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The Lookout | October 30, 2020

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Umbrella degree to help transfers

Umbrella degree to help transfers
  • On September 11, 2020

By Maddy Warren
Editor In Chief

The LCC Academic Senate discussed umbrella degrees, among other topics, during its Friday, Sept. 11 meeting.

Cheryl Garayta shared information about umbrella degrees and umbrella courses during the WebEx meeting.

“Basically (an umbrella degree is) combining several related degrees under a broad category,” Garayta said.

She said an umbrella degree would give students a new category. All of the current majors would still be there, but there would be majors within a specific degree, such as business.

“A student could still major in accounting under the umbrella,” Garayta explained. “A student who wanted to transfer would take the general business for transfer studies as the major.

“We haven’t eliminated majors, but we’re trying to create these umbrellas that allow us to give better transfer information and help students make better-informed choices upfront.”

Garayta said the college is trying to narrow down the degree choices to align with LCC’s career communities.

The umbrella degree would also help students to better pick the right courses for their specific degree if they are transferring. It would also help professors to better understand students’ goals and needs.

Garayta said umbrella degrees are in the process of being developed. Right now, business is the only group for which a draft of the degree with majors has been completed.

She said the degree pathway with the majors still needs final revisions and approval from the Curriculum Committee, with the goal of implementation for fall of academic year 2021-22.

Amalia Gonzales is a new student senator for the academic senate.

She is in her second year at LCC and plans to graduate with an associate degree in communication in the spring, before transferring to a university to get a masters’s degree in social work. The academic senate meeting on Sept. 11 was her second as a senator.

Gonzales said she thinks the umbrella degree program is an absolutely wonderful idea.

“With me being a transfer student doing the MTA (Michigan Transfer Agreement), I find that very important, because you want to make sure that you’re taking the right classes for the right school that you want to transfer to,” Gonzales said. “Having more, easier information access on it … I feel like as a student, it makes me … have less anxiety.”

Gonzales said she worked previously at the Health and Human Services building, and there was an abundance of advising guides with information and requirements about transferring and taking classes at LCC.

“So when she (Garayta) showed that it’s all in one thing, I thought that was perfect, instead of jumping through hoops basically to find information on the degrees,” Gonzales said.

The next LCC Academic Senate meeting is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 25 from 9 to 11 a.m.

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