SDSU reworks programs, Regents approve


Kristine Young, News Editor and KATIE HILL, Reporter


Advertising has been approved as a new SDSU major.

Previously, advertising was a specialization under a journalism degree. However, the South Dakota Board of Regents recently approved the addition of the new degree. It will be available as both a major and a minor.

Roxanne Lucchesi, professor of journalism and mass communications, said, “separating advertising from journalism will be nice because they are two very different forms of communication. One is marketing a product and giving one side of the story, while the other is a very different discipline.”

Mary Arnold, head of the department of journalism and mass communication, said that about 35 percent of students in the department specialized in advertising. She said “the sheer number of students interested in advertising showed sufficient demand to make it a stand-alone major.”

Lucchesi said “[the department is] very excited about the major and minor because it recognizes a strong program, and it better represents the degree that students are getting from the university.”

She said three emphases are available under the new major including creative strategy, media and interactive and public relations.

Lucchesi thinks the new major and minor might attract more people because it is specific.

“It’s already such a popular field,” she said.

The new major and minor will get students ready to handle the industry’s ever-changing needs, Lucchesi said.

“I think the major … reflects the needs of the industry today, and it will be easier for students to market themselves in a desired area to employers,” she said.

Speech communication and theatre major split

The communication studies and theatre degree is being split into a separate speech communication major and theatre major.

“It was appropriate to separate the two specializations,” said Laurie Haleta, head of the communication studies and theatre department. “The students will be officially acknowledged for the work that they do.”

Haleta worked closely with dean of College of Arts and Sciences Jerry Jorgensen and Vice President of Academic Affairs Laurie Nichols in filing a formal request to the Board of Regents

Changes will not affect the students currently enrolled in communication studies and theatre, and the courses offered and the courses that are required will not change.

Nic Nelson, a sophomore communication studies and theatre major, said enrollment might become an issue.

“I know that they cut down on some theatre classes that are usually taught during the spring semester, one of the key classes being an advanced acting class taught by Professor J.D. Ackman due to lack of enrollment, after only three days of being able to register for classes,” he said.

Sustainable energy minor

The BOR approved a new minor in sustainable energy.

Mechanical engineering department head Kurt Bassett said the South Dakota Department of Labor was a key player in its development because of the number of industries and occupations that have been growing related to renewable and sustainably industry, such as wind energy and bio-fuels.

“All companies are looking at themselves and seeing how they can have less of an impact on the environment. Anytime a student has a documented set of educational benefits they are much more likely to be recruited,” Bassett said.

Mechanical engineering, agriculture and biological engineering, electrical engineering, and physics or engineering physics majors will find the minor particularly attractive, Bassett said.

“What we have done is developed a package of courses, including some practical experience with research and internship opportunities, as well as a design project,” Basset said.

Bassett added that more education in sustainable energy systems is needed because of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building-rating system. LEED requires that state buildings meet certain requirements and be more energy efficient. All state buildings must meet a silver rating. He said the new minor will not allow students to become certified in LEED, but will give them the education needed to become certified.

Turf and food crops emphasis

The turf and food crops specializations are being converted to emphases. However, current students will still be able to obtain a degree in those fields.

“The primary reason for being phased out is because we did not have enough students enrolled in the specializations,” said David Graper, horticulture, forestry, landscape and parks department head. “Essentially, the emphases allow greater flexibility with courses to pick.”

Art certificates

Students can now gain some recognition for tapping into their inner artist with the development of four new art certification opportunities.

SDSU is adding certificates for ceramics, painting, printmaking and sculpture.

The art department also has certificate programs in animation and art history.

Tim Steele, acting department head of visual arts, said the certificates will allow students to gain recognition for studying something they are interested in.

“That recognition is one of the things everyone hopes to gain through their degrees,” Steele said.

Steele said the certificates offer flexibility. Art and non-art majors can gain certificates by taking the four required classes for each certificate.

“One of the great things is that students can get certificates in more than one area, which is a very contemporary art concept,” Steele said. “It puts SDSU at the forefront of contemporary art education because it isn’t about one medium, but about cross media learning.”

Laura Thyren, a senior early childhood education major, is excited about the certificate opportunities and thinks it will draw more people to pursue education in the arts.

“I know that I do not have ample amounts of extra time to take classes that I enjoy that are also what I would consider to be beneficial to my major,” Thyren said. “I thoroughly enjoy art, and I would love to be able to take just a few classes and have this certification to add to my resume.”

Mitch Torbert, junior art major, thinks the certificates will pale in comparison to students’ portfolios when it comes to finding a job.

“After emailing graduate program directors and speaking with employers, I’ve learned that the most important product of my education is my portfolio,” Torbert said. “If a student doesn’t obtain a certificate, but has worked hard exploring his medium, he could very possibly be more marketable than a student with two or more certificates.”

Steele said the certificates free up curriculum and allow a wide variety of students to gain expertise in the various art classes.

The rest

In addition to the above changes, the BOR reworked other programs.

The non American Chemical Society and American Chemical Society-certified specializations have been combined to meet new professional guidelines. Soil science, previously a specialization under the plant science department, has been upgraded to a minor, and a certificate program in biobased products and bioenergy has also been added as a part of agriculture and biosystem engineering.

#1.1839703:372800828.png:new-majors-BRUA-001.png:With the introduction of several new programs, the art department added certificate programs in ceramics, painting, printmaking and sculpture. The programs are now available for students. :Collegian Photo by Stephen Brua