University adds arts, letters and enterprise as minor

Trinity University will be offering a new minor and certification in the fall of 2013 ““ Arts, Letters, and Enterprise. The minor requires the completion of 21 hours of study, while the certification requires 12 hours of study and an internship experience.

“It’s my hope that this will give students an opportunity to major in what they want to major in,” said Jacob Tingle, co-chair of the ALE program and associate professor of business administration. “If you love theater and set design, that’s what you need to study, but the realistic expectation is that you have to file tax returns and understand basic business principles too.”

Sophomore theater major Lisa Ashby said that the program will help her achieve her career goals.

“I am interested in the minor because I have a dream of owning my own theatre company one day,” Ashby said. “And I want the specificity of learning management in the arts administration.”

The program utilizes a number of pre-existing courses at Trinity as well as two newly designed courses to debut in the fall 2013 semester. Trinity will offer a grant-writing and fundraising course as well as a general introduction to accounting principles for non-majors.

“In the arts and theater and sciences and non-profits you have to know how to live in the grant-writing and fundraising world,” Tingle said.

According to Carl Leafstedt, co-chair of the ALE program and associate professor of music, the program is one of the first of its kind. The San Antonio Business Journal published a piece on the program recently and other universities are expressing interest in the program as well.

“It’s exciting, but also a little scary at this time. We received two e-mails this week from other universities asking how we set this up,” Leadstedt said. “Clearly, we’ve struck a chord with other folks in higher education.”

The ALE program developed from the business administration department’s strategic planning process nearly three years ago and went through 21 different drafts.

A committee of faculty from many different departments as well as students and community members contributed to the development of the new minor.

“One of the things we looked at was greater involvement between business administration and the humanities and social sciences,” Tingle said. “We put together a work team with faculty from business administration, biology, engineering sciences, art, art history, religion, and communications.”

Members of the faculty contacted and surveyed members of the community from the San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Symphony, biomedical and engineering firms and others to find out what business skills and competencies they looked for in potential hires and interns.

University faculty approved the ALE program on Dec. 6, 2012. Although no student has declared the minor yet, Leafstedt said the program is receiving a lot of interest from students.

“We are working on increasing publicity right now,” Leafstedt said. “The students are very interested. Everyone I have spoken to about it are excited for the program.”