Bio-Ag advises students through changes

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    By Ruth Busbee

    Students of the college of biology and agriculture had their first “town meeting” Thursday Oct. 24 to learn about pending changes to programs and to address concerns.

    John Bell, associate dean of the college of biology and agriculture presented the pending restructure in order to help students get a sense of how the college is changing and advise them of their graduation options.

    “There won”t be an increase in the length of time for graduation other than your own personal decision,” Bell said. “We will offer you the opportunity to switch into one of these programs if you desire.”

    Students can decide to either change into a new program or continue with the program in which they are currently enrolled.

    Denise Doiron, 20, a junior from Tempe, Ariz., majoring in Wildlife and Range Resource attended the meeting to learn about the changes and to decide if she wants to change into a new program.

    “It seems like the faculty are really trying to improve the programs for what is appropriate in today”s business world,” said Doiron. “They also sound like they will be accommodating to our needs either staying in our current major or transferring to a new department.”

    Will Ellingson, 21, a sophomore, from Calgary Alberta, Canada majoring in zoology, attended the meeting and said he was excited about the changes.

    “I think the changes will help out with what I want to do, which is pre-dental. I”m not sure exactly what major I”ll switch into, I”ll have to look at the exact classes, but it will be better for me,” said Ellingson.

    However, not all students are excited about the changes.

    Stevie Stakland, 23, a freshman from Fairfield, Iowa, majoring in horticulture management, said he is not happy that some of the electives he wants to take won”t be offered anymore.

    “The whole reason I”m in the program is for the Greenhouse management class, and they”re dropping it from the program,” said Stakland. “I want to be a farmer and none of those new majors are parallel with that. From their perspective, they”re saying we”re outdated, so they”re making the classes more scientific. But that”s not why I came here.”

    Tegwyn Ellingson, 25, a junior, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, majoring in horticulture with and emphasis in landscape and urban horticulture, is also disappointed because he feels his program won”t be the same after the changes.

    “I”ve gone from major to major to major, and I finally find one I really enjoy and I come to this meeting and find out basically it”s getting axed,” said Tegwyn.

    Bell emphasized that the restructure will better prepare students for graduate school or entering the work force upon graduation.

    “It”s our belief that these new programs really are superior. We really think they”re better,” said Bell. “We will do everything we can that”s reasonable, go out of our way even, to make it easy for you to transfer into these new programs, if that”s what you want.”

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