By Miguel Rondon.
In late September, Robert C. Troy, vice president for Enrollment Management and Associate Provost, sent an email blast to the student body that read, “Academic Minors No Longer Required for Graduation.”
Provost Anny Morrobel-Sosa explained that Lehman is currently implementing a Board of Trustees resolution called “Creating an Effective Transfer System.” This resolution falls under CUNY Pathways, which establishes a new system of general education requirements throughout the CUNY colleges and allows students to transfer to another campus without losing credits toward the college curriculum.
Despite this policy change, students may still complete a minor and have it acknowledged on their transcript.
“I was surprised to see the email in my inbox,” said Dellaniris Genao, Student Government vice-president of Internal Affairs, who at first did not think this change had to do with Pathways. “Although Pathways was mentioned at college senate meetings, the elimination of the minor requirement was never brought to the floor.”
Many students have found themselves mixed up in the transition. Damian Tejada, president of the People Power Club and a junior majoring in social work, found about this change through his academic advisor.
The advisor did not seem to fully understand the change, though. “My academic advisor told me that there were not any minors at all,” said Tejada. “I’m not sure about what to do about my elective courses.”
Due to this change, Tejada has decided not to pursue a minor in order to focus on his major.
“My grades would probably have been better if I would have known that this was the case sooner,” said senior Rocio Peña who calls the new policy “unfair” because she has been caught in the transition. Because she is just now one course short of completing her Italian minor, she feels now compelled to finish it.
According to Troy, eliminating the minor requirement actually allows for more flexibility for students receiving TAP, which requires students to register for classes that will satisfy their degree requirements. Before this change, students would be penalized for not taking any courses for their minor. Now, with one less requirement, students are less likely to lose their financial aid.
Political Science Professor Donna Kirchheimer said that minors were created in the 1990s to give students a more diverse curriculum that often complemented their major. She said that getting rid of the minor requirement is going to make it harder for students to get general knowledge of another field of study.
With this new policy, students will now be able to graduate without having to worry about a minor requirement, and this change is also expected to make both academic and departmental advising more straightforward. However, questions still remain about what will be the long-term effects of this change in policy.