The Department of Liberal Studies provides an option for general degree completion for adults through its flexible curriculum. With the collaboration of one or more departments, interdisciplinary approaches (Depth Studies) are developed for both traditional and non-traditional students to complete the baccalaureate degree. All students receive individualized advising and course selection, based upon the intended use(s) of the completed degree.
The Department of Liberal Studies houses three programs of study – African and African American Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Philosophy and Religious Studies. The department provides courses which are a part of the university’s general education requirements. The faculty bring to the department a plethora of teaching, scholarship, and service experiences toward the enhancement of various fields of study and liberal arts education.
The BIS currently provides a framework of advisement and courses from many departments in the university to assist older-than-typical students with two years of transferable credit (including associate degrees from accredited institutions) in completing a general baccalaureate degree. To accommodate the interests and needs of such students, specialties are provided with the cooperation of many departments. From the disciplines and the Integrative Studies courses, BIS students improve skills in communications; abilities in critical and creative thinking/problem solving; knowledge and appreciation of cultures; and understanding of cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to learning and scholarship through historical, regional, thematic, or problem-focused study. As part of its mission to the university, the BIS program is also an incubator for new ideas in curriculum and teaching through special tracks that may be developed with the cooperation of one or more departments in the university.
- To provide curriculum options and delivery systems to meet the needs of working adults for degree completion in a general and interdisciplinary degree program.
- To develop and improve integrative studies courses focusing on topics, themes, and issues that are engaging to learners and faculty.
- To advise students toward successful completion of the degree, in part through their gaining responsibility for understanding their degree program and managing their time effectively relative to university calendars and deadlines.
- To help students develop communication and critical reading, thinking, and writing skills, including skills in using technology for communication and research.
- To provide an interdisciplinary alternative baccalaureate program for traditional students.
- To prepare majors for graduate or professional school and careers in areas appropriate to their education and interests.
- To provide thematic alternatives as minors or special tracks that are pertinent to society.
- To recruit and retain highly qualified faculty and encourage their continuous development in their interdisciplinary areas of interest.