Baccalaureate Competencies

School of Liberal Arts BS degree option: Baccalaureate Competencies

Fall 2016

This proposal creates the option of BS degrees in addition to BA degrees in the School of Liberal Arts—Economics, Geography, and Medical Humanities have requested this option, to date. This document outlines the rationale for a change in the baccalaureate competencies to facilitate BS degrees in the School of Liberal Arts in line with national trends and considering information from our peer institutions, statewide institutions, and from across campus. The net change is to create the option of allocating the 14 credit hours of World Languages currently in the BA requirements as 6-8 credit hours of International Dimension coursework and 6-8 hours of Math, Science, and Analytical Skills courses, including appropriate Liberal Arts coursework (for a combined minimum of 14 credit hours in the two areas). The net change will be increased flexibility and opportunities for success for our students and increased enrollment, credit hours, and majors for the school because of the additional students who will be attracted to this degree option who are not current Liberal Arts students. See the chart at the end of this document for specifics.

In this document we outline the difference between BA and BS degrees, survey how peer and statewide institutions conceptualize BA and BS degrees, present a rationale for offering BS degrees in addition to our existing BA degrees in the School of Liberal Arts, and anticipate questions such as responses from the School of Science and the impact on student success, enrollment and credit hours in the School of Liberal Arts. We end with a chart comparing the BA and proposed BS baccalaureate competencies.

What is the difference between a BA and BS degree?

At universities across the country today, Bachelor of Arts degrees tend to be broader in scope. Students take courses in a major area of study plus a variety of courses in fields outside the major. Bachelor of Science degrees tend to be more focused on the major area of study, math, and science, sometimes with more major courses required, and a proportionally smaller number of courses outside those fields. Both are rigorous degree programs, which have a built in breadth or depth, depending on which is chosen.

At IUPUI, BA degrees tend to require first-year language proficiency, while BS degrees tend to emphasize more major, math, science, and/or analytical courses.

The School of Science, for example, offers BA and BS degrees in a variety of subject areas including Psychology, Biology, Computer Science, and Geology and this difference (world language vs. math) can be found in each.

Psychology is one of the largest majors at IUPUI and the BA/BS options have been on the books since the university’s founding. The BA has grown from 199 to 339 over the last 10 years while the BS has remained steady, from 293 to 309. BA students are required to demonstrate first year language proficiency while the BS students complete more science, math, and/or major courses, depending on their career goals and areas of interest. Students are encouraged to complete the degree option that most closely aligns with their career aspirations and talents, maximizing student opportunities for success.

Biology has had similar growth in both the BA and the BS from 2005 to 2015. The Biology BA has grown from 84 to 188 while the Biology BS has grown from 143 to 417. The Biology BA requires first year language proficiency while the BS does not have a language requirement but does require more math, science, and major courses.

Computer Science offers both BA and BS degrees. The Computer Science BS has been on the books for years, and has grown in majors from 113 in 2005 to 267 in 2015. When the Computer Science BA became available in fall 2013, the BS continued to grow. The BA requires first year language proficiency; the BS requires no language and heavier math and computer science coursework. Ultimately the introduction of the BA gave students more choice and increased the number of Biology majors at IUPUI.

Subject

Fall 2012

Fall 2013

Fall 2014

Fall 2015

Applied
Computer
Science BA

-

11

19

34

Computer
Science BS

182

200

237

267

The final option at IUPUI where students can earn either the BA or BS is in Geology, and both have been options for years. Numbers have held steady in each area, with roughly 10 BA majors and 20 BS majors for at least the last ten years. BA students must demonstrate first year language proficiency while BS students have no language requirement and take more science and geology coursework.

BS degrees can also connote an area of professional practice, which is why our ASL degree is a BS. This proposal would not impact our ASL degree, which is subject to national accrediting standards.

Our proposed BS baccalaureate competencies create a degree option that allows for focused study in the major, math and science in line with other BS options at IUPUI while preserving the school’s international commitment and maximizing student choice depending on their strengths and career aspirations.

What do our peers do?

While this information is difficult to generalize, here is a sampling of what our peers require in terms of BA/BS degrees and language proficiency. This information was compiled by staff in our World Languages and Cultures Department.

Of our twelve peer institutions, 4 offer BA and BS degree options in disciplines that correspond to our School of Liberal Arts. The BS language requirements for the three institutions listed below that require a language are core requirements. In other words, all students at these

institutions, regardless of major, must complete language. Language is not a requirement decided at the School level nor is it an option that might sway a student in one direction or another:

Discipline

University of
Louisville
School of Arts

and Sciences

U. of New
Mexico-MainCollege of Arts
and Sciences

University of
Utah College of
Humanities

University of
Cincinnati McMicken
College of Arts and Sciences

Requirements for
Disciplines in SLA

BA /
BS

Lang.
Req.

BA /
BS

Lang.
Req.

BA
/ BS

Lang.
Req.

BA
/ BS

Lang.
Req.

Africana Studies

BA/
BS

12 hrs / 6-
8 hrs

Anthropology

BA/B
S

one
course

Communication
Studies

BA/
BS

12 hrs / 6-
8 hrs

BA/
BS

2nd
yr/none

English, Creative
Writing

BA/
BS

2nd
yr/none

Geography

BA/B
S

one
course

BA
/BS

1st yr
profiency both

Philosophy

BA/
BS

2nd
yr/none

Political Science

BA/
BS

12 hrs / 6-
8 hrs

Sociology

BA/
BS

12 hrs / 6-
8 hrs

Women's Studies

BA/
BS

12 hrs / 6-
8 hrs

Below is a snapshot of all language requirements of our peer institutions. When language is required of the BS degree, it is often in line with university or general education core requirements and does not appear to be a distinction drawn at the School level. Of the eleven peers that offer BS degrees, the requirements range from none or optional (five) to one course (1) to 1st year competency (3) to second year (2):

School

BA only language
req.

BS only language
req.

University of Louisville, School of
Arts and Sciences

12 hrs university
core req.

6-8 hrs university
core req.

U of New Mexico-Main, College of
Arts and Sciences

university core: one
course

University core:
one course


U of South Florida-Main, College of
Arts and Sciences

foreign language is
a univeristy entrance requirement; 1st year competency for BA

College does not
offer BS degrees

University of Utah College of
Humanities

2nd year

none

Virginia Commonwealth College of
Humanities

2nd year

1st year

Wayne State University College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences

University
requirement: 1st year

University
requirement: 1st year

Temple University College of
Liberal Arts

1st year (all
Temple College of Liberal Arts degrees are Bas with one exception

BS in Neuroscience
is the only BS in the College; no language required

University of Buffalo College of
Arts and Sciences

1st year

optional

University of Alabama Birmingham
College of Arts and Sciences

optional

optional

University of Cincinnati McMicken
College of Arts and Sciences

10-12 hours
required as part of university core

10-12 hours
required as part of university core

University of Colorado Denver
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

1st year

optional

University of Illinois Chicago
College of Arts and Sciences

2nd year
proficiency required of all students

2nd year
proficiency required of all students

What do Indiana institutions require?

Ball State University requires all students to take one humanities course from a list of options, which includes languages, as part of the university core curriculum. Students earning a BA or BS in Economics from the Miller College of Business at Ball State are not required to complete language coursework but should complete 3 credit hours of international coursework.

Butler offers an Economics BA from the College of Arts and Sciences with a two-year language requirement common to all BAs. The Economics BS from the College of Business has no language requirement.

Indiana State University students can earn a BA or BS in Economics from the College of Arts and Sciences. All students must complete two courses at ISU in a single or multiple non-native


language as part of the university foundational studies core. Additional language courses beyond the required core are not required for the BS in Economics, but 3 credits of international studies is required.

A student could earn a BS in Business Economics and Public Policy through the Kelley School of Business at IUB with no language coursework and 6 credit hours of international studies. An Economics BA at IUB through the College of Arts and Sciences requires 2 years of language as part of the college requirements, like all BAs in the college.

Purdue students can earn a BS in Economics by completing 6 credit hours of international electives, which include a range of courses including foreign language. Foreign language is one of several options for the BS and is not required.

Using economics as an example, Indiana institutions offering a BS in economics do not require language coursework, with the exception of Indiana State University which requires language as part of the university core. These institutions do often require some sort of international studies component as part of the BS. Developing the proposed BS option in Economics at IUPUI would increase our attractiveness across the state, putting us in line with other Indiana institutions that require international coursework broadly defined.

Rationale for offering BS degrees in Liberal Arts at IUPUI

Economics, Medical Humanities, and Geography have each expressed interest in developing a BS option to complement their BA degrees. They do not wish to eliminate the BA option. For Economics and Geography especially, this request may be as much a credential as a recognition that these disciplines have a need for more major, analytical, mathematical, and scientific expertise. A BS in Economics or Geography communicates a depth of study to others in the discipline in a way that a BA in those same disciplines does not. Moreover, creating a BS will be an attractive option for students already studying in Science or Business, who would be able to apply more of the classes they’re already taking toward a double major. This option would increase opportunities for students to double major.

According to the Kelley School of Business Advising Office, students earning a BS in Business are not required to demonstrate language proficiency, but they must earn 6 credit hours in the
area “International Dimension.” There are four options to complete this international requirement
including 6 credits of 200 level or above foreign language courses. Very few students pursue this option. The other options are international business or economics courses, international general education (approved by Kelley), and study abroad (any IU approved program).

According to Kelley advisors, the foreign language requirement in Liberal Arts makes it difficult for a student to pursue one of our majors and often those students look elsewhere. Kelley’s finance majors number nearly 200 students and are the most likely candidates for a double-major with Liberal Arts if we develop BS degree options. These students already take some of our economics courses but find the language requirement a challenge when it comes to a double major and fitting in the courses for both degrees in a timely manner. We increase student opportunities for success in both Business and Liberal Arts with the proposed BS option.

Medical Humanities in particular has seen a growth in interest in the program from students pursuing graduate scientific, medical, and health (e.g., physical therapy, physician assistance, advanced practice nursing) courses of study. However, because of the heavy science and math course prerequisites for graduate health degree programs, these students are not able to complete the medical humanities major with the current Liberal Arts requirements. Creating the BS option with its changes in baccalaureate Liberal Arts requirements would be attractive to these students pursuing health and medical programs of study and ultimately increasing the numbers of majors in the School of Liberal Arts.

Offering a BS degree will attract additional students from Science, Engineering, and Business, rather than shift majors in our current cadre of Liberal Arts students. Students who are interested in clinical careers or further mathematical and analytical study are not always the students who think of the humanities and social sciences as a first choice of major. However, many subsequently realize the need for a more thorough, upper-level Liberal Arts education beyond the general education core to complement application of their science, technical or business skills. The availability of the BS option allows more such students the ability to obtain both types of preparation and complete a baccalaureate program in a timely manner. Students who do choose a BA major will continue to do so. Similarly, BA students will continue to find value in studying a world language rather than a more focused study in science and math. Creating the BS degree option will broaden our pool of potential majors and increase Liberal Arts degree options for students.

The option of creating a BS in the School of Liberal Arts will give our students another opportunity to pursue their career interests, capitalize on their strengths, and ultimately increase their prospects for success. This degree option will attract new students to Liberal Arts, and is not meant as a work-around for degree programs wishing to skirt the language requirement. Any program wishing to develop a BS option would need to demonstrate that doing so makes sense for that particular program of study.

How does this BS degree option preserve our commitment to internationalization outlined in our international vision statement?

The International Vision Statement approved by our faculty in January 2016 identifies the following primary goal:

The School of Liberal Arts seeks to leverage existing strengths and resources both to grow the numbers of students who participate in our courses and programs as well as to enhance the global learning of students in our courses and programs.

In our vision statement we acknowledge that our BA degree requires 2 years of language for graduation and that language study is not the only way to develop global learners in the School of Liberal Arts. Six other priorities are detailed in our vision, including “exposing students to international perspectives in disciplines ranging from Anthropology . . . to International Studies, Religious Studies and Political Science.” This proposal for a BS option includes an International Dimension requirement that takes advantage of the range of courses and programs in the school to develop global learners.

Will the School of Science object?

No, in fact, the university Undergraduate Affairs Committee has already been informed that we are developing this option. Faculty members in the School of Science serve on this body and have not raised objection. Once the BS curriculum is approved, it will become an informational item for the various levels of campus approval.

How does this option impact opportunity for dual degrees with other schools at IUPUI?

Because the proposed BS option brings our baccalaureate competencies more closely in line with other schools at IUPUI, double majoring with Liberal Arts will become a more flexible option
for all students.

Are we just giving away credit hours to Science at a time when our enrollments are already suffering?

No. This degree option is an opportunity to attract students because it gives them increased flexibility and opportunity for success. BS students, who will be new to Liberal Arts, will complete their International Dimension requirement in Liberal Arts and will create more demand for credit hours in Economics, Geography, Medical Humanities (and other departments that develop a BS option) as well as our arts and humanities, social science, and intercultural courses. Moreover, students who wish to do so can earn the BS degree and take one year of a language as part of their baccalaureate requirements. This proposal does not eliminate the possibility of language study, but instead creates flexibility in terms of an option that allows for international/intercultural understanding more broadly and in line with our international vision, with focused study in the major, math, science, and/or analytical coursework.

For the purposes of comparison, our Liberal Arts advising office ran a comparison of the minimum number of Liberal Arts credit hours for a student earning the general BA in Economics versus a student earning a BS in Economics assuming the current Quantitative track and the proposed BS competencies listed below. The general BA student would complete a minimum of 53 credit hours in Liberal Arts; the BS student would complete a minimum of 54 credit hours in Liberal Arts. Given this information, the overall impact on Liberal Arts in terms of credit hours, assuming no change in the numbers of majors, is negligible. However, given the potential to increase numbers of majors, this degree option comes with great promise of helping the school grow in enrollment, credit hours, and majors.

BA/proposed BS core and baccalaureate competencies compared:


Core

Credit Hours

Bachelor of Arts
Degree

Proposed Bachelor of
Science Degree

GEN ED CORE

Core Communication:
Writing

3

W131

W131

Core Communication:
Speaking & Listening

3

R110

R110

Cultural Understanding

3 (4)

From list

From list

Analytical Reasoning:
List A

3

MATH M118 or
higher

MATH M118 or higher

Analytical Reasoning:
List B

3

From list, may fulfill
computer proficiency below

From list, may fulfill
computer proficiency below

Life and Physical
Sciences

6

From list, rec. incl a
lab

From list, rec. incl a lab

Arts and Humanities

3

From list

From list

Social Sciences

3

From list

From list

Additional Arts and
Humanities or Social
Sciences

3

From list

From list

GEN ED Credit hours

30

30

30

Baccalaureate
Competencies

First Year Experience

1-3

Waived for transfer students with 18+ credit hrs

Writing Proficiency

3

ENG W230, W231,
W250, W270

ENG W230, W231,
W250, W270

Speaking and Listening
Proficiency (may be part of core above)

3

COMM R110 if not
taken as part of core

Computer Proficiency

3

From list, rec. from
List B above to fulfill w/core

From list, rec. from list B
above to fulfill w/core

Life and Physical
Sciences Lab

1-2

From list, rec. fulfill
as part of core

From list, rec. fulfill as
part of core

Arts and Humanities

3

From list

From list. Students must
have a total of 15 credit hours in Arts and Humanities/Social Science inc. the core.

Social Sciences

3

From list

From list. Students must
have a total of 15 credit hours in Arts and

   Humanities/Social Science inc. the core.
 

Bachelor of Arts
Degree

Proposed Bachelor of Science Degree
World Languages and
Culture
Up to 14Second year proficiency

Refer to International
Dimension

International
Dimension
Courses used to fulfill General Education core requirements may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

6-8 

New Area: International Dimension courses include Liberal Arts courses only, at any level (100—400), with an international/intercultural component. Students
may take courses in their major area of study to fulfill this area, but those courses may not fulfill both International Dimension and major requirements. Students must have a minimum of 14 credit hours combined in International Dimension (6-8 credits) and Science, Math, Analytical Skills (6-8 credits).

Science, Math, Analytical Skills Courses used to fulfill General Education core requirements may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

6-8 New Area: This requirement includes Science, Math, and Analytical Skills coursework, including appropriate Liberal Arts courses, as defined by department. No list is specified at this time because different professional and graduate school paths require different prerequisite courses. Students may take courses in their major area of study to fulfill this area, but those courses may not fulfill both Science/Math/Analytical and major requirements. Students must have a minimum of 14 credit hours combined from International Dimension (6-8 credits) and Science, Math, Analytical Skills (6-8 credits).

Bachelor of Arts
Degree

Proposed Bachelor of
Science Degree

BAC COMP Credit
hours

As few as 22 (if
strategic with core); max of 31 if no overlap with core.

As few as 24 credit hours
if a student is strategic; max of 31 if no overlap with core.

ADV COURSES Credit

hrs

 

40 (including major

courses)

40 (including major

courses)

MAJOR Credit hours

29-36

29-36

Usually 29-36

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