The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

New majors added to improve enrollment, student experience

Out with the old and in with the new. Or maybe just in with the new.

A multitude of new majors and a graduate program may soon be incorporated into the Guilford College offerings without eliminating any existing programs.

Over the past year, Guilford College faculty have approved majors in sustainable food systems, user experience and design, creative writing and cyber and network security, as well as a leadership minor. These new programs were designed with student recruitment and retention in mind.

“Much of our current concern centers around enrollment, but we’re hopeful that all the new programs we approve will also help the College explore new fields and enliven campus discussions and community,” said Dave Dobson, professor of geology and earth sciences, in an email interview.

While students are currently enrolled in the creative writing program, the sustainable foods system major does not expect to start until Fall 2016, when a professor will be hired to teach new courses. The user experience and design major is also not expected to start until Fall 2017.

“We have been offering the practicum for sustainable agriculture to see if students are interested in food sustainability,” said Bronwyn Tucker, sustainability coordinator. “The positive feedback we received led us to move forward with the proposal.”

The sustainable food systems major will draw on classes from environmental studies and justice and policy studies to teach students about healthy agriculture and food insecurity advocacy. The user experience and design major will also rely heavily on other departments, particularly art, business and computer science to teach students how to enhance a user’s accessibility and satisfaction with a product.

These overlapping courses will allow the College to develop new programs and expand on older ones to attract new students without having to hire several new professors.

Also under evaluation is a revised international studies major with new course requirements, a criminal justice graduate program and an accelerated nursing program in partnership with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

“(The criminal justice program) will be a 10-class master’s program that will be as quintessentially Guilford as possible,” said Will Pizio, associate professor of justice and policy studies. “After the coursework is finished, students can participate in a real-world problem-solving practicum.”

Although Guilford has experience with graduate programs dating back to the master of arts in religion program it created in the 1960’s, the addition of a criminal justice master’s degree could reshape the College student environment.

“For traditional students, I don’t believe the master’s program will affect what classes you take or where you take them,” said Caleb Anderson, sophomore and student representative on the Clerks Committee. “But, I do think that it will keep CCE students who are planning to continue work in justice and policy studies here at Guilford.”

Although traditional and graduate students are two separate entities, many faculty members hope that the two groups will drive each other in a positive direction.

“I think having (the graduate students) on campus will give us new opportunities for community events, lectures and research and give us access to an interesting new group of students,” said Dobson.

Alongside the criminal justice program, faculty members are working on a nursing program that will give students the opportunity to go beyond the typical undergraduate experience.

“I am excited about an agreement between Guilford and the NC A&T nursing program that will allow students to study here for three and a half years and then complete an accelerated bachelor in nursing program in one year at A&T,” said Beth Rushing, vice president for academic affairs and academic dean.

Guilford is working to balance its liberal arts education with a career-driven community. Are the new majors, master’s degree and nursing program going to provide that harmony?

Only time will tell.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Dalton Kern, Staff Writer

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *