Program provides student flexibility, especially those with credit hours wanting a degree

By GSU Media Bureau

The Louisiana Board of Regents has given conditional approval for a new general studies degree program at Grambling State University. The new program allows students needing a more flexible curriculum to pursue a bachelors degree with an interdisciplinary approach while exploring varied interests that extend beyond a particular major. Dr. Ellen Smiley

“This is a wonderful opportunity for students who have completed quite a number of course credit hours, especially those who are close to having the requisite number of hours to graduate,” said Ellen D. Smiley, GSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This new program gives students a choice of four concentration areas — humanities and culture; gender, race and intersectionality; juvenile behavioral studies and gerontology.”

Smiley said the university has three years to ensure that the program is successful to gain full approval. She said GSU must file a progress report each year, beginning fall 2019, to indicate how many students are in the program, how the students are performing and anticipated success. The board took the action at its Oct. 26 meeting.

The provost said while this innovative approach to earning a bachelor’s degree provides students with an additional, flexible option, all students choosing this option must satisfy state, system and university requirements. The general studies program requires 120 credit hours. Students must earn 39 hours of general education credits and two hours of First Year Experience (FYE) credits as well as 27 credit hours in the chosen concentration.  There must be 21 hours of “enrichment courses,” or classes that strengthen student knowledge, and 31 hours of electives, focused on a second concentration within the degree program or an approved minor.

All GSU students are required to meet university-wide service learning requirements. At least 160 hours of service learning hours are required, including 80 hours based on academic courses and 80 hours of community involvement.

Smiley said GSU is planning to admit students for the program in summer 2018. Interested students can contact Dr. Roshunda Belton at 318-274-2256 for more information.