Editorial

A Major and Minor Deal With New Courses

Imagine opening your textbook to understand what Homeland Security is about and how to apply its concepts or using motion graphics to creating something out of thin air. While these two ideas might seem different, they are actually majors and minors available for students. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences currently offers a graduate certificate in Homeland Security while the Department of Communication has an interactive media minor. Although both of these grasp the ideals of today’s society, it remains that more can be done to promote them and expand upon present fields of study.

However, before we go further, one should understand what exactly constitutes a college major and minor. According to collegeboard.com, “A major is simply a specific subject that students can specialize in.” As for minors, they allow students to gain more insight into other areas while focusing on their main area of study.

First off, these courses are solid ideas for today’s world. Ten or so years ago, homeland security was still an important issue but times have changed. This goes too for the interactive media minor since almost a decade ago, the Internet and technology as a whole was not geared toward creating videos, using motion graphics, creating interactive websites, and more. These two examples are a reflection of how the University realizes that the workforce and career paths are changing and are giving students an opportunity to use this to their advantage.

Overall, areas of study like these and many more make the campus and University distinctive from other institutions. However, the University is not alone is thinking this way. According to mainstreet.com, the University is in line with other education facilities in regards to new majors and minors by reporting, “…as changing technology and social trends create new opportunities in a job-strapped economy, some institutions are beginning to offer programs in everything from social media to homeland security to prepare students for life in the 21st Century.”

Now, while these majors and minors offer more diverse classes, the flip side is that some may not be aware of their presence. For the Homeland Security major, it certainly offers a distinct area of study but it could help collect more interest with emails, Facebook posts, or information on the University’s website to collect interests in this and other fields. While it is definitely helpful for advisors to inform their students about these classes and such, it’s even better when a student sees something new and gets excited themselves. However, if they have sent out emails or posted information in the past and people missed it, friendly messages can act as reminders of these oppurtunities for those still looking for that right major or minor.

While having new majors/minors is welcoming, the University shouldn’t shy away from expanding present courses. For example, journalism is both a major and a minor, but TV productions is only a major. This can be seen as a disadvantage to for those that are studying one area and would like to understand TV in a minor setting. Opening up majors and minors to new avenues allows students to broaden their horizons and develop more skills in a variety of areas. According to The New York Times, “Minors, along with double majors, are increasingly popular as students try to master multiple subjects on the way to flexible careers or future education.”

This isn’t just for communication majors, but anyone in general. What if there is a business major who one day wants to have a TV show on CNBC? Sure, classes dealing with TV, for example, are a part of other minors but there should be no reason why it remains isolated.

Overall, the question can come down to if majors and minors should include a broad topic or be very specific. On one hand, broad majors offer a wide range of classes allow students to deal with a number of specific and general courses that formulate in building their specific knowledge. On the other hand, specific majors/minors can help students focus mainly on the topics and areas they wish to study in more detail. Rather than having a variety of classes, each one is like a puzzle piece that presents a particular picture.

The University is demonstrating that it can help prepare its students for the future with new courses that match the world outside. However, there should also be ways to further inform students about them and work on expanding the opportunities for those on campus and even the influx of incoming high school students.