CHSS offers new degrees plus new curriculum twists
By Laurie Merrill
GCU News Bureau
New courses, more faculty and important twists on the current curriculum are some of the changes in store for College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) students when classes begin Monday, Aug. 29.
New program highlights include:
- A major revision in the Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies
- New Professional Writing programs
- A Bachelor’s of Science degree in Sociology with an Emphasis in Social Work.
The social work degree is attracting a surprising number of enrollees, said Dr. Sherman Elliott, CHSS dean.
“It’s taken off,” Elliott said. “We have double the enrollment we anticipated.”
More than 53 ground students and more than 150 online students had enrolled in the program by early August.
Elliott also is hoping for high enrollment in the new degree programs, a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Professional Writing Emphasis and a Minor in Professional Writing.
These degrees are designed to attract not only communications and English students but any student at GCU, Elliott said.
“Whether a student is going into business, music, theology or more, it makes sense to pick up a minor in professional writing,” Elliott said. “You’ve got to be a good writer in any field today.”
Elliott said he is “extremely proud” of Justice Studies faculty members Kevin Walling and Colonel Stemley for their wholesale revision of the program to reflect the evolving needs of society and its relationship to police.
“The program shifts the nature of policing, focusing on community policing and handling unique populations, such as the mentally ill and minorities,” Elliott said.
The program is a move away from the enforcement/firepower model of policing.
“Our future officers will take psychology and learn to handle conflict resolution and interpersonal-relationship building,” he said. “The program will include police intelligence and analysis, for example — how to use big data for things like crowd control and gangs.”
Also new to CHSS this fall are six new faculty members, three who will teach mathematics and one each to teach English, sociology and communications.
Three are former GCU adjuncts, which reflects Elliott’s preference to promote from within.
“I hire from within because adjunct professors have a chance to prove they are successful with the GCU student body and culture,” Elliott said. “I use adjuncting as a trial.”
Contact Laurie Merrill at (602) 639-6511 or [email protected].