In anticipation of the continuous increase in the student population, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) tells of the possible return of the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (AB-GEN) program in AY 2015-2016.
The program is similar to the College of Business’ (COB) Interdisciplinary Business Studies program, but instead allows students to take electives of their choice which are related to the arts. CLA Dean Dr. Julio Teehankee explains that a selection of basic to intermediate level courses in the fields of communication, psychology, political science, literature, among others, will be available for students in the program to choose from.
Teehankee, however, clarifies that the program cannot be applied for by incoming students. Rather, students who are “still undecided” about which programs they would like to pursue, or students who decide they would like more holistic training in liberal arts are the ones who will be accommodated.
The General Studies program was in the past included in the University’s list of academic programs until it was dissolved in the late 1980’s. Vice Chancellor for Academics Dr. Myrna Austria tells that the dissolution of the program was primarily due to the negative image it developed through the years.
She shares, “The General Studies program was phased out because many of the students who were enrolled in the program were labelled failures, or the ‘students with no major’. It was something that stuck even after graduation.
“It is true that majority of the students in the program were there because they were unable to qualify for the academic programs of their choice, but these students were placed there ideally to allow them more time to hone their skills in a variety of fields,” she furthers, “The hope was that these students would either graduate to be flexible individuals, or would be developed enough to again apply for their programs of choice.”
Teehankee affirms, “A student might find, through AB-GEN, that the program he or she was initially enrolled in isn’t really for him or her. The program allows them to pursue courses in multiple fields in the arts.”
According to Teehankee, the re-introduction of the General Studies program serves the same purpose. That is, for them to discover other paths of study and to provide them with more holistic training. He also explains that this move is to limit the number of students who “fall into a lull period” in the event that a student does not qualify for majoring in the program of his or her choice.
“There are too many students in the college who are delayed in their studies due to non-qualification for their respective major programs. This number could increase given the number of incoming students,” he remarks. “To avoid the lull period, the program will be re-installed. In addition, this is also to prevent departments from becoming too lenient in their acceptance of students into the different programs, so that we can make sure our graduates are truly capable and competitive.”
DLSU President and Chancellor Br. Ricky Laguda, FSC, expresses confidence in the success of the program. “In today’s generation, the workplace is indeed more competitive. We want to equip our Lasallians to be as well-rounded as possible,” he says.
Complete details of the program will be released by the second term of AY 2014-2015, at the latest. Teehankee predicts that if all runs smoothly, the program will be open to accepting students beginning the first term of AY 2015-2016.