General Studiesprovides courses of study, opportunities and experiences intended to assist students in the following ways:
- To prepare students to enter a career requiring a broad background of knowledge and skills
- To allow students to obtain a flexible, general college education with major and minor concentration areas
- To foster an environment for students that is conducive to career development and successful job placement in an ever-changing global economy
- To assist students at the post-secondary level, in career planning, and in the transition into the workforce
- To encourage and promote scholarly activity and service activities among faculty
Theprogram also strives to maintain a highly trained, technically competent, professional faculty using student-centered teaching pedagogies and conducting applied and educational research.
Myths RegardingGeneral Studies Majors:
Myth #1: Only students who can’t make it in other majors become General
Reality: Students choose General Studies for numerous reasons. 1) Some students have multiple academic interests and don’t want to limit themselves to one area of study. They find the General Studies degree provides them with a well-rounded program. 2) Others plan to pursue graduate or professional studies and choose General Studies to complete the necessary requirements and to pursue various areas of interest. 3) Still others have either been out of school for some time, or they have changed majors numerous times and are looking for the most efficient way to complete a degree.
Myth #2: Choosing to major in General Studies is the easiest way out and will allow students to graduate earlier.
Reality:This is usually not necessarily true. The outcome of a change to General Studies depends upon several factors. Often, students come to General Studies with many hours thinking they have enough to graduate only to find that they are still required to complete 45 hours at the 300/400 level. They also have to complete two minor concentration areas.
Myth #3: A Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) is not enough to find a well-paying, interesting job.
Reality: Our graduates are equipped with many transferable skills that are highly desirable
to many different employers. According to the Director of the Office of Career Services,
during a recent university-wide career fair, seventy-six (76) of the one-hundred forty-five
(145) participating organizations had a direct interest in either hiring all majors,
or specifically indicating an interest in hiring General Studies majors. This accounts
for more than 50% of all organizations that participated in our career fair.
Some of these organizations were: BellSouth, Chase Bank, Community Coffee, Hibernia Bank, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Louisiana State Police, Marriott International, Nielson Media Research, State Farm Insurance, U.S. Border Patrol, Walgreens, Walt Disney World, Hertz and Enterprise Car Rental, SCP Pool Corporation, and Wells Fargo.
Myth #4: It’s impossible to market your skills when you’re a General Studies major.
Reality: More than any other student, a General Studies student must understand the degree program and must be ready to explain the strengths and the knowledge gained from the courses in the major concentration. The student must also be prepared to prove oral and written communication skills and broad-based knowledge. Career Planning 304 (CPL 304), a 3-hour course designed to help students market themselves to prospective employers, also prepares them for the world-of-work that awaits.
Myth #5: Choosing a major means choosing a career.
Reality: Although these two choices can be closely tied together, choosing one does not automatically mean a student has chosen the other. Some majors such as accounting, computer science, or chemistry, for example, are career specific. Studies have shown, however, that within ten years after graduation, most people are working in careers that are not directly related to their undergraduate majors. The job market is in constant change. What we do know is that students typically change jobs/careers seven times before retirement so they should focus on developing transferable skills (writing, speaking, becoming technologically savvy, working as part of a team) that employers desire.
Conclusion: A degree in General Studies is a strong degree that can open doors to many career opportunities and to graduate or professional study. Students should discuss their interests with a General Studies advisor.