Photo by Martina Almeida
This semester, Trinity approved two new minors in data science and global supply chain management to be created in fall 2020. The minors were approved by the University Curriculum Council (UCC) and the Academic Faculty Assembly (AFA) which consists of full-time faculty members. The process of approval is a two-step process that involves a variety of input from faculty members and one student representative.
According to associate vice president for Academic Affairs Duane Coltharp, a new minor or major is created when there is a gap in the Trinity curriculum. It must be consistent with Trinity’s mission and attract student interest.
“Faculty members who are conceptualizing a new major or minor often try to gauge possible student interest, although that kind of prediction is not a precise science,” Coltharp said.
Once new majors and minors are conceptualized, faculty must determine if they have the appropriate resources for the program to exist.
“If a proposed program did require new resources, the proposers would need to consult with various administrators to secure funding before the proposal could be voted on. In other words, the faculty is not going to vote on the creation of a new program unless everyone is clear that the necessary resources are in place,” Coltharp said.
The upper-division courses in the data science minor will be surrounding real projects that allow students to work with various company partners.
“We are working with RAICES Texas, which is an immigrant rights organization here in San Antonio. And they all provide us with data sets they need to address. All our high-level classes are taking one of those datasets and answering all of the questions that need to be answered,” Colazo said.
When it comes to the global supply chain management minor, Colazo says that students were being put in supply management jobs, so they felt a necessity to create the minor.
“We were making enrolls into really important companies, for example, Dell. They started hiring our Business Analytics and Technology (BAT) grads in management positions. I didn’t know this at the beginning, but they hire only from a short list of seven universities that they call the core universities for supply chain.”
Trinity displaced Baylor on the list of core universities Dell hires from.
“They were asking me about our supply chain management program and I said we don’t have any. They said well you should think about it because we’re employing your students. We just put Trinity in the short list of universities; we actually displaced Baylor,” Colazo said.
Mark Lewis, professor of computer science, will teach courses in the data science minor. He said this isn’t a typical data science minor in that it is housed almost exclusively in BAT. While some of the existing courses fit the minor, a full curriculum hasn’t been developed yet.
As to whether or not he foresees Trinity adding more minors and majors as the years progress, Coltharp believes Trinity has to evolve with its students while still staying true to its identity.
“My general answer is that Trinity has to remain relevant in a changing world while staying true to our liberal arts identity. Moving forward, I would expect our faculty to continue responding to all kinds of changes — in demographics, in social and environmental conditions, and in professional practice — by making sure that our programs speak to the world around us,” Coltharp said.
If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about the data science or global supply chain management minors, reach out to Jorge Colazo at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Lewis at email@example.com.