus for students who prefer to learn this way.

Hope Garcia, the Director of Student Services in Frisco, said she is also looking forward to what this new degree plan will bring for students and professionals. She said that it is an easy way for students to get immediate job experience when they otherwise might wait until their junior or senior year to get an internship.

“It is very heavily integrated to where it’s not a burden on the student to have to go out and externally find a way to relate their major to the real world and their career,” Garcia said. “But it will be built into the program. It’s going to be something very interesting for freshmen to be a part of.”

Along with offering newer degrees equipped for today’s job market, the Frisco College is focused on being tech forward. Inspire Park, Frisco’s new building, will open Oct. 1 and will offer opportunities in esports, robotics and other STEM programs.

“We all collectively believe in a new kind of education,” Garcia said.

Another prospective area of advancement in Frisco is the journalism department. Nine classes are currently being offered, and journalism professor Emily Vernon expects to see more soon. But for now, she said she’s just enjoying the smaller class sizes.

“I feel like students get more individualized attention which doesn’t always necessarily happen at the Denton campus,” said Vernon.

Broadcast journalism graduate student Reagan Elam also appreciates the smaller, more intimate class sizes. Elam said it’s an opportunity to connect with professors on a different level without it being too intimidating.

Elam said she is also drawn to the Frisco campus because it better suits her lifestyle and brings a different feel than Denton does.

“Being a graduate student, it’s more of a business environment,” Elam said. “It’s by [the Dallas Cowboys headquarters], and there’s corporate buildings around so it doesn’t necessarily feel like a campus per se.”

For the founding freshman class next fall, Smatresk said he wants each student to receive a $5,000 scholarship each year. It will be funded by donors and Randall believes it is an attainable goal.

“I think it’s perfectly reasonable that Dr. Smatresk would be able to walk out and to contact some of these firms and foundations and give them the opportunity to donate,” Randall said.

In his 2018 State of the University address, Smatresk dubbed this scholarship idea “Funding Founding Eagles.”

“It’s a neat place to be,” Garcia said. “People will remember that they were the first ones to be a part of this.”

Featured Image: UNT has been approved to build a new campus in Frisco. It will be located at the intersection of Preston Road and Panther Creek Parkway. Isabel Anes

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Jasmine Robinson

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