By Amy Petrovich
Beginning in the Fall 2020 semester, Sacred Heart University’s math department will be initiating three new and improved mathematics tracks for students to enroll in.
These new tracks include the traditional track, the actuarial science track, and the data science track. The hope with these tracks is that students will be able to take more focused classes that can lead them to a particular career choice.
“All tracks will include the core math courses such as the calculus sequence, linear algebra, mathematical structures and proofs, and theoretical and applied math courses. However, the various tracks will each have courses satisfying their specific goals,” said the Mathematics Department Chair, Jason Molitierno.
These changes came about after an Academic Program Review, which is done every five years. The review discovered that although the current math program was beneficial, there was room for more modernized improvements.
“The traditional track will suit students who want to teach math at the high school level, have prospects for graduate school, or who simply want broad-based mathematical knowledge that can open doors to a variety of careers. The actuarial science track is for students who want to pursue a career as an actuary (professionals who manage and measure risk and uncertainty). The actuarial track is also good for students who want a career in finance, economics and business,” said Molitierno.
Students taking the new math track will have more career options in different fields.
“Coinciding with this new track, the mathematics department and the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology are applying for inclusion on the Society of Actuaries UCAP-IC list. The data science track readies students for careers in computer science, business, statistics, data mining and big data, all of which are in demand,” said Molitierno.
By including these tracks, students will have more options for directions they can take regarding mathematics. Current mathematics students will also be able to make use of these improvements in the curriculum.
“The current majors will be able to continue their math major as they had planned; they will not be forced to make any curricular changes. The curriculum that the current math major sets forth will continue to be an option for future students under the traditional track. However, our current and future majors will have the opportunity to choose from a wider variety of electives, which will be offered as a result of these new tracks,” said Bernadette Boyle, an associate mathematics professor.
The new mathematics tracks will be beneficial for the growth of the math department with incoming students as well as those already present.
“As an accounting major, I love everything to do with math. When I applied to Sacred Heart, the accounting program was where I found my home. Knowing there are so many other options revolving around math for incoming students is really great for the growth of math at SHU,” said graduate student Stephanie Mangiameli.
Sacred Heart students will be better equipped to enter the job force after graduating, and can have more opportunities given the new specializations.
“The professors in the math department are excited about these changes. We know that there has been a growing interest in actuarial science and data science, and so we are happy to respond by offering these tracks while still maintaining the strength of our traditional track. Anytime we can better serve the needs of our students, we are happy,” said Boyle.
Sacred Heart’s faculty is excited and open to these new changes and hopeful for the future of mathematics at SHU, as well as its students’ futures.
“Now that we have these tracks, we can better guide our students down their career path. There are a limited number of colleges or universities in this region which offer these tracks, so we can offer our students a unique opportunity,” said Boyle.