The student news site of Saint Anselm College

The Saint Anselm Crier

The student news site of Saint Anselm College

The Saint Anselm Crier

The student news site of Saint Anselm College

The Saint Anselm Crier

College explores new graduate programs as part of ‘Vision 2030’

Saint Anselm College administration and faculty members have been working through conversations about the upcoming multimillion dollar budget cuts the college will be undergoing. Roughly $2 million will be taken from academic instruction and departments have been tasked with coming up with ways to restructure. Despite these budget cuts, however, Saint Anselm College is committed to growing graduate programs as the vision turns to 2030. 

The project titled “Vision 2030: Building a Future for Saint Anselm College” was presented to the Faculty Senate on Nov. 13, 2023. The mission statement of the project reads in part, aims to “establish an undergraduate enrollment of 2000 students and growing graduate enrollment towards 200 full-time and part time students.” At his town hall open forum, President Favazza emphasized the importance of growing the graduate programs. “These are exciting times to grow the college and help our students. We are on the move,” he said.

The college currently offers two graduate programs, Criminal Justice and Special Education. Kaitlyn Clark ‘09, Graduate Director for the Criminal Justice Masters Program, says on the college website, “Not only do we provide our students with the curriculum that will lead them to success, but providing them with the knowledge that our doors are always open.” In addition to their academic studies, Criminal Justice graduate students have been working as teaching assistants in several undergraduate courses. 

The college is also looking to expand the graduate programs of the Education Department. In addition to the masters program in Special Education, President Favazza said that they are working to launch a Masters of Art in Teaching program. This would be a one year program open to anyone who has received a degree and is looking to get certified to be able to teach. President Favazza also mentioned a masters degree in Nursing Leadership. This program would operate out of the Jean School of Nursing, which is set to begin operations in the fall of this year. 

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A masters program in Public Policy is also being worked out through the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Students received an email earlier in the semester from Professor Jennifer Lucas, Chair of the Politics Department. This survey was meant to gauge the overall interest of current students in a potential masters program in Public Policy. Although no formal plans or announcements have been made, President Favazza mentioned this potential program at his open forum. 

In a Faculty Senate meeting in November of last year, President Favazza, Executive Vice President Isaac Murphy, and Vice President of Academics Sheila Liotta gave a presentation about the Vision 2030 plan. According to the Senate minutes report, “Since his meeting time was limited, he proposed moving straight forward to questions rather than summarizing the document.” 

In the document, under the category of “Student Access and Success”, the plan calls for the addition of new interdisciplinary graduate programs and certificate programs designed to help meet and exceed enrollment goals. The Senate minutes also indicate that college administration anticipates a decline in overall college enrollment starting in 2026. The addition of potential new graduate programs is part of strategic data analysis to target the age group that is seeking higher education. The plan says, “The decision about which programs to add will be data-informed based on market, competition, existing strengths within faculty, and cost-revenue projections.” The document also suggests that programs in the fields of nursing, politics, and STEM will be targeted, as confirmed by President Favazza during his town hall. 

These plans are all part of the “strategic planning behind the budget cuts,” according to Vice President Liotta. With uncertainty around campus about the longevity of departments in the humanities, such as Philosophy and Theology, some students are concerned about these new programs coming at the cost of the Liberal Arts education Saint Anselm College has prided itself on for decades. However, administration remains adamant that the Benedictine values of the college remain at the forefront of all planning. A section within the Vision 2023 document is titled “Liberal Arts at the Core.” It opens by saying, “Consistent with recommendations by the Liberal Arts Task Force, we will implement strategies that strengthen the liberal arts which are at the core of our mission. It is particularly critical to keep programs in the arts and humanities strong and vibrant.” 

As construction of Grappone Hall continues into the warmer months, the Jean Institute of Nursing and Health Sciences will be at the forefront of college life come next semester. While no formal plans for any additional masters programs have been officially announced, the college community will be waiting to see what programs come next and how the looming budget cuts will affect other areas of academic and college life.

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