CAA approves major, departmental name change; revised majors, minors

Brooke Schwartz, News Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs voted to approve all agenda items, including a major and departmental name change and revised majors and minors, at its Nov. 15 meeting.

Spanish professor Kristin Routt presented changes to the department of foreign languages and the foreign language minor with three main goals in mind, she said.

“First, (we’d like) to change the name of our department to modernize it; ‘world languages,’ that falls in line with a lot of world language departments both in Illinois and across the country, so our major name would change (with that) also,” Routt said. “We also slightly reduced the number of hours required for our major, and the third thing is eliminating the language of selections, which is actually going to end up giving students more choice when they choose what they want to take for their major.”

The CAA approved the new name for the major, world languages and cultures, along with the requested course requirement changes.

Routt said she hopes the name change will encourage more students to take a course in the department.

“Part of it is the stigma of ‘foreign’; we really want to modernize this because, especially now, foreign has negative connotations to it,” she said.

English presented a revised literary and cultural studies emphasis and the creative writing emphasis in the English major, a revised professional writing minor and one new internship course.

The proposed changes to the minor included a reduction in credit hours, from 23 current hours to 18-19 hours after the changes are implemented, the proposal said.

“Since English majors who are interested in professional writing should choose to concentrate rather than minor in it, we have removed ENG 4060 as a requirement, moved ENG 4275 (the internship) from the list of requirements to the list of electives, and reduced elective choices,” the proposal said. “The electives were pared down to focus on courses that are regularly taught online (except two of our own professional writing courses) and courses from related majors that we have attracted to the minor in the past.”

The literary and cultural studies emphasis and the creative writing emphasis in the English major both were approved for an additional required course: ENG 4060, English studies career development.

The new course is meant to be a revised type of internship course, English department chair Angela Vietto said.

“In the (professional writing) minor, we do have a lot of students who are working full-time who want this minor, we used to require an internship for them; that was not practical,” Vietto said. “The idea of this course is not that it would be offered typically in every semester, kind of that it would be offered as internship is; when students are looking for that practical experience. A project from an external client would be the focus of the course, but it would still be an actual course.”

The proposal to change the catalog wording regarding the timing of proficiency exams, or tests which allow students to move forward with their studies without repeating any material they may have already mastered, was changed so the two-week time limit to take the test will be removed.

The new course titled NTR 3500: Professional Focus on Nutrition and Dietetics was also discussed and approved by the council.

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