In the upcoming semester, students should look forward to several new majors that the faculty are currently developing. Two weeks ago, the East Asian studies major was approved. In addition to this, 10 other programs are also being put together, including majors in the schools of business and arts and sciences.
We commend the University’s efforts to expand the number of programs offered. Included among the new programs are a leadership studies minor, an international business major, a human resource management major and a peace, justice and human rights major. The benefits of the curricular expansion are many.
On one level, this will hopefully draw more interest from potential students. Many high school seniors have a good idea of what field they would like to pursue, but their major may be largely undecided. For these students, a college with a greater list of majors would be more appealing. The additional programs would allow them to choose their school without knowing exactly which major they will declare.
At the same time, it is important that these new programs uphold the academic integrity that the University has in the other majors. While attracting new students is definitely an advantage, it is more important that JCU maintains an academic standard on par with the University’s reputation, and that they do not sacrifice quality for quantity.
We also feel it is important to look at what current students desire. Every year, JCU loses some students who transfer to other schools that offer more majors. We feel that any department could benefit from additional majors, and students should let the faculty know if they would like to see new programs.
We believe that the recent development of the East Asian studies major should be used as a guideline to build other new programs. Last fall, the East Asian studies program was offered as only a minor. Within a year, it has grown into a full, 36-credit program.
Since there is no deadline for new majors to be completed, the University must hold the faculty accountable for the completion and development of the new programs also.
We also applaud the diversity of the East Asian studies major. It is a comprehensive examination of East Asian languages and cultures and already has satellite programs in China and Japan to encourage studying abroad. We hope that the new programs follow the initiative of this major.