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    Northern Illinois University
   
 
  Dec 17, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Education B.G.S. Contract Major


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Contract Major - Education


The College of Education offers students opportunities for constructing two types of individualized programs of study which differ from the university’s regular major and minor programs. These individualized programs, the B.S. contract major and the Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) degree, utilize existing university courses.

Each of the two programs offered by the College of Education addresses a different set of educational objectives. The B.S. contract major allows a student with unusual and well defined academic interests to design a major with the advice of a faculty sponsor. The B.G.S. degree, by contrast, requires no formal major; it is a minimally structured program built around a general curriculum of courses offered primarily in the College of Education. The B.G.S. degree is expected to appeal primarily to mature students with broad academic interests whose educational objectives may not include preparation for a specific professional career.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/Outcomes/general.pdf.
 

Requirements


The College of Education offers students the opportunity of constructing individualized programs of study which are different from the university’s regular major and minor programs. Such an individualized program of study, termed a contract major, utilizes existing university courses and leads to the degree Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.). To receive the degree, a student must satisfy all university graduation requirements. The requirement of the contract major replaces the requirement of a regular departmental major. (See “Other Graduation Requirements.”)

The B.G.S. contract major allows a student who has at least junior classification and unusual and well-defined academic interests to design a major with the advice of a faculty sponsor. The program must be logically structured around a meaningful and interesting theme or topic. Some topics which have been proposed are adult education, instructional development, paraprofessional counseling, and nontraditional education careers. Program proposals should be submitted to the associate dean of the College of Education and must be approved by the College Curriculum Committee.

The student who wishes to earn a degree through the general studies program must

  • have and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50.
  • justify the new curriculum and define the goal to be achieved.
  • design a multidisciplinary program, with the approval of a faculty sponsor, that may be accommodated within existing university resources and facilities. (The program may include internships, independent study, or special projects on or off campus, up to a maximum of 12 semester hours.)
  • enroll in a capstone experience.
  • include in the program at least 50 semester hours of course work comprising courses basic to the area of interest. These 50 semester hours
    • may not be used to fulfill general education requirements;
    • must include at least 15 semester hours of course work offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences;
    • must include at least 30 semester hours in upper-division courses from the College of Education; and
    • must not include more than 24 semester hours from the offerings of a single department in the College of Education, excluding the capstone experience.

A student who completes an approved contract major and all other graduation requirements will receive the degree Bachelor of General Studies with a contract major in ______ (the theme specified in the contract).

NOTE: The degree Bachelor of General Studies is not as well understood outside the university as traditional baccalaureate degrees. Students earning this degree may be required to convince prospective employers or graduate schools that the degree will enable them to succeed in a particular job or a future educational endeavor.

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