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Semester switch will bring ‘major’ changes to Ohio State

Ohio State’s semester switch could result in the elimination and combination of certain majors and minors.

Although approval is still pending for proposed program streamlining, Anne Smith, an associate professor in the human nutrition department, said the Office of Academic Affairs, OAA, should approve the changes by Fall Quarter.

A new major, health promotion, nutrition and exercise science, or HNES, will be a combination of three existing majors: human nutrition, exercise science, and nutrition and community health.

Students will still be able to major solely in human nutrition and exercise science, but the nutrition and community health major will no longer be available. The exercise science minor will be eliminated.

The existing major, nutrition in community health, is for students interested in becoming wellness directors, combining nutrition with fitness and wellness or a career in health education, Smith said.

“Some even use this major to go onto other professional schools, such as physical therapy or nursing,” Smith said. “The students are required to take classes in nutrition and a specialization area of their choice, and most pick exercise science as their minor.”

Ultimately, Smith said, students’ schedules will not be drastically altered.

“What we’ve done is not too much different than what we’re doing now,” Smith said. “All students will be required to take a set of core courses in health promotion and exercise science, and another set in nutrition.”

Smith said the changes are a result of many students overlapping the department of physical activity and educational services and the department of human nutrition. For example, students majoring in nutrition in community health were also minoring in exercise science and vice versa, she said.

Allison Kanwal, a fourth-year in human nutrition, said she believes the department is looking out for the greater interest of the students.

“Whatever they’re doing is obviously due to demanding requests,” Kanwal said. “A lot of people (majoring) in nutrition are interested in different sides of wellness. This just opens more opportunities.”

By combining the three programs, students will be able to take the same types of classes as before and the career outcome will remain the same.

“The elimination of the exercise science minor is due to limited space and resources, considering it is a very popular major,” Smith said. “All of the exercise science majors and minors must take two sets of courses with labs, including stress and exercise testing.”

Smith said the new major will replace the exercise science minor courses, and there will not be an elimination of classes or professors.

Because of pending approval from the OAA, Smith could not release the specific information on the courses, but said they are being redesigned for semesters and should not have a drastic change.

“We really took advantage of this time to change the curriculum to offer a major that students have been trying to achieve through these minors,” Smith said. “I believe this will be a very popular major.”

Current students minoring in exercise science or majoring in nutrition in community health will be able to finish their degree, Smith said.

Incoming freshmen, however, will only be able to declare the eliminated major or minor until Summer Quarter.

“Starting in autumn 2011, we will know if this program has been approved (by OAA), so at that point students will be able to declare the new major,” Smith said.

If the program is approved in autumn 2011, students choosing nutrition in community health this year will be given a choice of staying with the old major or switching to the new HNES, Smith said.

Jason Ellsesser, a second-year in security and intelligence, said he thinks the elimination of the exercise science minor is a smart idea.

“I’ve just heard it’s an easy minor,” Ellsesser said. “A lot of students I know are just taking it because they heard the classes are simple to pass. I don’t really think it’s something you can use by itself, but that’s just what I’ve heard.”

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