The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, December 03, 2019 5:00 pm

Manchester details plans for academic program changes

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Manchester University announced plans to phase out some academic programs and add new ones as part of an effort to align offerings to suit students and employers. 

University officials said in October some degree programs would be eliminated, but details were made public Tuesday. 

Majors in public relations, economics, physics, engineering science, modern languages and secondary education mathematics will be axed. A modern language major -- along with minors in French and German -- also would be eliminated under the plans.

The move affects 25 students, according to a news release. Students enrolled in the programs can graduate with those majors or minors. 

"Adding new programs and strengthening existing ones helps us prepare for good jobs or graduate school as soon as they graduate," Manchester University President Dave McFadden said. "For example, we are developing a bachelor's degree in nursing as well as a master's degree in nutrition and nutrigenomics. 

"This fall, we launched a three-plus-one Master of Accountancy, which allows a student to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree in four years."

Anne Gregory, university spokeswoman, said curriculum changes must be approved by faculty. 

It's not clear exactly when programs might be phased out. 

"Any major that is being phased out will continue until all of the students majoring in that program graduate," Gregory said in an email. "We are allowing all current students the opportunity to elect those majors through the end of the academic year, so the timeline could shift."

Implementation of new programs could depend on factors including accreditation, she said. 

A major in data science will begin in the fall, and "faculty are working to redesign the Spanish, sociology and mathematics majors with added emphasis on practical applications," the release states. A major combining philosophy and religious studies is being created. 

Manchester will keep a public relations minor, and classes in economics and physics still will be offered. Minors in religious studies and philosophy also will be retained. 

Fifteen students are affected by the cuts to minors, officials said.

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