Tina Nalepa – 1851 Staff
Eight years ago, Lasell created a program where incoming undecided students had the opportunity to create their own majors. These students did this by selecting humanity courses to see what students enjoyed studying and created a major out of the courses offered.
This changed when a student Samantha Dulac, Class of 2005, was not fully satisfied with her fashion classes, but she still enjoyed fashion and wanted to incorporate journalism into her degree. After combining classes and working with professors of both departments, Dulac graduated Lasell with a degree in Fashion Communication which is now an offered major.
To create an individualized major, students must meet with Steve Bloom, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, who is in charge of approving a proposed majors. The process continues by meeting with the student’s advisor and the directors in each department.
“This opportunity is for students to combine different majors into a major that is not offered at Lasell. It is not intended for students who think they won’t pass a class to just come in and combine their major and minor and take out a class they are failing or don’t want to take because they believe will be too challenging,” said Bloom. “Each created major requires students to have a range of classes from intro level to 400 level classes.”
There are four components in creating a major. The first is writing a rhetorical statement stating why you wish to create your own major. Second comes a list of the courses and corresponding total credits that are included in the major. Next, the student must write a course-by-course rational explaining why each course is important to the major being created. Finally, the student must create a program planner and have all four pieces approved by the student’s advisor and Bloom. Majors students created include Fashion Communication, Political Communication, Peace & Justice Studies, Youth Sports and Green Business.
Junior Alexa Frasco went to Bloom to create her own major, Green Business, this past summer. “I wasn’t feeling entirely fulfilled by being a fashion merchandising major, but my environmental science studies classes were extremely interesting, which made me switch my major to environmental science,” said Frasco. “However, I really enjoyed my business classes in my previous major, so after being very confused for months about what I wanted to major in I met with Steve Bloom to create my own major, which is called Green Business.”
Frasco recommended creating an individualized major if the student has not decided on a major yet or is not enjoying his or her current major.
“Students who have created their majors in the past said it was a very positive and rewarding experience to create something they really wanted to achieve and study,” said Bloom.