University of Windsor Program Development Committee. *6.6 BA Hons in Liberal and Professional Studies - Statement of Intent (Form 1)

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1 PDC University of Windsor Program Development Committee *6.6 BA Hons in Liberal and Professional Studies - Statement of Intent (Form 1) Item for: Information Forwarded by: Dr. Kathleen McCrone In accordance with the new process approved by PDC at its June 2009 meeting, the Provost met with the Dean to review the statement of intent. The review was positive and the Dean has been encouraged to complete and submit to the Program Development Committee a detailed program proposal (PDC Form 2), for approval. Note: The Statement of Intent has been approved by the Faculty of Art and Social Sciences Council (April 16, 2009). See attached. Page 1 of 6

2 5. STATEMENT OF INTENT INSTRUCTIONS ARE PROVIDED IN SHADED AREAS. DO NOT WRITE IN SHADED AREAS. Detailed information on the purpose of the forms and approval timelines are provided in the Instructions and Approval Process Manual for Program and Course Changes available on the PDC website or through the Senate Office. Proposers should review this document prior to completing any of the program/course change forms as delays in the approval process generally occur when the forms are completed incorrectly or when appropriate consultation and approvals have not be sought by the proposers. Please refer to the criteria, issued by the Ministry of Education and Training, Colleges and Universities, which outline information the University should consider in certifying criteria have been met. The information is available by clicking here or in the Instructions and Approval Process Manual available on the PDC Website or through the Senate Office. Proposers are reminded that they will need to provide learning outcomes at the full program proposal stage (PDC Form 2). Proposers are encouraged to begin working with the Office of the Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning/CTL towards defining the learning outcomes for the proposed new program or major program change. PART A: TITLE Program Title: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Liberal and Professional Studies PART B: GOAL What is the main goal of the proposed new program or major program change? The Four-Year/Honours B.A in Liberal and Profession Studies (LAPS) will address the recommendations of the Program Review in supplementing the existing Three-Year General B.A. The four-year degree would allow students to continue to postgraduate study, or to one of the many professions which require specialised study following a four-year degree. Most degrees currently offered at the University allow an upgrade option from general to honours with two additional semesters study; this new designation would bring the LAPS program in line with standard provision. The availability of a flexible general studies Honours degree would allow the university to increase its offerings to non-traditional students and help the university compete with other higher education institutions offering distance degrees in Southwest Ontario. It also allows the Liberal and Professional Studies program to actively attract students who are looking for a program that is interdisciplinary and relevant to business, rather than reactively providing a catch-all for students unable to complete in other programs. Minor changes will also be introduced at this time in line with the recommendations of the Unit Review Team, including removal of the limit of six courses in one area, which is consistent with other FASS majors, and which allows for concentrations required for graduate and professional schools. The new program choice requires an additional ten courses to the thirty currently required for the general degree, for a total of forty courses. Page 2 of 6

3 PART C: MARKET DEMAND What tools and methodology were used to conduct the market assessment? The need for this change was concisely determined by the Undergraduate Program Review report on LAPS, written January Item 3 recommended: That FASS consider developing a four-year Liberal Arts and Professional Studies program, while retaining the three-year program, for students interested in a broader undergraduate education who wish to pursue graduate studies. A summary of competing programs at Ontario universities is also included below and will be expanded in the Form 2. A marketing strength, however, is that there are few similar programs in Canada. OUAC data and University of Windsor enrolment figures show that 1) demand of r general liberal studies degree is on the rise and that 2) students increasingly opt for a 4 year degree. What are the results of the market assessment (include projected student enrolment per year and projected student intake overall)? Student demand has been consistent despite the absence of active marketing. Enrolment peaked in 2007 as the end of the double cohort completed their studies. Preliminary registration for Fall 2008 shows LAPS remains in demand with 142 students (61 full time, 81 part time). Athabasca s Bachelor of General Studies is one of its most popular programs; however, it is only a 3-yr degree. General Studies B.A.s are common in British Columbia, with four-year degree offerings at Simon Fraser, University College of the Fraser Valley, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Thomson Rivers. In Ontario, Brock University has a three-year General Studies degree; York University offers an Individualized/Multidisciplinary Studies program at Glendon campus; Carleton has a B.A. D.I.S. (Directed Interdisciplinary Studies) that includes Business Courses; the University of Ottawa offers three-year and fouryear General Bachelor of Social Sciences degrees; and Waterloo: has both 3 and 4 yr liberal studies degrees, and an independent study degree. In this region, the University of Detroit Mercy offers a BA in Liberal Studies while the University of Michigan has a Bachelor of General Studies, including directed advising for students aiming for careers in law, business, education, and medicine. The delivery mode, as well as the degree itself, is demanded by the marketplace. By increasing the number of online courses, the university can also increase the number of students who take courses from a distance, dramatically expanding its recruiting area. While student numbers are not tracked by delivery mode, the extensive availability of online courses and degrees at other regional institutions shows the University of Windsor is not competitive in this area. The University of Waterloo, marking itself as a leader in Distance Education, offer entirely by distance learning BA degrees in Liberal Studies, English, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Social Development Studies (Interdisciplinary Social Science and Social Work), as well as a Bachelor of Science degree. Guelph also has an extensive program, with 65 degree level courses online for Fall 2008; the University of Western Ontario offers seven Arts and Social Science majors via distance learning. Wilfrid Laurier does not offer complete degrees specifically via distance learning, but with 68 courses online in the Arts and Social Sciences, many degrees can already by undertaken primarily by this method. PART D: SOCIETAL NEED What tools and methodology were used to assess societal need? Careers Office and Student Recruitment Office at the University of Windsor were asked to comment on the Page 3 of 6

4 proposal for a four-year degree. What are the results of the societal need assessment (include list of possible employers/employment opportunities)? Writings suggest that while universities with separate Interdisciplinary departments are not always viable, the demand for inter- and multi-disciplinary programs is constant or rising. Michael Gerenda of the Centre for Career Education writes: As Liberal arts courses are often required for anyone who pursues a professional degree, the real benefit of an honours liberal arts degree might be in preparing students for pursuit of a graduate degree. Liberal arts serve as a foundation for most vocational or professional studies at the university. For example, programs in accounting, business, education, journalism, and law are built upon the knowledge and skills that come from fields that make up the liberal arts. Accounting and business depend upon mathematics and economics; education derives from psychology and sociology; journalism requires a knowledge of English and history; and law builds upon political science and philosophy. An honours program may help to better prepare students for pursuing any one of the following graduate studies that Liberal Arts students pursue: Elementary/Middle School Education Business English History Journalism Library Science Law Medical and Health Science Natural Science Psychology Sociology Sheri Overholt of the Student Recruitment Office feels that the LAPS program is especially beneficial for those returning students that want to get a diverse degree. There is an ongoing need for a liberal arts degree for students who had not succeeded in other faculties because they were unprepared to fulfill specific requirements, especially math for Business students and science and math for some Engineering students. PART E: RESOURCES AVAILABLE Faculty and Staff What are the faculty and staff resources (including all faculty and staff from affected areas/departments) currently available and committed to actively support the initiative? The program is currently offered through a mix of faculties (the faculties of Science and Engineering and the Odette School of Business along with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) and numerous departments within Arts and Social Sciences. Counseling and administration are provided through the Dean s Office. Support for the 4-year BA will be the same as provided for the 3-year BA. Page 4 of 6

5 Provide an assessment of faculty expertise available and committed to actively support the new program. Dean Cecil Houston and Dr Larry Kulisek, Academic Counsellor, strongly support the program given the flexibility it offers to often-neglected categories of prospective students including mature students, transfer students, and those who would otherwise have to leave the university due to external demands. Other Resources What are the resources currently available and committed to actively support the initiative (include library, teaching and learning support, space, equipment, facilities, GA/TAs, etc.)? The program depends on courses already available from other departments and faculties and does not require further resources. Reliance on Resources from Another Area/Unit Will the new program rely on existing resources of another campus unit (e.g., courses in the calendar, equipment or facilities outside proposer s control or use of existing equipment within the proposer s control with maintenance and upgrading requirements specified)? Please elaborate and provide relevant details. As the program relies on courses available online to maximise flexibility and choice, students would benefit from an increase in the number of third and fourth level courses available at least partially at a distance. Page 5 of 6

6 PART F: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES REQUIRED Faculty What additional faculty resources are required to run the proposed program? No additional faculty are required. Staff What additional staff resources are required to run the proposed program? No additional staff are required. GA/TAs What additional GA/TA resources are required to run the proposed program? Library What additional library resources are required to run the proposed program? Teaching and Learning Support What additional teaching and learning support services are required to run the proposed program? While not required, an increase in the number of courses offered online would improve the degree s student centreness and flexibility. Courses are particularly needed at the third and fourth level. Space and Facilities What additional space and facility resources are required to run the proposed program? Equipment What additional equipment is required to run the proposed program? Page 6 of 6

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