Tech diplomas will specify field of study

September 24, 2015




Staff Reporter


A policy change put in place by the Board or Regents gives universities in Louisiana the option to include the name of the major under the degree designation on the diploma may make graduates feel better about the document they worked years to receive.


For example, in the past, a graduate from Louisiana Tech’s Spanish department would receive the same diploma as a graduate from the studio art department, simply reading “Bachelor of Arts.”


“It was board policy that the only thing that could appear was the actual degree,” Terry McConathy, vice president for academic affairs, said. “By law, our diplomas could not say anything else; it could only say it on the transcript.”


McConathy said many people will be happy to hear the news and it is something they have been proposing for many years.


“It’s a great announcement,” McConathy said.


According to the staff summary of the recently approved adjustment to the academic affairs policy, the absence of the name of the major has increasingly become a disappointment to graduates and their families on graduation day.


Bob Vento, University Registrar, said he recently discussed a possible proposal with a member of the board of regents.


“Sometimes the gears move slow,” Vento said. “You have to wait for the right time and ask the right question,” he said.


Vento said the Board of Regents came out with a strict ruling many years ago prohibiting universities from listing the major under the degree name on the diploma.


“We are trying to get this new policy in place so that we will be able to produce those diplomas for this graduating class in the fall,” Vento said.


He said they were only limited to listing the proper degree designations like Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, unless it was a professional degree like Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.


Brittany Coffinbargar, a 2012 graduate Tech graduate, said, she did not initially notice the major designation of other diplomas but was offput by it when it came to her attention.


“’The Arts’ is a vague term,” Coffinbargar said. “I received two degrees in history, not in all of the liberal arts.”


Coffinbargar said she would have liked to have the major listed on her degree to reflect her accomplishments in the subject.


“I would welcome the change. I wish they would’ve done it sooner,” she said.


Email comments to pdd010@latech.edu.


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