CAA approves changes to 2 minors

Brooke Schwartz, Staff Writer

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The Council on Academic Affairs updated prerequisites and courses for the communication studies minor and the Africana studies minor on Thursday.

The proposals brought before the CAA are faculty-driven, with the first proposal of the meeting being presented by Matthew Gill, a communication studies and coordinator of the public relations program.

“Our major has evolved over the last few years, and so we took a few steps back and looked at what we were currently offering as a minor at the time, wondering if we could provide students with something a little bit better,” Gill said.

Communication studies majors and minors used to be required to take four core classes, which Gill said was a nice foundation for the major, but not so much for the minor.

The faculty in the communication studies department decided it would be more beneficial for those minoring in communication studies to switch out three of those four classes—Argumentation and Critical Thinking, Communication Research Methods and Applied Communication—for classes that introduce minors to the three major content areas within communication studies: interpersonal communication, organizational communication and mass communication.

Gill said this would also work well because the newly added classes would be prerequisites to future upper-level courses, if the students decide to continue with their education in communication studies.

“Students would get a much more well-rounded introduction to the area, and then they can choose to really sort of specialize in the thing that they find the most interesting or the most valuable,” Gill said. “Sort of like our major students do, but obviously on a much smaller level.”

Gill also proposed going from 24 required credits to 21 to make it a more accessible minor.

The proposal passed unanimously.

James Ochwa-Echel, the coordinator of the Africana studies program, introduced the next proposal to the CAA.

Ochwa-Echel proposed that, since the Africana studies major was removed last semester, some of the classes that were associated with the major now be included for minors.

This means AFT100G, Introduction to Africana Studies or AFR 2000G, African-American Social Movements, would both be required. AFR 2500, Introduction to Research Methods in Africana Studies, would be replaced with AFR 200G, African-American Social Movements. AFR 4300, Capstone Seminar, would be replaced with AFR 2200, Pan Africanism. The elective HIS 3750, African-American History, would now be under the concentration in History and Culture.

All voters also unanimously voted in favor of this proposal.

Afterward, the CAA talked about how to handle classes in the catalog that are not currently being taught. They also discussed changing the titles of some online classes in the business department that have a face-to-face equivalent but also cost more than their on-campus counterparts.

 

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].