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UNA adds associate’s programs to help local workforce

FLORENCE — The University of North Alabama has launched three associate’s degrees as part of its ongoing efforts as “Alabama’s Workforce Development University.” The programs in Mechatronics, Culinary, and Hospitality and Events Management will begin in the fall. 

“As ‘Alabama’s Workforce Development University’, UNA is pleased to collaborate with our industry partners to launch these three workforce-focused associate’s degrees that lead directly to jobs here in the Shoals region,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

The timing is strategic based on ongoing and emerging needs from burgeoning industries throughout the region, he said. 

The programs selected for these first associate’s degrees are also in areas where UNA faculty have expertise, according to Dr. Sara Lynn Baird, dean of the College of Arts, Science, and Engineering (CASE).

“We worked closely with industry and business partners to develop curricula that would prepare students for specific jobs and help them develop skills related to the personnel needs of these partners,” she said. “CASE is home to the Culinary, Hospitality, and Engineering Technology programs which informed the curricular development for these new Associate’s degrees.” 

Applications are available online  here, and students are taking advantage of this pathway to their future and in-demand careers, said Julie Taylor, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management. 

“UNA’s new associate’s degree programs in Mechatronics, Culinary, and Hospitality Management will provide even more opportunities for workforce development in our region and beyond,” she said. “With these programs, students will be able to learn the skills they need in order to pursue these exciting and in-demand career paths.”

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