MSU offers new studies in community and environment major
This fall, Minot State University students will have a new choice for an exciting degree that is unique to the campus and pertinent to the region.
The new program, Studies in Community and Environment, is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human interactions with their communities and the environment. Through SCE, students gain knowledge of the scientific, social, political, economic, aesthetic, and cultural aspects of the human-environment interaction. It is the only program of its kind in North Dakota.
With a scholarly background in place studies and literature of the US West, Interim Director ShaunAnne Tangney was one of a faculty group which established SCE at MSU.
"Science faculty were initially interested in an environmental sciences program," she noted, "but together we were able to broaden and strengthen the program by including the social sciences, humanities, health sciences and business."
Coursework in the sciences provides a strong foundation in the features and workings of the planet. History, economics, sociology and geography explore change over time and human activities in a particular place. Studies in English, philosophy, languages, and art explore the ways people imagine and communicate ideas about the environment and the human role in it. SCE will also be a component of general education at MSU, allowing non-degree students to participate in the coursework.
"We have real environmental and community issues in North Dakota," Tangney said. "The oil boom, for example, brings tremendous wealth but also environmental and community concerns. SCE will help students understand all sides of these issues and will prepare them to go out into our communities, equipped to engage in the critical issues of our times."
A rapidly increasing sector of the U.S. economy now recognizes the importance - and profitability -- of community or environmental sustainability. A SCE degree will provide the background and training for careers in law, advertising, agriculture, art and design, education, business and industry, government, corporate management, resource agencies, construction, public administration, journalism, waste management, urban planning, nonprofit organizations, travel and tourism, retailing, entertainment, transportation, science and research.
"Ultimately, SCE will give students a greater awareness and understanding of local, regional, and global issues. It will also provide hands-on learning opportunities, helping students develop the skills they need to analyze problems and advocate for sustainable solutions," Tangney said. "We look forward to a whole new generation of MSU graduates with a keen sense of place and a strong commitment to their communities and the environment."