Wilkes offers new majors and minors for undergraduate students

Wilkes University is offering a variety of new majors and minors for the current and Fall 2018 semesters.

The new majors and minors include a theatre design and technology major, a five-year B.A./ M.B.A. in industrial organizational psychology major, a sports psychology minor, actuarial sciences minor, and a sustainability management minor.

The new theatre and design technology major is being introduced through the performing arts division of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Classes for this major include design for theater, stagecraft, and more. Students will work to compile a portfolio and work on their own capstone their senior year. Those in this major will also be able to gain hands on experience by participating in four major shows each year.

The five-year B.A./ M.B.A. in industrial psychology is a route offered to students that allows them to not only obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology but also a master of business administration. This major is coordinated by Dr. Carl Charnetski of the psychology department.

Under no additional costs, students through this program will take graduate-level classes in their senior year in this accelerated program. This program allows students to use elective credits as an undergraduate for their M.B.A. requirements meaning students can finish their master’s in three semesters.

“It’s a program where afterwards you can work in a whole array of different business settings or you can work in psychology,” said Charnetski, “you’re gonna have budget knowledge, H.R. knowledge, management knowledge, and marketing skills.”

Students in this major are immersed in skills and courses that may place them ahead in the competitive job hunt. Careers include, but are not limited to, human resources, administration management and sales.

The new sports psychology minor was also introduced by Charnetski.

“Sports psychology is fascinating,” said Charnetski “Number one, it’s fun, and number two, it’s really interesting.”

This program allows students to study the different issues of psychology within athletes and how to apply what they learn in psychology courses, but also learning about peak performance.

“We’ve got a unique program here,” said Charnetski, “There are only two programs in the state at the undergraduate level in sports psychology.”

Students get to learn the different pieces of an athlete’s psyche and how to apply the best possible training for an athlete as well as looking at an athlete’s brain waves in relation to their peak performance through the cutting-edge equipment in the Neuro Training and Research center.

The coursework of this program helps students focus on the issues faced by athletes like anxiety and stress. Classes include Intro to Sports Management, Sports Psychology, Peak Performance Coaching and many others. Students will be required to take twenty-two credits.

The actuarial sciences minor is a new program coordinated by Dr. Fanhui Kong of the department of mathematics and computer science.

“Locally, we don’t have such a minor or major,” said Kong.

Students in the minor will focus on subjects like probability, statistics, finance, and economics.

Through this minor, there is a possibility of getting internships to help a student use actuarial science in a real-world setting.

“I have one student who is pursuing this minor now doing an internship at County Insurance,” said Kong.

The minor better equips students for the future as an actuary; a person who uses different mathematics and strategies to analyze the costs of risk and uncertainty in different lines of work, like insurance.

The sustainability management minor is introduced by the partnership of the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership and the Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Science.

Dr. Marleen Troy, a professor of environmental engineering, helped coordinate this program with the help Ruth Hughes of the Business school.

The minor offers a newer and modern take on the issue of sustainability management and teaches students different sustainability measures and tools for their future.

In the minor, students will learn how to implement initiatives and programs for sustainability organizations.

“It’s very rare to have [this minor] at an undergraduate level,” said Troy, “so we are hoping to complement and make students stronger.”

Students will take online courses of introduction to sustainability, metrics of sustainability, sustainability implementation, and industry-focused sustainability for the minor. If students finish these classes with a 3.0 GPA or higher, for each class as well as a few more additional credits, they will obtain the minor as well as an online certificate in sustainability management.

“Increased awareness and hopefully another set of tools for when they go in the workplace,” answered Troy when asked what she hopes students will gain from this minor and certificate.

The certificate and minor itself comes from a partnership with the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, a recognized leader in sustainability education.

“It’s a good background to have to make yourself look more marketable,” said Troy.