Pacific University has officially added two new degree programs this last fall semester, Sports Communication and Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM). Courses for the two majors have already started to be offered and students are currently able to declare in either major or minor.
Mike Geraci, the associate dean of the college of arts and sciences, looks to attract new and current students with the new Sports Communication major. Geraci said he was able to “cheaply” add the new major by using a lot of the current curriculum in the media arts department at Pacific. Geraci believes that this new opportunity on the west coast will attract some new students who would not look at the university otherwise.
“There’s a real untapped market in sports communication because there are no other schools in Oregon or Washington that are doing a sports communication degree,” said Geraci.
Brian Jackson, a current Kinesiology Professor and head of the new Sports Leadership and Management program expressed that the program will help students become more experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to working sports-related programs. Before the two new majors, students who were interested in sports-related careers did not have the choice to specify their interests and would often settle with majoring in a program that would put them relatively in the correct direction.
“It’s a good major for Pacific because we’re really encouraging students to go through this major to either double major or minor in areas that will strengthen their preparation,” said Jackson.
Jackson and Geraci also mentioned that they have lined up meetings with the Hillsboro Hops, Portland Trail Blazers, and local universities athletic departments, including Pacific’s for possible internship opportunities for the students.
Ikaika Featheran, a current junior, recently declared as a SLAM major. Featheran is an aspiring football coach and feels the new major will put him one step closer to his desired career.
“The new major will benefit me because I will be more confident and gain a lot of knowledge in my career path,” said Featheran.
Many students have continually expressed their career interest in the field of sports. The new major additions set Pacific University apart from other universities and look to grant students the ability to have a specified major in the field of sports. New classes for the two majors will continue to be added to the upcoming semesters with the hope of growing sports-related majors. — Casey Green