Freshmen and transfer students planning to enroll in the School of Natural Resources next year will be redirected to a new joint program in the College of Literature, Sciences and Arts – combining aspects from both schools.
The intention of the new undergraduate degree program – Program in the Environment – is to provide a broader education to those interested in pursuing environmental careers by offering students background in environmental and natural resource issues, while including a liberal arts perspective. The creation of the program means new undergraduate students will no longer be accepted into SNRE.
“The idea is that it will be a new concentration,” said John Knott, interim director of the program. “There will be a lot of the same courses, but now they will be more easily available.”
An information session was held yesterday afternoon giving students the opportunity to learn more about the new program and its requirements.
Any student currently enrolled in SNRE will be given the option of either continuing in the school or transferring to LSA and earning a degree through the environmental program.
Several current students said they thought the program would be beneficial to new students, but for the most part were planning to continue their course of study in SNRE.
“I think it’s a good idea because it helps integrate SNRE with other majors, but I probably won’t transfer over,” SNRE freshman Olivia Ott said.
Knott said the program will offer a larger, more diverse program in environmental education but will not detract from the community feel of SNRE.
“Students have had concern because they feel they’re losing their program, but the classes will continue to be held in the Dana Building to keep the sense of community,” Knott said.
Most of the classes offered in SNRE will continue to be offered in the new program. In addition, new inter-disciplinary, team-taught courses will be offered, such as Tools for Environmental Problem Solving, taught partially by SNRE Prof. Bobbi Low.
“We don’t want to turn out a group of science nerds and a group of policy makers who don’t speak the same language,” Low said. “In this class every situation will offer a biology-behavioral learning example and a policy-making example.”
The program will go into effect next year, but there are still a few loose ties that need to be dealt with.
“I’m looking for a sexier title for the class, so if anyone has any ideas, let me know,” Low joked.
For more information on Program in the Environment visit http://environment.snre.umich.edu.