Cedarville Offers New Majors and Minors

Cedarville Offers New Majors and Minors

Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University

by Public Relations Office - Cedarville, OH

September 30, 2008

How do you know the college you’re thinking about attending is relevant and progressive? Look for signs of growth. Take Cedarville University, which continues its academic expansion by providing ten new majors and five new minors this fall.

Communication Arts
In response to the needs of students, the department of communication arts has undergone the most changes. Six new majors are now available for students: journalism, intercultural communication, comprehensive communication, media communication, organizational communication, and political communication.

The department is especially excited about the journalism major. As the University continues to make inroads in various fields— from updates in technology to new areas of study — a journalism program was a logical step.

“We had the opportunity to start the program from scratch,” says Dr. Chuck Elliott, department chair. “So we based it on where the industry is going rather than simply building on traditional journalism models of the past.”

What that leads to is a convergent major that offers cross-media competencies in print, broadcasting, and online skills. Today’s employer wants a well-rounded journalist … and that’s what Cedarville’s major promises to provide. To meet that goal, the school has constructed a new media lab for writing and upper-level design students.

“This generation,” Elliott says, “is relying less and less on traditional media for news and more on other sources. The new journalism major reflects that.”

Another highlight for the department is the intercultural communication major, which also available as a new minor. As the world becomes increasingly more globalized, Cedarville equips communication professionals to interact successfully in diverse social and cultural contexts.

We round out the list with new majors in comprehensive communication — a one-of-a-kind program that allows students to tailor their degree to their specific life goals; media communication — for students looking to develop skills in positive leadership, creative problem-solving techniques, and innovative adaptation of media forms and formats; organizational communication — for those interested in fields such as public relations or human resources; and political communication — which provides a solid foundation toward meeting the diverse requirements of communication professionals in local, state, and national political contexts.

Exercise and Sport Science
With the addition of a major in allied health, the department of exercise and sport science presents students with an option they have long desired: a major that allows them to pursue a career in physical or occupational therapy without having to major in biology. It is also ideal for anyone interested in other allied health careers such as physician’s assistant, optometrist, dentist, or chiropractor.

“In the past,” says Dr. Evan Hellwig, professor of athletic training, “Cedarville has prepared students with a biology major, but that requires a lot of things you don’t need to get into an allied health field.” It also doesn’t include classes they do need, such as psychology. So, the department took the requirements of allied health professions, then added classes in psychology, biology, and exercise and sport science, making it a multi-disciplinary major. But while this is far from an easy program, Hellwig emphasizes that it is not designed to prepare students for medical school.

The department is also offering a minor in sport management, which is already a major at Cedarville. Many students wanted training in the field but had already chosen a course-heavy degree and couldn’t handle a double major. By offering sport management as a minor, students who are majoring in education, for instance, can pursue a degree that prepares them to be an athletic director at a high school. Business students interested in a career in the sporting industry will also find this minor to be a useful addition.

Language and Literature
The department of language and literature is pleased to present two new minors in Asian studies and French. According to department chair Dr. Kevin Heath, “A school’s foreign language curriculum has become an important factor in where students decide to attend college, and we hope to continue offering more options for foreign language study at Cedarville.”

A new Asian studies minor promises to be useful to the number of students from Cedarville who are traveling to China and other Asian nations each year for teaching and ministry opportunities. Associate professor of psychology Dr. Luke Tse says, “I believe the minor will serve to bolster our work there.”

This minor will include two semesters of language study (Chinese or another approved Asian language) and a core of courses that focus on the history, literature, and culture of several Asian countries. The creation of this minor is a response to expressed interest by the administration, faculty, and students.

Music, Art, and Worship
“We are so excited to offer the B.A. in worship this coming fall,” says Beth Cram Porter, chair of the department of music, art, and worship. This interdisciplinary degree is the brainchild of Dr. Roger O’Neel, associate professor of music, and has the full support of the president and board of trustees. It was uniquely designed to provide students with a diverse program of study, including training in music, worship, and theology. The main goal is to train and equip worship leaders who will be used by God to transform and unite the church.

“We want these worship leaders to be prepared not only musically but also theologically,” says Porter. “It is imperative that church leaders blend beauty with truth and that they know what beauty and truth are. We want them to be ready for the ever-changing climate of worship, while grounding them in the never-changing truth of God’s Word.”

Science and Mathematics
The department of science and mathematics has added two new majors, one in chemistry education and the other in environmental science, along with a minor in actuarial science.

Assistant professor of biology William Jones says the chemistry education major is a response to growing concerns regarding a shortage of math and science teachers. He refers to a report, titled “Teaching Science in the 21st Century,” in which Robert Ingersoll cites increasing student enrollment and science teacher attrition as the main factors contributing to the shortage. “By adding the new chemistry education major,” Jones says, “the science and math department is responding to this pressing need.

“The program is demanding and rigorous,” he continues. “And this is not a common major at evangelical Christian universities. Cedarville is one of the few places preparing future chemistry teachers to look at their profession and the world from a distinctly Christian perspective.”

In addition to meeting the requisites of the teacher education program at the University, the program also conforms to the licensure requirements of the state of Ohio and science teacher preparation standards recommended by the National Science Teachers Association.

The other new major offered by the department is environmental science. Thanks in part to a culture that is becoming more and more environmentally aware, the degree was created for students interested in ecology but who were, previously, majoring in biology with an environmental emphasis.

“As you can see from the news media, there is increasing attention given to environmental issues that run across the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and earth science,” says Dr. John Silvius, senior professor of biology. “We believe it will not only draw students with an aptitude in these three disciplines, but also appeal to those who have a growing desire to make a difference as Christians in practical ways through their witness as stewards of the earth.”

To strengthen the science and math department for this new major, Dr. Mark Gathany was invited to join the faculty in 2007. Having completed his Ph.D. in ecology, Gathany will assist Silvius and other biology faculty in preparing students for graduate school and vocations in ecology, conservation biology, ecosystem restoration, and environmental education.

As for the minor in actuarial science, Dr. Otis Wright, associate professor of mathematics, begins by explaining what actuaries are: highly trained professionals who combine advanced mathematics with business skills.

“Usually employed in the insurance industry, actuaries may also be employed by large pension plans and governments,” says Wright. “Prospective employers of trainee actuaries typically look for graduates who have high GPAs in a quantitative major, who have taken the courses offered in our actuarial minor, and who have done well on the first one or two actuarial exams.”

In order to become an actuary, one must pass a series of rigorous exams that require a high level of mathematical knowledge and an understanding of how to apply that knowledge to evaluate risk and finances. The actuarial minor at Cedarville prepares students to take the first two exams offered by the Society of Actuaries. The first primarily covers calculus, probability, and statistics, while the second exam focuses on the theory of interest and financial instruments such as bonds.