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The UCF Board of Trustees approved several new degree programs this morning, including a master’s of science in biomedical engineering, a master’s of science in data analytics and a bachelor of science degree in entertainment management.

The new programs, which were proposed to meet local workforce demands, will be implemented this year. Biomedical engineering and data analytics will begin in the fall, and entertainment management in the summer.

The biomedical engineering program will address medical issues at the level of tissue, organs, and the body, and involves implementing new technologies into healthcare, according to a document provided by the board.

Vice Chair of the board Robert Garvey said this major STEM program is good opportunity for UCF.

“This field has grown in the past four years at a rate of 25 percent, and the projected growth was even higher than that at 27 percent. Average salaries in the field, 77,000 dollars, I mean this is clearly an opportunity for UCF,” Garvey said.

Data analytics will be part of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. The degree aims to train students to develop algorithms and computerized systems to facilitate the discovery of information from big data, according to the proposal.

The entertainment management bachelors program will attract students seeking positions in managerial positions in the entertainment industry, such as live events, film enterprises, digital media and sports events. UCF will be the first public institution to provide a program that addresses the needs of the prominent industry, according to the proposal.

Other topics of discussion at the meeting included brief mention of UCF Downtown. Mike Morsberger, CEO of the UCF Foundation and vice president for alumni relations and development, said he is confident UCF will reach the $20 million goal for the downtown project.

“Our brand is growing by leaps and bounds,” Morsberger said.

Provost Whittaker announced to the board the estimate for students participating in commencement ceremonies this semester. 6,814 baccalaureate degrees, 1,146 master’s degrees and 183 doctoral and specialist degrees will be awarded over three commencement ceremonies in May, Whittaker said.

Additionally, Maribeth Ehasz, vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Services discussed advancing student success through predictive analysis. The tools, which will launch in April this year, aim to increase the number of students attaining a degree or certificate, and help them do so in a shorter amount of time.

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Rosie Reitze is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @rosie_ucf or email her at RosieR@centralfloridafuture.com.

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