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Administration: Majors adjusted due to 'the market'

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

Starting at the beginning of the fall semester, students were no longer able to declare majors in certain programs, including event management and resort and casino management. These changes will not affect current students as they are required to be taught out, but as of right now, no incoming students will be able to declare these majors.

“They have not been eliminated, they are not options for students to enroll. But Lasell tomorrow could offer the program again,” Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Chrystal Porter said about event management and resort and casino management. “We have chosen not to enroll students in those programs right now because of the market.”

According to Director of Communications Ian Meropol, English, fitness management, global studies, history, and sociology are also not options for incoming students to enroll. While history and English are not currently enrolling students, Meropol said they are still being offered as secondary majors within the education department.

Meropol said these decisions were based on the market and what will best prepare students for life after college. “But our goal as a university is to prepare students for their life post Lasell. And…we have done this for 171 years. We've changed programs, we've added more, we've scaled back on some all based on market demand,” Meropol said.

While not currently being offered as majors, event management and resort and casino management are now only offered as minors. Dina Tanvuia, chair of the hospitality program, said it was her responsibility to make recommendations on changes to the hospitality program, however did not think these changes would be implemented so quickly.

Tanvuia said there were two decisions regarding the changes to the hospitality program, the recommendation to only offer event management and resort and casino management as minors, and the decision for the implementation timeline, which she was not a part of. Despite this, Porter said a conversation was had between her and Tanvuia about the transition between administrative figures and the changes in the program, stating the changes to the program still belonged with Tanvuia to help implement.

This new plan was based on an outside review, according to Tanvuia, and would create a more concise program, allowing for students to concentrate on one specific area of interest, for example, a hospitality major with minors including event management and resort and casino management.

“We do have a great program, it's only that we don't have the exposure to the students who can be in the program,” Tanvuia said. “I'm so proud of our former students because they have great positions. I have directors or managers who work at Four Seasons, and all the major hotels in Boston, and my current students are actually doing internships with them so our program is successful in terms of how successful the students are when they graduate.”

Tanvuia related this programmatic change to course offerings, saying based on student interest, she may choose not to offer a specific class for a year, however this does not mean that class will never be offered again.

In addition to deciding to not enroll students in current majors, Porter is also exploring possibilities to add new undergraduate programs based on marketplace demand. “As of right now, we are still in the exploration phase for new majors at the undergraduate level. We are taking a close look at our current offerings to determine where it would make sense for Lasell to grow its academic portfolio. A strong contender that we have decided to investigate is in the area of engineering,” Porter said.

While Porter said some programs may not be at the undergraduate level, they are at the graduate level. “So if you look at our graduate, you know, again, where there's been a high emphasis in [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and you can see it, but we're growing in a number of different areas as it relates to science because again, the market, the students that are raising their hands are saying that they want it,” Porter said.

Although STEM programs have grown in popularity, Porter said it is important to offer programs at both levels that will have the most impact. “So although some of the programs are not necessarily at the undergraduate level, they've been at the graduate level because again, we're also not only looking at what undergraduates want, but where if you continue through the process, will you have the most immediate impact?” Porter said.

This has been corrected from its original print version.


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