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New programs aim to attract new students

September 24th, 2009

Proposals from faculty members for 11 new academic programs received over $50,000 in funding for research and further development. According to Academic Vice President John Day, the New Academic Programs Development Funds were provided by a donation to the University that was to be used for academic purposes at the discretion of University President, the Rev. Robert Niehoff.

“Donors want to do what is best for the school. Students and perspective students have been asking about new programs. From a gift, we were able to provide the faculty with seed money for new initiatives,” said the Rev. Niehoff in an e-mail. “A number of exciting innovative academic programs have been proposed. In fact, our faculty responded with more ideas than we could support at this time.”

Associate Academic Vice President for Academic Programs and Faculty Diversity Lauren Bowen has been overseeing the administrative duties related to the development fund grants.

The funds allow the faculty members who made the proposals to bring consultants on campus, to research programs at other campuses, and, in some cases, to be released from classes to do research for programs, according to Bowen.

Associate Dean of the Boler School of Business James Martin was involved with the proposals for three of the programs that received funding: an interdisciplinary minor in leadership studies; a major in international business that works with the classical and modern languages and culture department; and Environmental Sustainability, a program that merges business and biology.

“It definitely benefits the school of business to work with other areas on campus. Business is about more than just the numbers, and being able to have a better perspective with respect to business problems helps a lot,” said Martin.

Martin said that the school of business also introduced an entrepreneurship minor this year that is very interdisciplinary, but there are no other programs similar to the ones he helped propose.

“The international business major is very exciting because we are talking about internships in other countries — getting students involved and letting them experience the work environment in other countries,” Martin said.

East Asian studies, human resources management, and women’s and gender studies, are other majors that are being explored, as well as, peace, justice and human rights, which could be offered as a major or a minor.

Also being explored are Pervasive Development Disorders, a program for certified teachers; a psychology practicum that collaborates with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism; and a professional writing program.

Bowen said that the interdisciplinary nature and experiential factors of most of the funded projects are assets to the University and the student body.

“[The programs] all resonate with our Jesuit Catholic identity in different ways,” said Bowen.

According to Day, there is also a proposal for a minor in forensic behavioral science. If it is approved, it would be the only program offered at John Carroll related to forensic science.

“For students who are here, [the addition of new programs] sort of enriches the array of curricular offerings,” said Day. “We also hope the programs will be appealing to prospective students who might otherwise not be interested in John Carroll.”

Receiving the grant, however, does not guarantee that a program will come to fruition; all programs must be reviewed and approved by the Committee on Academic Policies and voted on by the faculty.

Some of the proposed new programs could be available as early as next fall.

Rev. Niehoff said, “I look forward to seeing an ongoing process that will regularly create new academic programs to engage our students.”

A committee of administrators and faculty chose the 11 programs among 21 proposals.