The Specifics of Redeemer's Program Changes

Doug Needham | Provost and Vice President, Academic

2014-15 marks Redeemer’s 33rd year of providing quality Christian university education. Since its inception, Redeemer has always worked hard to fulfill its mission of equipping students for lives of leadership and service under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 

Although Redeemer has remained true to that mission, the context in which it operates has changed.  As we strive to carry out our mission in this rapidly changing environment, we have, over the years, adapted our approach to various aspects of Redeemer’s operations, including our academic program. We never do so lightly, and we always approach such changes with an eye to how we can best prepare you and your classmates for that life of leadership and service while you are here and after you graduate.

 And that’s why I’m grateful to The Crown for allowing me this opportunity to share with you some recent changes to our academic program.

First, a bit of context; last year, the University developed a new strategic plan, called Redeemer 2020, to address both the challenges and the opportunities of this new educational environment. This comprehensive plan will be affecting many aspects of Redeemer’s operations, including the academic program.

One example of how Redeemer is adapting to this new environment is the creation of a new Centre for Experiential Learning and Career Development. When launched later this year, the Centre will increase Redeemer’s capacity for offering experiences such as internships and co-ops. These are the types of opportunities that enrich your learning and provide you with the career development skills and experiences that employers are seeking.

We are also changing some of our academic offerings. When we make decisions about what programs and courses to offer, we look at, among other things, student interest, trends in higher education,  and how best to equip students for lives of service.  For example, we want to prepare students to have an impact on the front lines of our culture. That’s why we are so excited to launch a new major in Media and Communication Studies this fall. This new program will allow students to explore digital media, film and television broadcasting, professional writing and the impact of media on our culture.

We are also continuing to develop new courses and programs across many disciplines. In the accompanying sidebar, there is a list of the new majors and minors, and of many of the new courses that have been approved by our Academic Senate this year.

The realities of living within a budget also mean that we must, unfortunately, make difficult decisions about certain existing programs as well.  As we announced in December:

  • The present Music major is being replaced by a new streamlined Music major
  • There are a few programs that will be discontinued as of the end of the 2015-16 academic year, including the Physics minor, programs in Computer Science, the Recreation major and minor, and the honours Physical Education major
  • There will be changes to The Religion and Theology department. These  will allow us to expand our offerings for students to pursue ministry opportunities in areas such as theatre, sport, music, and ministry leadership

I’d like to make clear that all students presently in the programs that will be changed or discontinued will be able to graduate with the major or minor they are expecting. Last fall, I hosted information sessions with students from the impacted programs to explain how the changes will affect them.  In all cases, Redeemer remains committed to honouring the promises we made to them when they applied to their programs. So, for example, if you are presently enrolled in the Recreation major, you will be able to graduate with that major if you so choose.

The reductions and modifications have been painful, and I ask that you join the rest of Redeemer’s extended community in praying for those faculty and staff who are most directly affected by the changes.  Unfortunately, some faculty and several staff on both the academic and administrative side will be leaving Redeemer.  I want to thank them for their years of service to our university, its students, and Christian scholarship.  As a community, we will miss them deeply.

Thank you for giving me this chance to briefly explain some of these recent developments. We are excited about these new programs and courses and what they mean for your educational experience at Redeemer.  Please be assured that we will continue to develop academic programming that will allow you to develop your gifts to best serve wherever you are called in Christ’s Kingdom. 

 If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Registrar’s Office or me directly.  May God bless you as you finish the academic year.

New Programs and Courses Approved by the Academic Senate

 Programs:

·       Expanded  4-term Bachelor of Education program

·       New Kinesiology honours major (BA)

·       New Health Sciences general major (B.Sc.)

·       New Environmental Studies honours major (B.Sc.)

·       New Music major and minor (BA)

Courses:

·       BIO – Medicinal Botany

·       BIO – Toxicology

·       BUS – Brand Management

·       BUS – Digital and Social Media Marketing

·       BUS – Sales Management

·       ENG – Creative Writing I: Basics of Fiction and Poetry

·       ENG – Honours Writing Practicum

·       ENG/HIS – Introduction to Classical Western Mythology

·       ENV – Internship

·       FRE – 19th and 20th Century French Poetry

·       HSC – Personal and Social Determinants of Health

·       INS  – The Politics of Pilgrimage

·       INS – Human Rights and International Justice

·       PED – Clinical and Rehabilitative Exercise Prescription

·       PED – Ergonomics

·       PED – Foundations of Anatomy II

·       PED – Physical Activity and Health

·       POL – Comparative Government: Russia and Northern Eurasia

There are also several courses that are being developed for the new Media and Communication Studies program. They will be announced shortly.