Friday, December 14, 2012

Two proposed majors move through new curriculum approval process

By Regina Barbosa
News Editor

Two new majors are in the final stages of approval and could be offered at Saint Mary’s University as early as next year, according to Student Senate Vice President of Academic Affairs Serica Rowley.

A new major in the Business Department and another in the Math Department are being reviewed by the university’s administration, according to curriculum committee chair Dr. David Jackson. Although the majors are still in the approval process, he said one of the majors would focus on actuarial science and the other on finance.

“Part of who we are [as a university] is what we offer,” said Jackson. “These new majors would help students get to the career field they want to go into.”

The majors will be open to all students. Upperclassmen who wish to switch or add on one of the upcoming majors may have to put in an extra semester or year to meet requirements, according to Rowley.

But not all interested upperclassmen will stay longer to earn those degrees. Sean Pavelich is a junior majoring in accounting. “I’m really interested in the new finance major,” he said. “I just wish I had room in my schedule to take the classes before I graduate.”

If interest and need for a new major are found by a department, they start to define the expectations and desires of the new curriculum.  Then, according to Jackson, they make sure all of it fits into the mission of the university. He said the curriculum committee reviews a proposed major after the department approves it.

“It’s a process and the committee is just one step,” said Rowley.

Jackson said the curriculum committee makes sure that proposed majors are good for the university and its mission, that it is sustainable and that it meets the needs of both current and future students.

After being approved by the curriculum committee a proposed major moves onto the final approval step, which is the university administration, according to Jackson. The university’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Donna Aronson oversees this process.

After all final approvals are finished, a formal announcement will be made for these proposed majors to clarify and list the official course requirements.

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