New majors and minors introduced at Cal Lutheran

Gbemi Abon, Reporter

This fall, California Lutheran University announced two new academic programs, catering to industry needs and student interest. These programs are a cybersecurity track in the Master of Science in Information Technology program and a new undergraduate major in ethnic and race studies. 

The new MSIT track was proposed in April and reviewed in May, before officially being approved on Sept. 9.

“It is always important to see what the market needs and the courses related to a defined practice,” professor of Information Technology Management and MSIT Director Paul Witman said.

Witman said the push for the program at Cal Lutheran started with the increasing demand for people in the cybersecurity workforce. Interested students and faculty worked together toward making this program come to life.

“I am looking forward to working with our industry partners. We provide educated students with guidance in the field, and give back educated, well trained students. Having the opportunity to take courses around this field leads people to become certified and trained to begin finding jobs in this field,” Witman said. 

The ethics and race studies was proposed by Associate Professor of Sociology Akiko Yasuike and approved this year as an interdisciplinary major. 

The major could be applied to work in a variety of fields, such as community development, education, environmental justice, human resources, law, marketing, nonprofit management, public policy, and theatre, according to a Cal Lutheran press release. 

The press release also said that “employers increasingly value leaders who can work effectively with people from various backgrounds.”

Yasuike said responding to an increasingly diversified student body opened up a pathway for the ethnic and race studies major to be created. 

“Numerous studies have shown that ethnic/racial minority students who take race and ethnic studies classes have a higher retention rate and do better academically than those who do not,” Yasuike said.

Other recent program additions at Cal Lutheran include the launch of the film and TV  undergraduate major this semester, and a financial planning minor introduced in spring 2019. 

“The revision of the business curriculum is based on the past program reviews as well was feedback from our alumni and from industry,” said Gerhard Apfelthaler, dean of the School of Management. 

The minor was established because of industry needs, student interest and the need for financial literacy education, Apfelthaler said.