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Earlham introducing new majors, minors for fall 2020

February 27, 2020

Earlham College is launching five new academic programs to strengthen the student experience, expand academic opportunities, and prepare graduates for in-demand jobs in growing industries.

Beginning in fall 2020, students can now major in data science, social services, or media and communications, or pursue a minor in equestrian management. A quality science minor was added in the last year to prepare students for careers in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences.

“Our faculty have done incredible and innovative work to create new pathways for students to prepare for the careers of tomorrow,” says Becky Thomas, Earlham’s academic dean and vice president of academic affairs. “These new programs demonstrate that they are responsive to emergent societal needs and technologies and committed to the success of our students.”

Data Science

Data science is a multidisciplinary major that has grown in popularity over time. Coursework is taught primarily by faculty in mathematics and computer science, but faculty from biology and psychology make contributions as well. The data to be explored might come from any corner of the college or the community, so that students will learn how to apply data science to gather fresh insights in any field of interest.

“Earlham is uniquely positioned to offer this major because of its emphasis on integrative learning—embedding knowledge and skill development in a liberal arts foundation that prepares students to question, analyze, synthesize and communicate—all skills that will make them excellent data scientists,” Thomas notes.

Data science jobs are often the highest paid positions in the IT industry and demand is high. Earlham’s program emphasizes the mathematical, statistical and computational foundations of data science. Graduates will be prepared to work as data scientists, data analysts, systems architects, engineers, statisticians, database administrators, business analysts and analytics managers.

Social Services

The major in social services will provide a strong foundation for students who wish to pursue a master’s degree in social work or counseling, or work in Human Resources.  The course of study begins with an introduction to social work, and includes courses from psychology, sociology, anthropology, education and management before concluding with an internship practicum and capstone project.

‘Social services is a natural fit for Earlham due to the college’s emphasis on preparing ethically minded, culturally sensitive professionals,” says Thomas.  “We are particularly excited about the potential for creating strong connections with colleges offering master’s degrees in social work.”

Media and Communications

The media and communications major draws on coursework from sociology, anthropology, English, education, global management and film studies. The goal of the program is to develop leaders who understand how contemporary mechanisms of communication help reshape our world politically, economically, and personally, and who can shape policies at the national and global level. The coursework emphasizes how the emergence of new technologies produces new forms of social life.

Quality Science

Earlham is partnering with the Pathway for Patient Health to offer a minor in Quality Science that will help prepare students for careers in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences.

Earlham is the only liberal arts college in the country and one of just three institutions of higher education offering this program as a minor. The minor was first offered on campus in spring 2019.

“Quality science is growing in demand on campuses across the United States,” says Mike Deibel, associate vice president of academic affairs and professor of chemistry. “Pathway for Patient Health has been an amazing partner for us;  the advisory board represents the major players of the industry, ensuring that our students are learning leading-edge practices in the field.”

Quality scientists ensure that a product is suitable for its intended purpose. They increase the reliability, integrity, and trustworthiness of the product, process, and system by understanding failure modes and risk analysis.

This minor includes a set of seven courses, four taught by Earlham faculty and three offered either online or on campus by industry experts. Participating students also have access to an online portfolio that connects them to paid internships, networking opportunities and job postings with leading companies, such as Eli Lilly, Baxter and P&G.

Equestrian Management

The equestrian management minor is a result of feedback from students seeking to integrate the College’s distinctive equestrian program and the Suzanne Hoerner Equestrian Center into the curriculum.

Earlham has the nation’s only student-run barn and collegiate horse program, which provides opportunities not available at any other college or university. They include management of the barn and stables, executive management of the Barn Cooperative, instruction of horse riding courses, Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association competition with Earlham’s Equestrian Team, and a lifetime of engagement through the Friends of Earlham College Stables alumni advisory group.

— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a College That Changes Lives. We aspire to provide the highest quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. We expect our students to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success.

Princeton Review ranks Earlham in the Top 20 nationally for Best Classroom Experience, and U.S. News & World Report recognizes the College as one of 55 institutions taking pioneering approaches to serving students, and ranks EC 7th for the percentage of international students on campus, 25th for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” and 34th for “Best Value.”

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.


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