New minors approved by Board of Regents

Monica Kast

The Board of Regents has approved several new academic programs for the Spring 2016 semester.

At the first Board of Regents meeting of the year on Jan. 29, the board approved a new minor in photojournalism and a new graduate certificate in elementary math specialization. According to the minutes from the meeting, both programs have a spring 2016 implementation date. President Gary Ransdell recommended approval of both programs.

According to the Academic Affairs portion of the minutes, “the proposed minor in photojournalism will complement a wide variety of area of study at the university.” The minor was approved and will be implemented this semester.

The minor will require a minimum of 21 credit hours, including 15 hours of core courses and six hours of electives. The projected enrollment for the photojournalism minor is 30 students, according to the proposal. The proposal was approved by the School of Journalism and Broadcasting Committee on March 24, 2015, as well as several other committees within WKU. It was approved by the provost on Oct. 30, 2015.

“Since photography can be applied to a wide range of disciplines from across the university, there has been significant interest in a minor in photojournalism from students within the university, as well as those who are interested in attending WKU, who want to apply photography skills to their chosen major,” the proposal reads.

According to the board’s budget, the Board of Regents also approved “a new graduate certificate in Elementary Math Specialization” to be offered through the School of Teacher Education.

“Many education scholars have made the case that practicing elementary school teachers are not adequately prepared to meet the demands for increasing student achievement in mathematics,” the proposal reads.

Janet Lynne Tassell, an associate professor in the School of Teacher Education, said the program was highly requested by students.

“I had teachers from all levels for various reasons contact me,” Tassell said. “They all have a want to learn more about elementary mathematics, to meet the needs of their students.”

This certification will require 15 credit hours. Implementation begins this semester, and the required courses are already being taught by existing faculty.

Tassell said that the program comes at very little cost to the university in a high-need area.

“It’s a growth opportunity for us, and we’re excited about that,” Tassell said. “We didn’t need more staffing to make this happen we already have it in place.”