By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

New choices

New masters degree coming to campus

CWU has always prided itself on the expansive programs available and its ability to cultivate new opportunities for students. The most recent opportunity for students is a new degree in the Cultural and Environmental Resource Management masters program, or CERM as it has been coined by the Program Director and CWU Professor of Geography Megan Walsh. CERM is a program that is, according to its CWU page, a “interdisciplinary program with a focus on environmental, cultural, and economic resource management.”

CWU has been offering a Master of Science for the past forty years. This new masters degree does not have the requirement for a thesis research project that the current masters does require. “[CERM] allows us to train people who can go out there and protect our natural resources,” Walsh said. 

By adding this degree, CERM will help students who may not be financially stable enough to go over the original two years in the master’s program, or if the student might not just have enough time. CERM will allow students to develop leadership skills so that they can have enough real-world experience to be in charge of an excavation. That way students don’t have to start out spending most of their time digging at sites. 

The degree will be a 45-credit one, with the final project being the culmination of all the students’ experiences. Students will be a part of a minimum two-member graduate committee. Where they would then be consulted by the program’s coordinators and by the dean of graduate studies and research. 

With the culminating experience being that each student with the help of their committees will successfully design and implement their results in an applied project. Other universities like the University of Nebraska Lincoln offer a similar degree in Masters of Applied Science in Natural Resources, which also served as Walsh’s biggest inspiration when designing the degree. Walsh believes that, thanks to CERM, there will be a pretty large increase in CWU’s anthropology graduate program. 

Plenty of anthropology agencies and organizations who are already lined up and ready to take on graduated students from this program. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree in any of the applied environmental sciences.

CERM has just completed its first test trial for the degree with outstanding results. But what does this mean for CWU? Walsh states that “I think it’s going to increase the number of students in our graduate school. I think there’s a lot of capacity to grow the number of graduate students we have. There are a lot of people out there who are CWU grads or other grads who live in this region, who really are looking again for an opportunity to increase their ability to climb whatever ladder they’re trying to climb.” 

The one-year degree will be officially established as a graduate program for students this coming fall. Applications are currently open until August of this year. If any graduate students are on the fence Walsh said “This program is really tailored towards your own interests. There’s really no set boundaries to it, and there’s no set limits.”

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