By Cody Hohenberger/ Delta Staff Writer
Missouri Valley College is planning to cut out five major and four minor undergraduate programs due to the lower numbers of graduates and enrollment in these areas. Those majors include sociology, political science, music, theatre, and strategic communications while the minors are theatre, music, public relations, and military science.
Valley currently offers 33 undergraduate majors and 26 minors and only 1.8% of undergraduate students are enrolled in these majors or minors. According to the source, in the past three years the amount of students enrolled in these programs hasn’t exceeded more than 1.9%.
“I’m not happy about it,” said Professor of Theatre, Harold Hynick. “I am hopeful that theatre and music will continue as activities, but it will be more challenging outside the context of the majors being present.”
Students involved in these majors were surprised and upset to hear of their cancellation.
“I was kind of surprised to hear that Valley was getting rid of the Strategic Communications Major,” said senior strategic communications major, Mollie Swift. “I will be sad to see an end to such a ubiquitous degree and will value my degree even more knowing that I was one of Professor Carrell’s last students to go through the program.”
Professor Harry Carrell is the current Strategic Communications and Public Relations professor and will be retiring after a long decorated career in teaching.
The students who are currently enrolled in these programs were contacted via email to inform them that the college will still offer the classes to finish out their degree but will not offer them to new students.
“I understand that we are facing some difficulties, a lot of it induced by the pandemic and some reduction in dollars and things need to be cut to make the budget balance,” said Mass Communications Professor, Troy Hunt. “But I do have serious concerns that the things that often go on the chopping block first are the arts.”
Many professors at Valley are very concerned that the college is losing its roots and moving further and further away from being a liberal arts institution. Most believe this is due to most students wanting an education that ensures a job in the future. Students are steering away from the arts and more towards things like nursing and teaching that are more employable.
“College costs continue to increase, and with it student loan debt, and so there is much greater emphasis by students and their families on ensuring employability and a good return on their educational investment,” said Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Christopher Libby. “This has led, I think, to more demand for courses of study like business or education or nursing that offer or are perceived as offering a fairly direct route to a particular career path and secure income.”