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Loyola University New Orleans announces new academic programming for 2012-13

Loyola press release - September 17, 2012

Loyola University New Orleans has several new program changes to announce for the 2012-13 academic year.

The university is offering three new interdisciplinary degree majors in the environment. Three major degree tracks will be offered including Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a concentration in biological sciences; Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a concentration in the humanities; and Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a concentration in social sciences. Students can also pursue a minor in environmental studies.

The interdisciplinary program in the environment provides students the opportunity to engage in a broad and integrated study of the environment from a variety of academic viewpoints. The program focuses on understanding the relationships between humans and the natural world from biological, physical, chemical, sociological, economic, cultural, philosophical and religious perspectives.

“Having this degree program, especially in New Orleans, is vital because it allows our students to understand important environmental issues and to participate in environmental scholarship and hands-on practical experiences that will contribute to this region’s recovery and long-term viability,” said Paul Barnes, Ph.D., professor and director of the Environment Program. “The opportunity for independent research, which is not typical of many undergraduate experiences, will be a great tool for our students as they leave and pursue careers in various environmental fields.”

Depending on the area of concentration, students will be prepared for entry into graduate or professional schools and career paths in a diversity of fields such as environmental research, environmental policy/law, sustainability planning and development, natural resource management and conservation, environmental communications, environmental education, creative writing, environmental consulting and many others.

The School of Mass Communication within the College of Social Sciences has revised its curriculum in order to seek accreditation by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. ACEJMC is the agency formally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for accrediting programs for professional education in journalism and mass communications in institutions of higher learning.

Changes include a required seminar in mass communication ethics, the addition of videography courses, capstone courses for public relations, journalism and advertising, and requiring every student to perform a minimum of one internship, but allowing up to three.

According to Sonya Duhé, director of Loyola’s School of Mass Communication, the changes will ensure that the school is adapting its curriculum to meet the demands of the ever-evolving mass communication industry, while at the same time grounding it in the liberal arts.

“We are poised for the future of this industry and these new changes reflect that. It is critical that our students know multiple platforms and use critical thinking in their application,” Duhé said. “They will learn about each communication platform, including print, broadcast, online and social media. There is no reason why our students cannot go directly from graduation into a professional newsroom, public relations firm or ad agency.”

Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts has established a new School of Music based on its existing music program that has been restructured. According to Donald Boomgaarden, Ph.D., dean of the College of Music and Fine Arts, the new title better describes the current programs in music, which include a wide variety of degree options at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Within the new School of Music there are now four divisions: instrumental performance; vocal performance; theory, composition, and history; and music therapy and education.

“Establishing this new structure is the next logical step in solidifying our commitment as a true college of the arts,” Boomgaarden said. “It isn’t so much that we are doing anything radically different, but just continuing the tradition of Loyola’s music program and giving things the organizational structures which they really need. By virtue of our size and variety of programs, we fall into the same category of description as the School of Music at Louisiana State University or other nationally known programs, such as the Eastman School of Music.”

Loyola’s Department of Criminal Justice and Office of Professional and Continuing Studies have partnered with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office to offer a new Certificate in Forensic Investigation. The non-credit program, available to members of the law enforcement community and college students interested in improving their qualifications and skills, is a great way to not only keep skills up-to-date on current applications of scientific methods and analyses, but also makes participants more sought after commodities to employers.

The certificate is a 20-unit continuing education program. Students are required to attend no less than 200 hours of instruction by attending five 40-hour seminars or the student may complete several short seminars ranging in length from 8-24 hours. Upon completion of each seminar the student will earn the equivalent continuing education units.

Upcoming seminars include “Crime Scene Investigation I: Documentation, Processing and Collection,” Oct. 15-19 and “Expert Witness Testimony for the Forensic Scientist,” Dec. 11-13. For more information visit http://www.loyno.edu/professional-studies/certificate-programs.

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LoyNews is an e-newswire produced by the Loyola University New Orleans Office of Public Affairs. LoyNews is distributed weekly to local, regional and national news media outlets, communicating the latest news and accomplishments of the university and its community.