An individualized major is composed of an interdisciplinary program of studies, appropriately designed (1) to enhance the student's ability to integrate and synthesize content and/or method from two or more academic disciplines and (2) to satisfy an individual student's educational interests or career objectives. It must be identified by a title and a combination of courses that is different from existing undergraduate majors and program outcomes.
Students at Keene State College are expected to declare a major by the time they have accumulated 60 credits.
The minimum number of credits is 120 credits for a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree, with a minimum of 40 Integrative Studies program credits and a minimum of 36 credits of major courses. Whereas major requirements are usually established by the academic discipline, the Individualized Major program of study is designed by the student in consultation with a faculty advisory committee, subject to approval by the associate vice president for Academic Affairs.
In the event students choose to complete the Individualized Major as a second major, a total of 8 credits from the other major may be applied to the individualized major.
Processing the Individualized Major
- Advisory Committee. The student selects an Advisor of Record from the principal discipline and an additional faculty member from each secondary discipline represented in the individualized major. All committee members must be full-time faculty.
- A meeting of the committee is called to discuss the proposed major and to assist the student in designing the program of studies.
- The proposed Individualized Major must be signed by the student and cosigned by members of the Advisory Committee prior to approval by the associate vice president for Academic Affairs.
- Copies of the approved proposal will be distributed to the student, each member of the advisory committee and the Registrar. The original will be retained in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Completing and Modifying the Individualized Major
- The student is responsible for (a) completing all Transitional General Education Program requirements, (b) progressing through the Individualized Major program as approved by the advisory committee and the associate vice president for Academic Affairs, and (c) enrolling in sufficient electives to fulfill credit requirements for the degree.
- All changes to the Individualized Major program must be cosigned by the Advisory Committee members and approved by the associate vice president for Academic Affairs. These amendments must be in writing and accompanied by appropriate rationale.
Each program of study is divided into Integrative Studies requirements, major requirements, and electives.
Integrative Studies Requirements
40 credits minimum
Integrative learning is a process by which students connect knowledge and skills from multiple sources and experiences, apply knowledge and skills in varied settings, utilize diverse points of view, and understand issues contextually.
This program reflects Keene State College's institutional values (through the integrative outcomes), provides and develops the experiences necessary for success in an academic environment (the skills outcomes), and preserves the breadth of a liberal arts education that should enable our graduates to succeed in a global environment (the perspectives and interdisciplinary outcomes). The integrative teaching and learning process approaches teaching and learning in intentionally connected ways.
Students participating in an integrative learning experience see connections in seemingly disparate information; adapt skills learned in one situation to problems encountered in another; demonstrate a breadth of outlook and an awareness of complex interdependencies; judge/decide (synthesize); take into account different dimensions of a problem, seeing it from different perspectives, making conceptual links; connect skills and knowledge from multiple sources and experiences; utilize diverse and contradictory points of view; and understand contextual frames.
Knowledge in both individual and multiple disciplines is the foundation upon which integrative learning builds. Integrative learning often occurs as learners put theory into practice, "making meaning" as they apply abstract concepts in practical settings.
Students should also consider as part of their course of study developing competence in a second language and including an experiential learning experience in which discipline-based knowledge can be applied.
36 credits minimum
Must include program objectives and learning outcomes; consist of a minimum of 36 credits, of which a minimum of 20 credits must be in courses at the 300 or higher level; include courses from a minimum of two academic disciplines, with a combination of a minimum of five courses (a minimum of 20 credits) in one discipline and minimum of four courses (a minimum of 16 credits) in the other discipline; and may include a maximum of 12 credits of Independent Study courses.
If a student chooses to complete an Individualized Major as a second major, a maximum of eight credits from the original major may be applied to the Individualized Major.
Select courses to reach a total of 120 credits for a B.A. or a B.S. Electives are selected by the student and are usually related to personal and professional interests.