CLEMSON — Clemson University trustees approved three new degrees and heard about a new collaborative initiative with Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) that will reduce student debt and increase the number of highly skilled, highly trained professionals entering South Carolina’s workforce.

The new degrees include a doctorate of Education (Ed.D.), focused on practicing educators seeking additional credentials and leadership positions within their profession, and Ph.D. and M.S. interdisciplinary degrees in resilient infrastructure and environmental systems engineering and science.

Through one initiative in the collaboration with MUSC, Clemson undergraduate students can apply for admission to nine health-related graduate programs at MUSC, including medicine, dentistry, physical therapy and public health, and effectively shave a year off of their studies. (See related article.)

A second initiative is a new joint doctoral program aimed at increasing the workforce in biomedical data science and informatics, a discipline that manages the use of health-related data leading to more informed and efficient research, clinical care and health care management. In the joint program, students will take classes at both MUSC and Clemson, and diplomas will have both schools’ seals.

The trustees also recommended to university leadership that the planned Duke Energy combined heat and power (CHP) facility be located west of Highway 76, close to the main campus. Evaluation of sites is under way, and the facility is expected to be operational in spring 2019.

The highly efficient facility is vital to meeting the long-term power needs of the university in a way that also allows Clemson to lower its greenhouse gas emissions. When completed, the facility will have the capacity to generate 16-megawatts of electrical power. In addition, the CHP will capture waste heat from the production of electricity to produce thermal energy that Duke will sell to Clemson to be used to heat buildings and water on campus.

The trustees also approved two action items proposed by the History Task Force — a comprehensive interpretive plan on the history of the university and the design recommendation for new signage for 11 campus buildings on the Historic Register.

In other academic matters, the trustees voted to:

  • change the Master of Education degree in literacy from a hybrid to an online format and
  • close the baccalaureate certificate program in American sign language for health care practitioners