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Math and business departments join for new major

A new mathematical finance major and an education studies major was unanimously approved at the Nov. 12 Faculty Senate meeting.

The senate approved the new mathematical finance major because students can no longer double major in business and math and graduate in four years, according to the agenda. A mathematical finance major will require 63 credits as opposed to the 90 credits required by a math and business double major. This will allow students to avoid choosing one major over the other, said Greg Cant, dean of the Offutt School of Business.

“As far as I can tell, this (major) doesn’t exist anywhere else,” said Doug Anderson, professor of mathematics. “It’s a very rare and new thing.”

The major combines a selection of 32 math and computer science credits, as well as 31 business credits. Anderson thinks the interdisciplinary nature of the major may appeal not only to current students that had hoped to double major, but also to entering freshmen.

“It’s an experiment to see if we can draw a new type of student (to Concordia) or give a new option,” he said.

Cant thinks the major will benefit students looking for jobs right after college.

“A well prepared math student with a clear understanding of finance will find that they have some great career opportunities,” he said, mentioning actuarial science as one of the possibilities.

Faculty senators also approved an education studies major. The major will be an option for students that meet all the requirements for the elementary education major but cannot complete the final student teaching practicum, according to the agenda.

“This is, in fact, a major that has been awarded a handful of times in the past,” said Michael Wohlfeil, chair of the department of education.

The education department recently discovered the major was never brought before the curriculum committee or Faculty Senate to be approved, he said.

“This is really an attempt to correct that omission,” Wohlfeil said. “I apologize in advance for that.”

In the past, students have chosen education studies over elementary education for reasons that arise during their teaching practicum, according to the agenda. The student may decide teaching is not for him or her, a supervisor may indicate that the student is not performing adequately or the Department of Education or the cooperating school may request that the student withdraw because of ineffectiveness.

A different capstone course will substitute for student teaching, according to the agenda. Because some students attempt the teaching practicum during their last semester of college, they may be required to complete the capstone during the summer session.

In other news:

• The clinical experience for nutrition and dietetics majors was changed from two to four credits to help the program regain accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. The pass rate of Concordia students for the ACEND registration examination recently fell below the 85 percent benchmark, and the curriculum committee hopes the program can regain its previous rating that exceeded 85 percent, according to the consent agenda.

•Secondary and K-12 education majors can now receive new subject endorsements to teach grades five through eight. Endorsements include communication arts and literature, mathematics, science, social studies, French, Latin, Spanish, German and Norwegian, according to the consent agenda. Students will not be allowed to hold multiple endorsements.

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