Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda | July 2021

Biochemistry BA Major Proposal Brief What: The Department of Chemistry proposes a new BA of Biochemistry degree at CWU. Currently, the Chemistry Department offers a BS and BA degrees in Chemistry and a BS degree in Biochemistry. Thus, adoption of the proposed BA in Biochemistry will allow the Chemistry Department to offer a complete suite of BS and BA options in both Chemistry and Biochemistry. Who: The market analysis study conducted shows significant demand for Biochemists nationwide. Although there is much demand for individuals with Biochemistry degrees (either BS or BA), approximately one-half of students that declare to be a BS in Biochemistry major leave the program prior to completing this degree. The majority of individuals that leave the BS in Biochemistry program prior to graduation fall into two groups: • Students that are unable or unwilling to complete the required math and physical chemistry courses; • Student that leave prior to graduation in order to attend professional programs in pharmacy, medicine, or dentistry. Many professional programs in these fields, both in-state and throughout the U.S., do not require a degree but rather only the completion of specific coursework prior to matriculation into their programs. Thus, the main goal of offering the BA in Biochemistry degree is to retain students that wish to earn a degree in Biochemistry. For the first group of students listed, this degree option will make it feasible to complete a degree, and become employed, in their preferred discipline. For the second group of students listed, this offering will encourage students to earn a degree prior to leaving, which will provide a safety net in case they struggle with their professional program or otherwise reconsider their decision. Budget: Since the proposed BA in Biochemistry degree option is essentially a pared-down version of the currently offered BS in Biochemistry degree, this new offering will not require the development of any new courses. The department has capacity to adsorb a moderate number of new students who may be attracted to this new BA program without needing new faculty hires. As stated above the primary purpose of this program is retention of students and providing a new alternative to a four-year degree. Additionally, there should be little to no impact on the burden to other departments on campus. This proposed BA has no additional cost associated with it as the infrastructure in the Chemistry Department can accommodate the degree. Sustainability: Due to the recent changes in General Education, the Chemistry Department has experienced a considerable decrease course enrollment and SCH generation. The BA in Biochemistry offers a means of increasing upper-level course enrollment to compensate for this loss. Alignment : The BA in Biochemistry degree supports University, College and Department strategic goals of retaining and graduating students by offering an alternative to the BS in Biochemistry. A major goal of the COTS Strategic Plan calls for an increase in undergraduate enrollment in COTS with an objective to expand retention and graduation of undergraduate STEM majors. The program supports the COTS Mission by preparing “practitioners of scientific inquiry” that “create and apply knowledge to solving human, social, and environmental problems.”

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