New programs become available across diciplines

Members of UVM's board of trustees gather Feb. 2 in the Livak Ballroom in the Davis Center to discuss relevant issues at the University. The board decided in fall 2019 two new majors, one new minor and three certificate programs will be added in various colleges.

Alek Fleury

Members of UVM's board of trustees gather Feb. 2 in the Livak Ballroom in the Davis Center to discuss relevant issues at the University. The board decided in fall 2019 two new majors, one new minor and three certificate programs will be added in various colleges.

Zoe Schemm and Zoe Stern

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Starting next fall, two new majors, one new minor and three certificate programs will be offered in various colleges after UVM’s board of trustees approved their creation.

These programs include a Bachelor of Arts in dance, a Bachelor of Science in anthropology and a minor in reporting and documentary storytelling.

They also include certificates in community music: organ, religious literacy and integrated health & wellness coaching.

The new programs, called “innovative and creative” by trustee Jodi Goldstein, are an attempt to generate new interest in the University for prospective students and could potentially increase enrollment, according to meeting documents.

The certificate in integrated health and wellness coaching is designed to give students experience in the health care field.

It has surpassed the expected enrollment number of 15 students and is now at 25, board member Laura Almstead said.

The interest in these programs was based on student surveys and the number of enrolled students in related minors, Almstead said.

The certificate in integrated health and wellness coaching is especially versatile because it works across disciplines, connecting the College of Nursing and Health Sciences with Continuing and Distance Education at UVM, board documents stated.

The diversity in scheduling and subjects that these programs allow appeals to students like first-year biology major Bryce Williams.

Williams said her major does not cover topics that she wished it would.

“I had a lot of interests coming in, but not a lot of majors [to choose from],” she said. “More programs at UVM could help me better understand what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

The new certificate program allows students to approach these subjects in their own ways, gaining necessary credentials even if their major is too rigorous to allow a double major or minor, Almstead said.

The classes will also help students train for the certification exams for becoming an integrative health and wellness coach.

“[It will] offer students an opportunity to provide them some credentials that are transcriptional in an area of growing employment,” Almstead said.

These programs also allow for cross-disciplinary integration in terms of whether or not students can double major, Provost David Rosowsky said.

“I think that one of the most exciting things that started the attraction is between data science and ‘X,’ where ‘X’ is just in the domain of the social sciences at UVM. For example, big data and anthropology,” Rosowsky said.

Most of the majors discussed at the board meeting Jan. 31 have unique qualities, Almstead said.

The dance major that was approved is the only B.A. dance program at a public university in the state of Vermont, according to the proposal submitted to the board of trustees.

The certificates in community music and the minor in documentary storytelling both have a large impact on the community, Almstead said.

The certificate in community music could help revitalize a dying music industry in Vermont, Almstead said.

The new B.S. in anthropology will focus on the scientific and quantitative side of anthropology as a compliment to the B.A. in anthropology that is already offered.

The minor in reporting and documentary storytelling in the College of Arts and Sciences will include capstone internships allowing students to apply what they have learned to make a tangible product, Almstead said.

The documentary storytelling minor’s internship is intended to directly connect students with their area of study.

“The main goal of this program is to provide students a foundation in both practice and theory with communicating stories in journalism and non-fiction writing, as well as documented video and digital media,” Almstead said.