Ethan Smith, Staff Writer
With the upcoming merger between Georgia Southern and Armstrong State University, there are many changes on the way. Mainly, these changes will affect those attending Armstrong State here in Savannah. Not only will Armstrong change many athletic opportunities, but the curriculum for various degree programs here at Armstrong as well.
Although the majority of academic programs will continue to be offered, there will be some changes to the curriculum. However, every student will be ensured a degree in their current track until at least spring semester of 2020.
Some programs that are currently in development that will appear in Armstrong’s future curriculum are: Masters of Accounting, BBA w/ Concentration in Hospitality, Tourism Management, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
The “new” Georgia Southern will consist of nine colleges once the consolidation swings into full effect: The Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Computing,College of Arts and Humanities, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, the Don and Cindy Waters College of Health Professions, the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, College of Science and Mathematics and the J.N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies.
The one noticeable adjustment that has some talking on the Armstrong campus is the change of Sociology becoming a Bachelor of Science degree under the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Ned Rinalducci, a Sociology professor here at Armstrong State, gave his insight on the movement of the Sociology department.
“This a very positive development. Armstrong has wanted to offer a Bachelor’s in Sociology for some time. There has been demand at the student level and staffing at the faculty level, yet the politics at the state level were never right. In the current political and media climate that students live in today, with science being discredited and traditional institutions being distrusted, the role of the social sciences in higher education has never been more needed and important,” Rinalducci stated.
When asked if his teaching styles would change, he added, “It will not change the way I, or the other sociologists teach sociology, although it will expand the course offerings and increase the frequency of certain classes.”
Kody Brown, a junior Liberal Arts in Sociology major, had his own take on the changes, and also why he chose Sociology as his major. “I feel like sociology the most useful field of study to learn about. I think it’s important to know how people think and function in the world.”
He seemed very excited about Sociology becoming a Bachelor of Science, as he explained: “I am extremely eager for the consolidation because now I am able to get a degree in the exact field I want. Since my freshman year, I have been in the Liberal Arts in Sociology program hoping that Armstrong would add a Sociology degree.”
On how he thought Sociology will benefit from the merger, Brown stated, “Hopefully it will encourage more students to enter this field of study.”
Despite all of the curriculum changes coming to Armstrong and GSU with the upcoming merger, most changes will not come into effect until next year’s freshman class starts their college journey. For current freshman, the curriculum will stay mostly the same until 2021/2022, which should allow for less confusion about new classes and degrees coming to Statesboro, Savannah, and even at Savannah State University, possibly in the upcoming few years. Hopefully the transition is smooth; that way, we can become Eagles in a fun, creative way with the new curriculum on the way!
For more information about the curriculum changes coming to Armstrong after the consolidation, go to http://consolidation.georgiasouthern.edu/.