Trustees approve changes to academic programs

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KALAMAZOO—Several academic-related actions were taken by the WMU Board of Trustees during its Feb. 27 meeting.

They included the approval of a new graduate certificate program and a new music minor as well as the deletion of six existing majors and major options. Numerous name changes were also OK'd for a variety of academic programs and units.

New academic programs

  • Trustees signed off on an 18-credit-hour Graduate Certificate Program in Biostatistics consisting of six courses. It is designed for those wishing to enhance their background in health-related data analysis, such as physicians, nurses, clinical researchers, health educators and administrators, and graduate students in statistics and other disciplines.
  • Also approved was a 15-credit-hour music minor in multimedia arts technology. The program includes audio engineering, digital media, electronic music and other interdisciplinary applications of technology in the fine arts. It is designed to help music performance majors develop expertise in audio and video technology as part of their entrepreneurial skill set.

Deleted academic programs

  • The aviation flight science major—option B is a compressed version of the aviation flight science program and is no longer being offered.
  • The computer science major—general option is not accredited, and students often confuse it with WMU's other computer science option.
  • The electronic business design major has been subsumed by the electronic business marketing program approved last summer. The electronic business design minor is not affected.
  • The geography major—environmental analysis and resource management option differs from the general geography major by only two courses and is being folded into the geography major.
  • The geography major—geographic information science option differs from the general geography major by only two courses and is being folded into the geography major.
  • The technology and design major for secondary teachers has been rendered obsolete now that Michigan has removed it from the list of career and technical education programs.

Academic program name changes

  • University studies is the new name for the student integrated curriculum major, complementing the previous change in the administering unit's name from General University Studies to University Studies.
  • Computer science is the new name for the computer science major—theory and analysis option, an accredited program that has been revised and combined with the nonaccredited general computer science option to form a single accredited major.
  • Aerospace engineering is the new name for the aeronautical engineering major, consistent with the administering unit's new name. This means program graduates will earn a Bachelor of Science in Engineering—Aerospace Engineering.
  • Aviation management and operations is the new, more accurate, name for the aviation science and administration major.
  • Aviation flight science is the new name for the aviation flight science major—option A, which does not need an option designation now that the only other option in the curriculum has been deleted.
  • Manufacturing is the new name for the revised manufacturing technology minor.

Academic unit name changes

  • The Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering has been renamed the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, bringing the unit in line with similar U.S. programs and in keeping with its new level of faculty expertise.
  • Gender and women's studies has been elevated from program status to the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, in recognition of its equivalency with other self-governing units on campus in terms of size, scope and related factors. Gender and women's studies supports five board-appointed faculty lines and 48 board-approved joint faculty appointments. This semester, the unit has 54 majors, 48 minors and a total of 850 students enrolled in its courses.
  • Consistent with its two key teaching missions, the Department of Military Science has been renamed the Department of Military Science and Leadership.