Board of Curators approves new human environmental sciences degree, hopes to boost retention

The degree will add an emphasis area in family and consumer sciences.
Steve Graham is an MU professor in the College of Education that delivered this proposal. Courtesy of MU College of Education

A new Bachelor of Science in human environmental sciences with an emphasis in family and consumer sciences degree was approved for MU Thursday at the UM System Board of Curators meeting.

Steve Graham, MU professor in the College of Education and senior associate vice president for academic affairs for the UM System, delivered the proposal.

The new emphasis area is intended to keep human environmental sciences students from having to switch their majors or stop attending MU.

“[There are] no new courses or faculty required in this. It’s just more of a way to catch that student so that she doesn’t have to transfer to some other program, let’s say psychology, history or some other arts and sciences program, and then extend her stay at the university for an extra year,” Graham said in the meeting.

The MU College of Human Environmental Sciences is ranked nationally as the number four college in family, consumer and human sciences, according to College Factual. Many of the degrees within this college have a competitive admission process, necessitating the new emphasis area to retain more students, Graham said.

“They find a lot of students in their second and third year are not going to be admitted, and so they lose as many as 30 students a year [at] Mizzou that don’t get in and head off somewhere else,” Graham said in the meeting. “So, they put together kind of a general program that covers human environmental sciences that they hope will attract a few new students, but mainly as a retention-type program.”

Before reaching the meeting, the new degree was unanimously approved by the UM System Academic, Student Affairs, Research and Economic Development Committee. In the meeting, the board also voted unanimously to approve the proposal.

Along with this new degree, the board unanimously approved a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in cybersecurity for UM-St. Louis.

Edited by Emily Wolf | ewolf@themaneater.com

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