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Saint Anselm College Offers Three New Majors

May 31, 2011

Story by Barbara LeBlanc

Students who are not sure what to major in now have three more options at Saint Anselm College. Peace and Justice Studies, Environmental Politics and Sustainability, and Physics are now among the 38 choices of study that students can consider for the fall 2011 semester. American Studies, Elementary Education Studies, and Communication were added in to the roster of majors in the 2010-2011 academic year.

For those interested in the social science and public policy dimensions of the environment, the new program in Environmental Politics and Sustainability offers a broad look at the topic. Students will study politics, economics, science, and other disciplines in preparation for active roles related to public policy making.

Barbara Baudot, professor of politics, says graduates of the program can enter careers in fields such as government, politics, and journalism, as well as law school or other graduate program.

Students who want to help shape a more just and peaceful world can prepare themselves with the interdisciplinary Peace and Justice Studies major. Students shape their studies around a major theme, such as international conflict, conflict resolution or social inequality. They examine poverty, racism, war, and other issues, and study various approaches to solutions, said Dennis Sweetland, professor of theology.

Hands on learning is an important part of the curriculum, with students encouraged to immerse themselves in peace and justice issues through internships, volunteer opportunities, study abroad, and other experiences.

American Studies integrates history with a variety of disciplines, including politics, literature, sociology, and fine arts, to explore what makes the American identity unique. Students examine the most common themes in the American experience, especially the intersection of race, class, and gender, and their impact on what it means to be an American.

"Ultimately, the major will encourage the development of engaged citizens, who are capable of asking and answering difficult questions about American society," said Andrew Moore, associate professor of history.

Elementary Education Studies prepares students to become licensed teachers of kindergarten through Grade 6. The curriculum includes teaching methodology courses, with an emphasis on reading and mathematics, and student teaching.

That program is in addition to the existing middle and high school teaching certification programs, which are offered to students who want to instruct in the fields of their major. Students majoring in English, history, Spanish, French, or Latin also can earn ESOL (English speakers of other languages) certification through the Teacher Education program, said Laura Wasielewski, director of teacher education.

The Communication major provides students with a thorough grounding in written, oral, and visual communication theory and traditions. Housed in the English Department, the program will offer a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to examining how humans send messages and create meaning, said Sherry Shepler, assistant professor of  English.

This unique program encourages students to examine human communication in its many forms, including music, art and film, to better understand how people create and send messages to one another.

Saint Anselm also offers 23 interdisciplinary minors, from neurology to Web design. The newest minor is in campaign management, which is designed to give students the theoretical and practical skills to participate in political management. Students blend knowledge of the psychology of voters, the structure and methods of campaigns, and an understanding of the media and candidate presentation, to prepare them for work in the campaigning field.