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News Release

Oct. 20, 2023

Regents approve addition of bachelor’s degree programs in economics, marketing with GIS emphasis

Northwest Missouri State University’s Board of Regents, during its regular session Friday, approved a pair of curriculum proposals in addition to hearing updates regarding the University’s enrollment goals, cybersecurity and financial outlook.

The two undergraduate programs approved by Regents are interdisciplinary programs that connect areas of study in the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business and the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The first program, a Bachelor of Science in economics with a geographic information science (GIS) emphasis, will sharpen students’ analytical skills in spatial data, offering a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of economic activity. The program will equip students with knowledge to use GIS to analyze and visualize economic data, such as income, employment and industry statistics to identify spatial patterns and trends of economic activity, and make informed decisions about resource allocation.

The second program, a Bachelor of Science in marketing with a GIS emphasis, is designed to address how companies can efficiently allocate resources to promote products in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The program will equip students with skills to conduct market research, analyze spatial data and make informed decisions about location selection, marketing strategy and resource allocation. Students also will gain insights into consumer behavior, preferences and market trends, enabling them to develop personalized and targeted marketing campaigns.

Both programs will launch in the fall of 2024 and be offered on the University’s Maryville campus and online.

Northwest Provost Dr. Jamie Hooyman said Northwest sought to offer the programs, which do not exist at other state institutions, as a response to market demand and growth in the disciplines. The programs, she said, will help Northwest students prepare for and thrive in business roles and public positions, such as economic development, where GIS expertise provides them an advantage.

Enrollment goals

During a presentation of the University’s enrollment goals, Dr. Egon Heidendal, assistant vice president of institutional effectiveness, reviewed the census conducted Sept, 18, which logged a record headcount of 9,664 students, equating to 89,549 student credit hours. The number of degree-seeking students at Northwest also reached a record 7,847, marking an 18 percent increase during the last five years. Further, Heidendal noted 74.3 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen enrolled during fall 2022 returned to Northwest for their second fall.

Regarding its fall 2024 projections, Heidendal told the Board that Northwest anticipates continued growth in the dual credit and online sectors, while the undergraduate headcount is expected to remain level and graduate headcount may decrease.

Other business

In other business, the Board approved the appointments of 18 adjunct faculty to teach during the current academic year. The appointments added to faculty appointed at the Board’s June and August meetings.

Brennan Lehman, assistant vice president of information technology, presented Northwest’s annual cybersecurity update, and Stacy Carrick, vice president of finance and administration, provided Regents with a report about a financial review conducted recently by Moody’s Investors Service, which upgraded Northwest’s outlook to positive and affirmed its bond ratings as a reflection of the University’s consistently favorable operating performance.

The Board of Regents is responsible for sound resource management of the University and for determining general, educational and financial policies.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215