CHADRON STATE COLLEGE

 

PROGRAM REVIEW

Bachelor or Arts with a Comprehensive Major in Interdisciplinary Studies

January 2007

 

The Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Comprehensive Major in Interdisciplinary Studies continues to play an important role in fulfilling Chadron State College’s role and mission.  Implemented in the early 1980’s in response to unique geographic and demographic challenges of Chadron State College’s vast and diverse service region, the program is vital to meeting the divergent and specialty educational needs of the region—particularly among the adult population . 

 

The number of graduates from this program is small in comparison to total Chadron State College graduations.  However, as the following table indicates, the number of graduates exceeds required thresholds.  The table also indicates growth from the previous reporting period.  Average annual graduations for 2001/02 through 20045/06 were 12.2 per year compared to 7.4 graduates per year from 1994/95 through 1998/99.

 

Table 1: Number of Interdisciplinary Graduates

 

 

01-02

02-03

03-04

04-05

05-06

5 yr. avg.

Degrees Awarded

15

11

11

16

8

12.2

 

 

94-95

95-96

96-97

97-98

98-99

5 yr. avg.

Degrees Awarded

12

5

7

5

8

7.4

 

Students who choose this program are typically highly motivated non-traditional, career-oriented students seeking an educational experience that is academically sound and that is directly relevant to their employment.  Generally, this implies a greater need for flexibility in curriculum design and the ability to participate in developing a self-directed plan of study that provides essential broad-based knowledge sets and practical employment-related skill sets.  Frequently, students in the program are distance learners committed to full-time employment that prevents them from attending classes in Chadron.

 

Admission to this degree program is initiated through written request to the Assistant Vice President of Extended Campus Programs.  Students deemed appropriate for the program work closely with an academic advisor to develop a plan of study which meets the needs of the student and fulfills the academic requirements of Chadron State College.  Since the program utilizes existing courses from across the CSC curriculum and since the only other resource needed to accommodate these students is advising time to assist with developing the plan of study, the cost to the institution for this program is negligible.

 

With continuing demographic diversity, geographic challenges, and the growing need to provide alternative methods of providing quality education to western Nebraska, the Interdisciplinary Studies program will continue to be an important adjunct to the College’s traditional degree programs.  The program is an essential option for adult students seeking career advancement, new employment opportunities, and continuing education.  Not only does the career-relevant, cross-curriculum education provided in the Interdisciplinary Studies program effectively serve self-motivated, goal-oriented adult learners, it is vital to supporting the growth and development of Nebraska’s rural workforce.   As evidenced by the following tables, the program continues to generate student enrollment and enjoys modest growth.

 

Table 2: Number of Interdisciplinary Degree Majors

 

 

01-02

02-03

03-04

04-05

05-06

5 yr. avg.

Fall Semester

26

24

22

11

12

19.0

Spring Semester

27

22

21

19

14

20.6

Summer Semester

14

15

19

13

10

14.2

Annual Total

67

61

62

43

36

53.8

 

 

94-95

95-96

96-97

97-98

98-99

5 yr. avg.

Fall Semester

17

14

13

13

12

13.8

Spring Semester

18

16

13

17

15

15.8

Summer Semester

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Annual Total

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

The relatively small, but important number of graduates, the absence of additional resources required to maintain the program, and the essential niche the program fills in the College’s role and mission, justify continued administrative support of this program.