New minor makes students more ‘marketable’
The Environmental Studies minor at Seton Hall has been adjusted from the current 25 credit requirement to a new, more flexible 18 credit requirement.
According to Dr. Marian Glenn, who currently co-chairs the Environmental Studies major and new minor with Dr. Judith Stark, “The new minor in Environmental Sciences is designed for students majoring in the sciences, who would like to specialize in environmental knowledge and skills.”
The minor, which requires its students to take Introduction to Environmental Studies and Ecology, as well as two upper level environmental science courses, such as Environmental Toxicology and Analytical Chemistry and two elective environmental courses from the humanities or social sciences, went through faculty approval last September.
The minor was amended because, according to Glenn, it is an “inter-disciplinary field.”
“We’d like to encourage faculty to create courses in their field that address Environment Studies,” Glenn said.
According to Glenn, by making the minor less structured with fewer required classes and more electives, students can choose environmental courses that “extend their major in an environmental direction.”
“We’re hoping the new minor will be more attractive to students,” Glenn said. “Currently there are only a handful of students enrolled in the ‘old’ minor, partly because it has 25 credits.”
Glenn noted that, with the exception of Introduction to Environmental Studies and a few “practicum or tutorial courses,” all Environmental courses are “cross-listed” with a department, which would allow students to take an upper-level course in their major that could also count as an Environmental Studies course.
This flexibility, according to Glenn, can create a “marketable skill” when students apply for jobs.
The Environmental Studies minor began as an inter-departmental minor in the 1980s, when a minor in Environmental Sciences was created, with Dr. Carolyn Bentivegna directing both.
As Seton Hall moved away from the 130 credit degree to a 120 credit degree, and began the University Core, the Environmental Studies faculty decided to develop new courses beyond the original list, Glenn said.
“For all these reasons, the Environmental Studies faculty decided it was time to update the minors in keeping with the changes at Seton Hall as well as changes in the subject itself,” Glenn said.
According to Glenn, students and faculty will be made aware of the changes for upcoming semesters.
“We’ve put the new minor in next year’s catalogue, and we’ll let department chairs and deans know about it, too,” Glen said.
Samantha Desmond can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.