Bachelor of General Studies degree
Hello--I am writing to get some clarification regarding the focus on the Bachelor of General Studies degree that seems to be a focus of the OERu. I am not sure I understand why the emphasis on the Bachelor’s in General Studies. As far as I knew, one primary goal of this project was to develop materials that could lead to any degree—am I mistaken? My institution, Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey, offers something like the Bachelor of General Studies (the BA in Liberal Studies comes closest), but I would not want to limit students to that option.
Is the intention just to make sure that there is a point of articulation among the programs offered by the OERu-affiliated institutions? That would make more sense.
Thanks for your query. A little background and feedback relating to your questions:
- As OERu partners retain decision making autonomy, they are free to reuse OERu courses or transfer credit for any credential on their books. In fact I would welcome a far greater range of credentialing opportunities for OERu learners.
- The intention for starting with a Bachelor of General studies was pragmatic, specifically to ensure that:
- During the foundation phases of OERu we could guarantee at least one credential -- a number of partners already have the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) on their books, so we were ensured that OERu learners could work towards a credential offered by a number of partners (not all partners have a BGS or equivalent on their books - but that's OK.)
- In theory, the flexibility of the BGS would enable us to develop product in a shorter time frame as most courses could fit within a BGS when compared to credentials with less choice or defined streams.
- Politically a BGS is "less threatening" for conservative institutions who are reticent to open up courses.
- A BGS would not preclude pathways to other credentials.
In short, there are no restrictions on any partner regarding which credentials they offer to OERu learners. Otago Polytechnic, for example, is contributing a full Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education and interestingly, they don't have a BGS on their books. However, they are keen to progress local approvals for a BGS in the future.