According to Alison Blevins, director of General and Basic Studies at McNeese State University, "McNeese has a responsibility to employers in our region and to the community of Southwest Louisiana to be innovative in meeting the workforce demands of local industries whenever possible."
To meet these demands, the McNeese Department of Chemistry and Physics has collaborated with General and Basic Studies and the College of Business to initiate two new degree concentrations now available to students interested in seeking employment with area industry.
The first is an Associate of General Studies degree with a concentration in chemistry. Graduates of this 60-hour program will have a solid foundation in general chemistry and significant knowledge of chemical and instrumental analyses.
"Students interested in the fastest path to academic credentials in chemistry should consider this two-year degree," said Blevins.
"This degree program provides local industries with 'bench chemists,' those who can run reports, mix materials and conduct chemical analyses. Local industries want a local workforce that is qualified to fill their needs," added Dr. Ron Darbeau, head of the McNeese chemistry and physics department.
A Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry with a concentration in chemistry and management will also be offered through the chemistry and physics department, according to Darbeau. Graduates of this 120-hour program will be proficient across the various fields of chemistry and also in concepts and practices in accounting, marketing and management.
"A chemistry degree with a concentration in chemistry and management combines a general program in chemistry with a fundamental program in business," said Darbeau.
He said the curriculum is designed to prepare chemists for industrial and government positions, emphasizing managerial or administrative skills. Students opting for this major may be interested in careers in chemistry-related industrial or government management positions in such areas as marketing, management or advertising, sales representatives for major chemical/pharmaceutical companies or distributors, and technical representatives or consultants for chemistry-related instrumentation and equipment manufacturers, as well as patent law.
"This degree program opens up new opportunities in business-related areas for our chemistry graduates and potential employers here in Southwest Louisiana," said Darbeau.
Graduates are also required to complete an internship in accounting, business administration, banking and finance, or chemistry. "Internships provide real-life interaction with potential employers," said Darbeau. "Internships have become the 'new interview' in the job search process for students and employers alike."
The College of Business is also working on other collaborations with the performing arts department and with the College of Engineering through the Institute of Industrial Education and the Student Incubator at the SEED Center.
According to Dr. Musa Essayyad, business dean, these collaborations among academic colleges, departments and offices provide a culture of innovation at McNeese and have opened doors across campus. "These collaborations are indicative of the campus community-the development and response to the workforce needs of Southwest Louisiana
Fall registration is currently underway through Aug. 18. For more degree information, call Basic and General Studies at 337-475-5135 or the Chemistry and Physics Department at 337-475-5776.