Program changes to include modified AMC degrees, cutting French major


Lindenwood’s 2019-20 catalog will be undergoing some degree program changes.
Photo by Matt Hampton

MATT HAMPTON | Sports Editor

Lindenwood’s 2019-20 catalog includes modified degree programs in the School of Arts, Media, and Communications, and the end of the French major.

In the School of Arts, Media, and Communications, degree programs in art and design and mass communications with different emphases will replace some existing separate majors.

Marilyn Abbott, the university provost, said students who are already enrolled in a degree program can continue as it was in the catalog when they started.  Lindenwood is required to still offer classes so that these majors can complete their degree.

“They may not be offered every semester that a student might want to take them, but that wasn’t the case before,” she said. “We’ll be sure that they graduate on time.”

Abbott said changes to a degree’s curriculum come from professors, but the administration can decide to end a program, including based on low enrollment, or add a new one based on demand or available resources.

Abbott said other changes include adding a forensic anthropology emphasis to the anthropology major and terminating the personal financial planning emphasis for the business administration major.  On the graduate level, some degrees in the education school are being cut, and a graduate certificate in art history will be added.

Mass Communications

Lindenwood will offer a 57-hour mass communications major with emphasis areas in broadcasting, journalism, media arts and production, and media management, said Jason Dude Lively, associate dean of the School of AMC.  These emphases will replace current degrees, and the changes will unify the mass communications programs that are taught at the St. Charles and Belleville campuses and in Accelerated Degree Programs.

Not only will this change make it easier for students to transfer between campuses, but it will also help attract new students, Lively said.

“If we can provide the opportunity for students to transfer in, and transfer in a number of their credits and actually have them count towards something, you’ll see an increase in students in those programs,” he said.

Students will also be able to earn a Mass Communications degree with no emphasis in 48 credit hours.

Abbott said this program helps students learn skills in a variety of platforms to give them flexibility in their careers.

Foreign Languages

Because of low enrollment in the degree program, Lindenwood will no longer offer the French major.  

“There’s a general trend that fewer students are taking foreign languages, despite the evidence that they should be taking foreign languages to compete in the economy and just be better citizens in general,” said Nancy Durbin, chair of the French program.

She said decreasing foreign language requirements for the English major curriculum and general ed requirements, which was done to attract new students and transfers in particular, has contributed to the program’s falling numbers.  But regardless of the reason, the French degree’s enrollment has become unsustainable, though majors still remain an active part of the campus community

“We’ve always had small upper-level classes […] but I had several sections that were 20-25 at the lower level,” Durbin said. “And now those are smaller and it doesn’t balance out, so all of us have started teaching English comp to give us some classes that will fill.”

Durbin said the French minor will also also be eliminated in 2020-21, but existing majors and minors will still be offered the classes necessary to complete their degrees.

Students earning a major, minor or certificate in Spanish will also be required to take at least one study abroad or Spanish-related internship, according to Maite Nunez-Betelu, a Spanish professor.

In 2020, Lindenwood will also offer summer study abroad trips in Chile, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Spain.

Art and Design

Similar to the new Mass Communications major, there will be a “meta-degree” in art and design with emphases in web design, graphic design, digital art, and photography.  Lively said this replaces existing degrees because of the “considerable overlap” between the graphic design, studio art, digital art, and digital and web design programs.

“The amount of the degree that has not changed, other than title and prefix, is about 80% for web design and about 70% for graphic design,” Lively said. He added that this will give flexibility for people who come to Lindenwood without a specific idea about what they want to study.

He said photography was chosen as an emphasis because, along with animation, it is an area in the art and design field which is growing in popularity.  Animation is on the table for a future program, but Lindenwood does not yet have the resources needed for it.