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SIUE introduces bachelor’s in Integrative Studies

EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is introducing a bachelor’s in Integrative Studies that will be available for the fall 2015 semester. The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved the program earlier this month.

“This flexible, but rigorous interdisciplinary program is geared towards students who have diverse academic interests that span across disciplines and would like to blend these interests into one cohesive program,” said Parviz Ansari, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “The program offers students an avenue for embracing their individuality by designing a unique bachelor’s degree that will help them achieve both personal and career goals.”

Students, in consultation with a professional advisor and faculty mentors, can design their own plan of study to pursue their career goals and graduate in a timely manner. S

Students will work with faculty who are knowledgeable about the benefits of interdisciplinary education and how to leverage that for employment in professional careers.

“A student who is interested in merging interests in the health sciences, management and information technology will be able to design a program of study that incorporates those interests,” said Zenia Agustin, director of general education and chair of the task force that developed the program.

“In addition, students have the flexibility to integrate past course work with present personal and professional goals.”

The new program may also appeal to individuals who are already in the work force and are seeking advancement opportunities afforded by a bachelor’s degree. The program allows credit for prior learning up to a maximum of six credit hours.

Students who complete a degree in integrative studies can lead to a multitude of avenues for connecting course work with career goals.

Individuals who may want to start a business, pursue careers in sales, management, nonprofit, social service or technological fields, continue on to a graduate degree or pursue a professional certification can benefit from an integrative studies degree.

“At this time of extremely rapid changes in society and in the development of technology, the integrative studies degree can equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the challenges of emerging professions,” Ansari added.

Courses for the new program will be offered in a variety of formats: traditional face-to-face, blended traditional classroom experience combined with an online component, or completely online.

The integrative studies program requires the completion of at least two focus areas where each focus area involves approximately 18-21 credit hours. These focus areas will be reflected on a student’s transcript resulting in more information about the academic fields that the student pursued. A student who pursued mathematics and psychology as focus areas can be distinguished from somebody who pursued biology and management.

For more information, contact Zenia Agustin at

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