Expanded Degrees Offered at Belmont College
St. Clairsville, OH (May 23, 2012) With this fall’s formal launch of
the transition to semesters, faculty at Belmont College have been working diligently
to refresh existing courses and create a wide range of new courses as part of the
general-education curriculum at the College. This expanded coursework is offered
through Belmont’s Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees.
Coinciding with the College’s first fall semester beginning on August 27,
the AA and AS degrees will offer an expanded range of courses across the general-education
disciplines. Over 30 new courses have been developed to support Belmont College’s
status as a comprehensive community college. With the integration of
the new courses into the AA and AS degrees, students will now have greater access
to the courses needed to fulfill the core curriculum requirements in place at many
four-year colleges. Students can prepare themselves for two years at
Belmont College, in an environment conducive to their success, for entry into the
third year of a four-year bachelor’s program.
In the Fall of 2009, Belmont announced the introduction of the two new Associate
of Arts and Associate of Science degrees. The degrees were part of an expanded
mission for the College, to provide liberal-arts programming in addition to the
technical programs historically in place. The new degrees offered students
the opportunity to complete the first two years of their bachelor’s degree
close to home, saving considerable money in the process.
The AA and AS degrees have gained popularity over the last three years that they
have been offered, even though the range of courses available was limited to general-education
courses already within Belmont’s curriculum. The new courses fill out
the curriculum to create liberal-arts programs with a global focus.
The new and expanded courses belong within the general-education categories of English
and Communications, Arts and Humanities, Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences,
and Natural and Physical Sciences. Most of the courses are focused on global
concerns, the range including such courses as Interpersonal Communications, three
history courses in Eastern Civilization, Global 20th-Century Literature, Traditions
in World Music, World Religions, International Studies, and Cultural Anthropology,
to name a few. There are several new introductory sequences in Chemistry,
Biology, Physics, and Natural Sciences, as well as new courses in Math designed
for the AS students.
One new option is the Math for the Liberal Arts course, which allows AA students
and students in certain technical programs the opportunity to develop an understanding
of the applications of mathematics to real-world situations and problems.
Another opportunity for students is the new course called Humanities. This
course combines the disciplines of philosophy, literature, history, and religion
in one place, allowing explorations about human heritage without commitment to the
rigors and demands of one isolated discipline.
Dr. May Charles, Assistant Dean, Arts and Sciences, explained how these course developments
became possible: “The variety of new courses to be offered [beginning in the
fall] is a direct result of the interdisciplinary strengths of the faculty employed
at Belmont College. Without the expertise of faculty, both full-time and adjunct,
development of the courses would have been impossible. Our students will reap
the rewards of this diverse faculty knowledge, in the choices of courses made available
to them and in the actual conduct of the individual courses.”
One of the instructors involved in course development, Dr. Jon Stansell, Assistant
Professor of English, commented about the value and relevance of the new course
offerings: “Many local residents might be curious about the world and its
cultures; the AA degree and courses like Cultural/Diversity Studies help to connect
life as a student lives it with intriguing and even inspiring pictures of life in
other places. That new vision allows a questioning of life—how we make
decisions, how we perpetuate traditions, and how we feel shaped by culture.”
Dr. Charles pointed out the value of such courses for students in the technical
programs: “There is a bonus to the development of the new courses for the
AA and AS degrees—the courses increase general-education electives for our
students in the technical programs. Their options will be so much more varied
and exciting. We hope to see, within any one class, students representing a variety
of programs. The result will be a great interchange of perspectives.”
The next step for the AA and AS degrees at Belmont College will be the introduction
of concentrations in specific subject areas.
For more information about the new courses or the AA/AS degrees please contact Jane
Black, Transfer, Articulation, and Academic Advisor, at 740.699.3813.
# # # #
Current students Joseph Hora (left) and Sarah Schmidt (right), visit with Dr. May
Charles, Assistant Dean, Arts and Sciences before attending Belmont College’s
Student Awards Banquet, which took place on May 18th. Dr. Charles presented both
students with academic excellence awards at the event. Hora, an AA student, has
been accepted at Point Park University for the fall, where he will major in Cinema
Production; and Schmidt, an AS student, is hoping to complete a Bachelor of Science
degree and enter a program in Veterinary Medicine.
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