Kansas Wesleyan unveils new majors, changes to curriculum

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Wesleyan University said it plans to offer 17 new majors and a revamped core curriculum in an effort to give students a more well-rounded education.

Officials from the Salina college said Wednesday the new curriculum will allow departments to combine offerings. For example, art therapy would combine art and psychology studies. Provost Nancy Cummings said the goal is to develop compelling programs and meet graduate’s needs for employment.

School officials say the changes grew out of discussions with employers and alumni, the Salina Journal reported.

John Burchill, associate professor of criminal justice, was among faculty who helped develop what’s called a “re-imagining” of the university. An attorney told him that he wished he had taken accounting, psychology, chemistry and other classes outside his major to help him better understand his cases.

Burchill said that graduates in any career field must be able to think critically and communicate well.

“When a police department calls me about a graduate, the first question they ask is, ‘Can he write?’ ” Burchill said. “The same skills you need to enjoy literature make you a good investigator. You can connect the dots. We have some nursing students who plan to work in an ER who take a criminal justice course now so they know how to preserve evidence.”

Students will generally take about 40 hours of liberal studies classes over four years, with the courses grouped into four broad categories.

“As a liberal arts institution, we want to look at the student as a whole person,” Cummings said.



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