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Academics at St. Norbert College

June 2007

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New academic programs approved

A master’s degree in liberal studies, a minor in human services and a major in theatre are to be added to the academic offerings at St. Norbert.

The three new academic programs won board approval May 14.

Michael Marsden (Academic Affairs) said, “Each of these new curricular initiatives will both serve student needs and further the mission of St. Norbert College.”

Master of Liberal Studies

Until now, the only Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program in Wisconsin has been offered at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Wolfgang Grassl (Business Administration) explains, “As part of our efforts to detect new areas of unmet needs on the educational market, we found a need for such a program.

“We perceive this to be an ideal fit with the mission of the college and a natural extension of our emphasis on undergraduate liberal arts education. Faculty will be able to teach special topics of interest that they cannot cover in the undergraduate program.”

St. Norbert has developed three graduate programs and currently offers master’s degrees in education and theological studies.

Theatre studies major

The newly independent theatre studies discipline has been in the works for some time.

“In many ways, it only took a different way of thinking and the creation of different types of classes,” said Stephen Rupsch, director of theatre.

This is the first time theatre has been offered as a separate major. It has been part of the communication, media and theatre discipline since St. Norbert first offered classes on the subject in 1967.

The new major will focus on the holistic theatre artist, Rupsch said.

“Although a student may be interested in a particular aspect of theatre studies, they will be encouraged to try several different aspects such as acting, technical theatre, design, criticism and dramaturgy. We are interested in following the ideals of a liberal arts school.”

Human services minor

Since fall 2005, the sociology discipline has been offering the courses required by the state of Wisconsin for certification as social worker. The discipline has now structured these human service courses in a way that anyone can take them and receive a minor in human services.

Nicole Schneider (Sociology) says, “This is useful for business majors seeking to do non-profit work, English majors wanting to be grant writers, Spanish majors hoping to work among the Latino population and religious studies students looking to work in ministries.

“It has been useful for sociology majors looking into social work, and psychology majors who would like do counseling.”

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