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MU allocates funds to maintain psychology minor

Friday, June 5, 2009 | 2:08 p.m. CDT; updated 3:07 p.m. CDT, Sunday, June 7, 2009

COLUMBIA — MU students concerned that a psychology minor would no longer be available had their fears eased Thursday with the news that money will be allocated to open up seats to non-majors in several psychology courses.

“Without additional seats in courses, we were going to suspend the minor. Fortunately, now we won’t have to,” said Alan Strathman, associate chair of the department.

Michael O’Brien, dean of the College of Arts and Science at MU, is putting $30,000 to $35,000 from university tuition and state revenue toward the psychology department. The additional funding is due to the increased number of freshmen last fall. "We want to put money back into the classroom," O’Brien said.

“We will hire new instructors to free existing faculty up to teach upper-division courses, which are needed for psychology majors and minors,” he said.

In the fall, the psychology department will offer seats for students across campus who need psychology credits for their major, Strathman said. The new sections for the existing psychology courses will accommodate another 275 to 300 seats per semester, he said.

“Previously, our courses were filled with psychology majors,” Strathman said.

Melanie Irish, administrative assistant for the department, said these courses will include: Introduction to Clinical Psychology; Social Development and Childhood; and Research Methods II.

“Today, we have sent out about 300 e-mails to students concerned about continuing their minor,” Irish said Thursday.

O'Brien said this decision could ease those concerns.

“We don’t want to turn students away from their minors,” O’Brien said. “If we can offer more courses or sections to alleviate the pressure, we will make every effort to do so.”


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