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Proposal for authorization to Implement a Bachelor of Liberal Studies Degree and Liberal studies Comprehensive Major

 

REPORT FOR THE UNIVERSITY SENATE

 

University Senate Academic Policies Committee

 

Brief History of the Issue

Development of the proposed degree and comprehensive major began in 2004 in the College of Arts and Sciences.  The proposed degree and major offer a more flexible degree for students seeking alternatives to the typical major-minor structure; provide better support for transfer students bringing significant credit to our campus; facilitate degree completion by non-traditional students who are often place-bound; and support residents in the region who need a bachelor’s degree for career advancement yet who do not need specific professional preparation. 

The Request for Entitlement to Plan a Liberal Studies Degree and comprehensive major was approved on April 10, 2007 by the University Senate Academic Policies Committee, on April 24, 2007 by the University Senate, and by U. W. System on August 17, 2007.  The request for approval to implement the new degree and comprehensive major was approved by the Arts and Sciences Faculty on April 1, 2008.  The new degree and comprehensive major is scheduled to begin operation in Fall 2009.

 

Points Discussed by Committee:

  • Impact on enrollments in existing majors.
  • Impact on availability of GE courses.
  • Faculty resources required for planning courses, advising, and operating seminars/capstone experiences.
  • Existence and success of similar programs in other areas of WI.
  • Additional budget requirements for faculty development and program planning.
  • Assessment of student competencies.
  • Perceived value of the degree by professional agencies, graduate schools, etc.

 

Pros:

  • Responsive to regional needs
  • Flexibility of the degree and major
  • Proactive approach in designing individual student degree plans
  • Opportunities to blend existing concentrations with interdisciplinary approaches
  • Uniqueness in western Wisconsin
  • Use of existing courses and resources
  • Inclusion of Emeriti faculty in supporting program

 

 Cons:

  • Requires reallocation of FTE
  • Uncertainty about real impacts on other majors
  • Unclear how assessments can be developed which address the breath of student interests

 

 

MOTION FOR THE UNIVERSITY SENATE

 

The University Academic Policies Committee by a vote of 8 votes for and 0 votes against, recommends to the University Senate that the Proposal for authorization to Implement a Bachelor of Liberal Studies Degree and Liberal studies Comprehensive Major be approved.

 

 

Implementation Date: On approval

 

Dr. Robert E. Hollon, chair, on behalf of the

University Senate Academic Policies Committee

              

 

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