University adds new majors, minors

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Pacific University understands that college is about opportunity. Honoring this principle, faculty and staff members have worked hard to develop new majors and minors for current and future students. Six new programs along with three awaiting approval are expanding Theatre and Dance, Art, Business, English, Social Sciences and Student Life  departments.

One approved Theatre and Dance program is an Applied Theatre major proposed by theatre professor Ellen Margolis. This major will combine traditional theatre principles while focusing on community service.

“I was inspired by Pacific’s commitment to civic engagement, my students’ passion for their work and my growing understanding of how the tools of theatre can serve individuals and communities,” Margolis said.

Another theatre and dance program will be a dance major proposed by assistant theatre professor Jennifer Camp. This program started as a minor and received an upgrade through the theatre department’s efforts. Students will not only be given the skills to perform, but also learn management of the arts and how to choreograph.

With only four universities in Oregon that offer a dance major, Camp stated, “Offering a dance major at Pacific will make the program competitive at a national level and offer students the option to come to the Northwest to continue their dance training and complete their degree.”

A new addition to the Art Department will be an art history major proposed by art professor Rebecca Twist-Schweitzer. The program is designed to demonstrate the impact of art globally by having students focus on non-art classes along with art classes.

An accelerated three-year business scholars major proposed by business professor Michelle Cowing will give students an integrated classroom setting along with several other attributes to earn their degree.

The School of Social Sciences Director Sarah Phillips proposed the new social sciences public health major which allows for either a bachelor’s in arts or sciences and will prepare students to pursue focused careers such as epidemiology (infectious disease), health promotion, public policy, cross-cultural work or biostatistics.

Giving students the opportunity to test their leadership skills is important to Pacific Voyages Coordinator Philip Friesen. He proposed the outdoor leadership minor for students who want an outdoor adventure education.

Friesen said, “Students will be better-prepared to lead in any career. People in occupational health use the outdoors to help rehabilitate veterans, business owners use the risk management skills learned in the outdoors to make critical decisions and educators are using the outdoors more and more to help develop their students. There are also more than 750,000 jobs in the active outdoor industry Alaska, Washington State, Oregon and California.”

Three proposed programs include an editing and publishing minor, environmental studies policy major, and indigenous studies minor.

History professor Larry Lipin, who proposed the environmental studies policy major, said, “The program combines a broad core of classes that are environmentally specific in content, but then it has students develop a concentration that will prepare the student to write a thesis with the methodology of one of the participating programs in the social sciences or humanities. We see this as further strengthening Pacific’s commitment to environmental education.”

The public health, applied theatre, dance, and art history programs will be available during the fall of 2012. These exciting additions will enhance Pacific University and give students new career opportunities. If you are interested in any of these minors or majors contact the faculty or staff who have proposed the program for further information.


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