Math major to be discontinued at Texas Wesleyan University

Students currently majoring in math will continue to be able to take classes, but for incoming freshmen, a degree in mathematics has been eliminated. Wesleyan will still continue to offer Math, with secondary certification, but will no longer offer any other math majors due to the difficulty current students have been having and the lack of interest in the subject. Faculty member are unsure where the math department will be in the next two to three years, but are remaining positive for now.

At the beginning of the year the academic committee of Wesleyan decided to eliminate the mathematics major due to low participation and difficulty level.

However, all current math majors will be able to complete their degree with a major in mathematics as planned. Only new students will need to consider another major field of study.

According to the math department, for the next two to three years Texas Wesleyan will continue to offer the courses required for all current math majors to graduate. In essence, the decision to discontinue the mathematics major only applies to future students.

Bobby Deaton, professor of physics, said deleting the math major robs the school of new bright students.

“The problem is that by turning down the ones that want to major in mathematics you are turning down some of the best students that come out of high school,” Deaton said. “Those are the students that come and take my physics classes and then are able to assist me in the laboratories.”

Deaton said apart from the mathematics programs, students have the opportunity to work alongside the professors and help aid them during laboratory classes. He said by eliminating the mathematics major there will be no one to help assist the professors during their physics lab classes. In addition, Deaton referred to the mission statement which states “With a tradition in the liberal arts and sciences and a focus on professional and career preparation.”

“You cannot have science without math because all sciences are based on math,” Deaton said. “So I think that is a violation of our mission statement to begin with.”

Jane Moore, professor of mathematics, said she is uncertain about the future of the faculty of the mathematics department.

“It will take three years to finish up the students who are currently here,” Moore said. “At that point there will be no upper division math classes for the faculty to teach.”

Moore said the sciences typically do not have a large number of participation, but Wesleyan, compared to other institutions, has as many or more math majors.

Stephanie Gonzales, junior math major, is concerned for the future of the math department.

“This is my third year as a math major and I have seen a lot of great and wonderful students and teachers come through this department,” Gonzales said. “But I’m not sure after two to three years where would that leave the department.”

Here are a few examples of Wesleyan math program graduates who currently use their degrees in the work field.

Luis Aguirre is a recent graduate math major and physics minor at Texas Wesleyan University; he is currently a Texas Christian University teaching assistant with more than $10,000 in scholarships.

Lauren Biffle graduated with a degree in mathematics in 2006. She passed the State of Colorado Certification and is currently teaching math at Ferris High School.

Erin Bethany was a math major and physics minor. She is currently studying at the Texas Wesleyan School of Law.

-Joshua Dunk
jkdunk@txwes.edu

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