Adding Value with a Professional Studies Major
At its April 6-7 meeting, the Board will consider a request from all three universities to add a major in professional studies to the existing bachelor of liberal studies (BLS) program. If approved, the major will assist students and employers in understanding the role and value of the degree.
Adding the professional studies major to the BLS degree signals that students have received foundational and core competencies that have prepared them to advance in their careers. Each institution will be able to have select areas of emphasis, minors or certificates available to professional studies students that will help them further connect the education they receive to their career goals.
“This change will help modernize the BLS program and improve the connection between education and career for students,” said Rachel Boon, Board of Regents Chief Academic Officer.
The BLS program is offered at all three Regents institutions as an avenue toward degree completion. In other words, the BLS is a program that offers educational opportunities to students who are unable to attend college on-campus or for whom a flexible degree program is the most reasonable way to reach degree completion. Often, BLS degree recipients are students who earned college credit previously, but did not earn a degree.
The program was created to help rural Iowans further their education and attain degrees. Last year, 206 BLS degrees were awarded at the three Regents institutions.