Jennifer Glose, Staff Writer
While dealing with the mixed emotions stemming from the recent Academic Program Review (APR) budget cuts, students in four eliminated majors at Cedar Crest College are forced to obtain classes elsewhere, leaving them with a more difficult road to graduation.
Many students and faculty have been affected by last semester’s APR results, which came out of an 18 month long process, including lengthy meetings and intense scrutiny of each program on campus. A final decision was delivered by the board of directors, which eliminated the majors of music, computer information systems, general science, and marketing.
In addition to the eliminations, the majors of dance and theatre were cut significantly, through both funding and faculty.
“Enthusiasm for the performing arts is high with nine senior projects this spring, great show lineup, supportive alums, and a dedicated (albeit) smaller faculty,” said Roxanne Amico, chair of performing arts at Cedar Crest.
Elizabeth Meade, the Cedar Crest Provost, discussed her perspective on the college’s participation and role in helping the students that are in the eliminated majors.
“Emotionally, it is very difficult for a student to be at a college and have their major eliminated,” Meade said. “But, I feel that the college is doing everything it can to ensure that these students have access to the courses that they need to fulfill their degrees.”
According to Meade, the music major has low enrollment, pointing out that there is only one student in its program.
Christine Nowik, the Assistant Dean of Student Success and Retention at Cedar Crest, is in charge of monitoring and assisting the students that are in the eliminated majors, according to Meade. Nowik updates Meade on a weekly basis in the event that any difficulties arise for any of the students.
General Science, according to Nowik, only has one student declared in its major, who is scheduled to graduate in January.
The elimination of the marketing major does not pose much of a problem, since the business administration major includes marketing as a concentration. The one student in this major is currently working toward her degree completion, according to Nowik.
The computer information systems major has the most students enrolled in the eliminated major—six. Of these students, two are set to graduate in May. Nowik explained how the others in the major are obtaining their courses.
“The others are completing their degrees through LVAIC and OCICU courses that have previously been approved as course equivalents,” Nowik explained.
Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges, also referred to as LVAIC, is a non-profit organization that consists of six private higher education institutions as core members, according to its website. Aside from Cedar Crest, the other five core colleges are DeSales University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Moravian College, and Muhlenberg College.
Students of Cedar Crest can take courses offered at these other five LVAIC colleges, as long as the classes are considered equivalent within their respective majors.
Cedar Crest is also a member of OCICU, Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities, which offers many options of online courses for students in need of degree requirements.
As the dust from the APR results continues to settle for many students and faculty of Cedar Crest, some hope lies in the future for the students that have been forced to take a slightly different path to graduation.
“Overall, 11 students with declared majors have been affected by this change, and we have reached out to them to assist in identifying a plan for graduation,” Nowik confirmed.