By James Maxwell
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday Feb. 22, 2002
Beginning next semester, students who want to major in communication must declare it as a pre-major and pass new requirements set by the department.
The new statute is an attempt by the department to make classes less crowded. There are 1,126 communication majors and nine faculty members in the department.
Michael Dues, communication department head, said the Faculty Senate and the University of Arizona Provost have approved the implementation of the pre-major system, which will begin fall semester 2002.
Dues said students must first declare a pre-communication major and complete three core courses - communication 101, communication 228 and Math 110. The student must also receive at least a 2.5 grade point average in those three classes.
Students can retake a class and replace the grade if they do not meet the requirement initially, Dues said. With this system, the department should see a decrease in the number of communication majors, he added.
"It will probably trim about one-third of the students that want to get in the major. We'll just wait and see," he said.
Nick Bambury, communication senior, said the new requirements are a good idea because they will motivate students to get better grades in their core classes.
"Students who do bad in the business classes and don't get into that college come to communication," he said.
Garett Michaels, communication junior, supports the new system.
"It should help because classes will be less crowded than they are now," he said.
Dues said the pre-major system is a means of controlling the number of majors in the department who are seriously interested in the study.
"If you can't get a 2.5 in our basic courses, then it's probably not your thing to go into," he said. "We are trying to let the entry process screen out the students who are not interested or do not have the aptitude for communication."
Dues said the new system will not have a noticeable effect until two years after the implementation - when the current juniors and seniors graduate.
"We want to make sure we have enough seats now for juniors and seniors to get through and graduate on time to prevent a backlog of students," he said.
Dues said the department would like to hire more faculty but must first wait out university-wide budget cuts.