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New for the 2018-2019 academic year, the Crandall Science department is launching two new minors. For students interested in expanding their knowledge and understanding of scientific matters, students may now choose to minor in Environmental Studies or Chemistry.
The Environmental Studies Minor has been designed as a program for non-Science students to develop scientific literacy skills in order to engage critically with environmental issues, and to prepare them for careers at the intersection of science with education, business and the humanities. Culturally, the environment already impacts our social, political and ethical decisions. With a minor in Environmental Studies, these decisions can be informed by a deeper understanding of the complexity of our relationship with the environment.
A unique feature of the Crandall campus is that it is part of a 200-acre property that includes stream, bog and Acadian forest habitats. Students in the Environmental Studies minor will be part of the ongoing study of these natural environments in addition to off campus study of the diverse maritime ecosystems locally accessible to Crandall University. This firsthand access, alongside close interaction with a faculty of gifted scientists who model the integration of faith and science, will provide students with the tools to become critical-thinking stewards of creation.
Dr. Mel Schriver, coordinator of Crandall’s Science Department, stated his desire that science would have a higher place in students’ education, and he hopes that programs like the Environmental Studies Minor would make it possible for more of our students here at Crandall to include natural Science in their education and worldview.
“We want to increase the impact of Science on the larger Crandall Community,” says Dr. Mel. “Our Business, Education and Humanities programs are already producing broadly educated scholars and leaders, many with an interest and aptitude for studies in Science. The Environmental Studies minor is an opportunity for these students not only to follow their curiosity but to develop critical thinking skills in an area of science that touches their lives in their communities.”
While the Environmental Studies program is aimed at students of all disciplines, the Chemistry minor is intended primarily for Science students (though it is also available to students of other faculties).
Crandall’s Bachelor of Science program currently graduates students with a major in Biology. Students who are also interested in the physical sciences take courses in Chemistry and Physics within the degree program, and the new minor recognizes those who wish to concentrate their studies in Chemistry. Many of these students have come to Crandall because they wish to study at a faith-based institution and would would benefit from additional options in their pursuit of the sciences.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of this program lies in its formative nature. For Science students also intending to pursue Bachelors of Education, the benefit to STEM-focused teachers is clear, but it also allows students the opportunity to follow their own curiosity, interests, and aptitudes into careers related to the chemical sciences.
What will set Crandall’s Chemistry program apart is the mindfully Christian worldview that is brought to bear in the study of chemistry. It will go beyond the lectures and labs so that it fosters a critically chemical sense of how God speaks through His creation – as students develop their understanding of the complex nature of the chemical world, they are given opportunities to allow that complexity to inform and grow their faith.
As with the Environmental Studies Minor (and other program offerings in the Science department), students benefit from close contact with their professors, allowing a great deal of freedom to ask questions and learn in a community atmosphere – to allow their curiosity to develop into a knowledge that seeks wisdom.
As these two new Science Minors are introduced, it is anticipated that students will take advantage of the growing diversity in our Science program, which could pave the way for even more options in the future.
When asked about the future of the Science department, Dr. Mel was hopeful, but acknowledged that, for programs to grow, students are needed. He suggested that a second (or third) major for Crandall’s Science department wasn’t out of the question, and offering these minors would allow the faculty and administration to assess the viability of new programs going forward.