Various college name and degree title changes have been implemented within some of Slippery Rock University’s four colleges.
As of January, the College of Business, Information, and Social Sciences has been known as the College of Business. Within the last few weeks, the College of Humanities Fine and Performing Arts was renamed the College of Liberal Arts. Assistant to the Provost, Mary Hennessey, said there isn’t a big pronouncement when changes happen because it tends not to affect the individual lives of students.
“As these changes happen, it becomes clear that the title doesn’t resonate with the programs that are under it anymore,” Hennessey said.
Computer science moved from the College of Business to the College of Health, Environment, and Science. They also changed their title from computer science to the department of computing with tracks in computer and information science. The College of Liberal Arts now includes the interdisciplinary programs and criminology.
“The College of Business was a title put forward by the faculty because it came clear that information, social sciences wasn’t descriptive of majors they had anymore,” Hennessey said. “The faculty votes on it, it gets approved by the provost, and then the president.”
Hennessey said changes happen sometimes because of an accreditation issue or because a term has fallen out of disfavor and people don’t use that term anymore. For example, professional studies went to interdisciplinary programs and therapeutic recreation changed to recreational therapy.
Name changes to the colleges may affect the Living-Learning Communities (LLCs). LLCs provide students with an outside of the classroom learning experience within the residence halls. Assistant director of residential education, Justin Kleemook, said the LLCs are designed to create co-curricular experience that compliments in class curriculum.
There are two types of LLCs, academic and special interests, that combine to make 12 total. Academic LLCs include business, information, and social sciences (BISS), education (EDU), explore, discover, decide (XPL), health, environment, and science (HES), honors (HON), and humanities, fine, and performing arts (HFPA). Special interest LLCs include creating connections (CC), outdoor adventure/military leadership (OA/ML), leadership, sophomore year experience, transfers and L.E.A.F.
Kleemook said when changes occur; he believes they will make name changes as well to stay in line with the university’s mission. Changes will affect the academic LLCs more so than the non-academic ones, Kleemook said. He contacts the LLC applicants individually to inform them when changes are made and recommends them to another LLC that may be of their interest.
“I like to leave the decision in the student’s hand,” Kleemook said. “I believe in college, students learn that they have a voice and should use that voice to tell people what they want.”
Hennessey said the big thing to keep in mind is these changes come from the faculty and on up. Faculty and administration get together when they believe the name doesn’t match what they do anymore.
“Changes go through a variety of approvals and curriculum processes within the department and within the college,” Hennessey said. “There is a university wide curriculum committee who approves the name change and then the final decision comes from the president.”