CAA approves changes to minor


Council of Academic Affairs Chair Richard Wilkinson starts the Thursday afternoon meeting. In this meeting, the council addressed The council voted on a proposed departmental honors program for the Department of Human Services and Community Leadership with all present members approving.

Luke Taylor, News Editor

The Council of Academic Affairs approved changes to the Public Health minor, reducing required credit hours from 22 to 18.

Jeanne Lord, a professor in the Department of Human Services and Community Leadership, presented the proposal to the council.

Lord said that members of the department have been discussing making changes to the Public Health minor for some time, but didn’t want to make major adjustments while everything was online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several factors lead to the hour reduction, like changes that have been made to course offerings and what students need from a minor.

“Ultimately, the purpose of the minor is to provide an augmentation and enhancement to another major and open up the opportunities for maybe a slightly different direction of graduate studies or professions,” Lord said. “We refined this minor down to the essentials of public health so that if a student took this minor they would have the core curricular courses if they decided to pursue graduate studies in community health or public health.”

Previously, the minor included a core 18 hours of required courses with the remaining four hours as electives chosen by the student. This change removes the elective requirement and makes changes to the required courses.

The revision was approved unanimously.

CAA also approved a new departmental honors program for the Department of Human Services.

Human Services used to be part of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences and had departmental honors at that time.

Now that the Department of Human Services is its own entity, it had to reinstate the program.

Lord presented the reasoning for this proposal as well. She said that despite the newness of the program, many of the faculty members had worked with honors programs in other departments and have an understanding of what would be necessary.

They have also worked with the Department of Public Health and modeled their proposed program off of the existing departmental honors program in that department.

The human services honors program would include an honors research class, an honors thesis or capstone class, and two elective honors classes.

This proposal was already approved by Eastern’s Honors Council. CAA approved the proposal unanimously.

The council also approved renaming the Department of Public Health to the “Department of Public Health and Nutrition” to reflect changes to the department.

The nutrition and dietetics program is going to be merged into the public health department, so the name change would represent all of the programs included in the department.

Julie Dietz, the chair of the Department of Public Health, presented the proposal to the council.

“All of the faculty of both units are enthusiastic about formalizing extensive interdisciplinary connections that have been ongoing for several years,” Dietz said. “We are happy to be able to provide an administrative home for this program. The nutrition and dietetics program has been a program, not a department, since the college realignment, and that is a very difficult place to be.”

The council approved the proposal unanimously.

Luke Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].