This semester the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences and the Abraham S. Fischler School of Education are offering new majors and minors.
Farquhar offers four new Bachelor of Science degrees in anthropology, behavioral neuroscience, human development and family studies, and public administration and three new minors in geographic information science, Latin American and Caribbean studies and studio art. Fischler now offers a Bachelor of Science in speech-language and communication disorders.
Dean Don Rosenblum of Farquhar said, “I am confi dent that each of these new programs will serve many students and broaden perspectives,” he said.
Each new major has a faculty chair with experience in the respective field.
Eileen Smith-Cavros, anthropology major chair, believes that anthropology students will benefit from learning about anthropological perspectives on culture and how it interacts with other fields of study.
“Students can pursue [careers in] non-governmental organizations, government agencies, museums, national parks and in many other fields where the study of culture is essential,” she said.
James A. Brecher, associate professor of criminal justice and public administration, chairs Farqhuar’s new public administration major. Brecher was involved in public sector labor relations as an elected union representative and a union officer, as well as a member of management negotiation teams for more than 30 years.
Brecher said that public New undergraduate majors and minors offered administration is a multi-disciplinary field that draws on theory and research from fields as diverse as sociology, psychology, management, economics, law and political science.
“The study of public administration is appropriate for students seeking careers in government and non-profit agencies, as well as current government employees seeking career advancement,” Brecher said. “[It’s best] for students interested in careers in law, public health, business, environmental studies, criminal justice, and public education.”
Chairing the behavioral neuroscience major is Jaime Tartar, research coordinator of Farquhar’s Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, who has taught behavioral neuroscience for more than 10 years.
Tartar said, “The behavioral neuroscience major will prepare students to pursue neuroscience, psychology, pharmacology, mental health, neurobiology, medicine, clinical psychologist and dentistry.”
Chaired by associate professor Madhavi Menon, the human development and family studies major prepares students who want to work with different kinds of agencies including public, nonprofi t, business or government. Graduates of the program can complete graduate programs in the social, behavioral and health sciences.
Fischler’s speech-language and communication disorders major is geared toward students who wish to pursue a career in speech-language pathology, which deals with human speech and language communication disorders.
Farquhar’s minors give students a concentration that can help them in their chosen careers. The geographic information science minor teaches students how to use geographic tools and techniques and can complement other majors such as computer and information science, business and public health. The Latin American and Caribbean studies minor includes classes in the history of Latin America and its politics and literature to prepare students interested in working in those areas. The studio art minor shows students artistic techniques useful for careers in theatre or arts administration.
According to Rosenblum, creating new majors and minors can take one to three years. After faculty identify potential areas of need, they research how other universities structure the same major and collaborate on creating them.
Potential new majors go through a review and approval process, which allows experts from across the university to examine, critique and improve the programs before they are sent to the respective dean for review. The dean then presents the proposal to an academic committee who present it to the provost and president. After receiving the president’s endorsement, the institution informs the Southern Association of College Students, a regional accrediting agency. The school then begins to promote the degree program, admit students and award degrees.
Rosenblum said it takes a few years for new programs to grow.
“Programs with small enrollment can be frustrating when courses are not offered as frequently as students would like,” he said. “But we will continue to offer new degree programs as long as the programs are sound in curriculum.”
He also said that even more new undergraduate and graduate degree programs are being discussed or designed, including sustainability, bioinformatics, urban studies and arts administration.