New majors, classes come to Western in fall 2012
By Matthew Hunt
April 8, 2012
Degrees may come and go as Missouri Western continues to improve our departments.
Students of Missouri Western have around 90 degrees to choose from, Dr. Cindy Heider, Interim Assistant Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, said. Students will hopefully see changes within a few departments during the fall semester of 2012. The departments of communication studies, computer science, math and physics and engineering technology are three that have changes planned.
Heider said, based on the undergraduate curriculum report from last year, there were a couple of different proposals created for departments to create new classes, combine courses and remove courses. When a department plans on making a huge change to the program it must be submitted to the coordinating board of higher education. Heider said the internal undergraduate committee will refine it, make changes that are appropriate, and then forward it to faculty senate. Once there it is then sent to the Governess Advisory council.
“We submitted the proposal to the Missouri Department of Higher Education by January 31,” Heider said. “They only decide four times a year, so they will decide by April 6 or 7 to determine whether MoWest will be allowed to make changes.”
The theater and video program in communications studies have plans to change the name to Theatre & Cinema, which will create major changes.
“They have to do a pretty thorough revision of their curriculum,” Heider said. “As a result they will have redone almost every single class in that department, and since it was switched from a B.A. to B.S., students will need to have a foreign language as well.”
George Yang, Chair of engineering technology, said that the department is adding a new option in the current manufacturing technology bachelor’s degree. He said the current program has its own program, and one option.
“What we are going to do is add another option to the current program,” Yang said. “The option is called Technical Graphic Design, and it will be an exciting major.”
Yang said the department isn’t dealing with graphics, or focusing on the design because the art department has a program that deals with that. He said they are more focused on the technical graphics.
Dr. Michael Ottinger, Chair of computer science, math and physics said their department plans on combining two existing programs. He said they have very few computer science majors and quite a few students in the Computer Information System program. However, those students in both degrees will ultimately end up with the same jobs.
“It’s reasonable to take the CIS program and combine it with Computer Science which makes it more robust,” Ottinger said. “In essence we are taking one program and another program with two options, and taking one option and moving it over to the other program.”
Departments are working hard to get the changes implemented this fall, but Western is looking to the future with general studies. Heider said Western plans on bringing in a consultant within the next year to help our faculty to determine how we can make sure our general studies, humanities, social sciences, mathematics and others are as current as possible.
“They are providing the foundation for the major course work,” Heider said. “I applaud our faculty for reviewing this, because it’s a big process to look at every general studies course and make sure it’s relevant.”
Heider also stated that it’s what Western needs to be teaching to keep current. This is the projection they are looking at for 2013.