The U.S. Department of Education has approved a proposal to allow more English majors to enroll at UC Berkeley, and some are worried that students will not be able to find jobs.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Civil Rights issued a report Tuesday saying that students at Berkeley are being discriminated against because of their English major.
The report, “Achieving Equal Employment Opportunity: A Student-Led Initiative to Increase Employment Opportunities for English Majors,” was released by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Labor, and Human Resources.
It said that the proposed rule would create an “employer-employee” relationship between UC Berkeley and English majors.
“We have to get past the current confusion and start focusing on the reality of the situation,” said Sarah Glynn, a UC Berkeley English major and president of the Berkeley English Association.
The English major program is designed to allow students to study at UC Davis or another college for four years, but some students are worried about the lack of jobs that could be available if they leave the program.
“It’s just a huge opportunity that they can go anywhere they want,” said Glynn.
“That’s why we’re working hard to make sure that the program is a great fit for every student.”
The department’s report says that the U.K. has more English major students per capita than the U of C., and that more than 1,100 students are currently enrolled in the English major programs.
“The Department is committed to making the English program the best it can be, and we are working hard at ensuring that it’s as inclusive as possible,” the department said.
The proposal is not expected to be finalized for another four months, and UC Berkeley Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said that she will be reviewing the proposal to determine what the impact will be.
“I know the English department is working very hard to bring more English to the campus and we’re all very proud of what we have here,” Katehi told The Associated Press.
The UC Berkeley Department of English is currently looking to hire more than 5,000 students.
The department says it hopes to hire 100 English majors by 2020, and that it is looking to recruit around 200 English majors annually.
Katehian said that “there are no plans for any specific students to graduate” from the program, but that students “will graduate and go on to work in the real world as professionals.”