Professional Studies Major

College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences

Degree BS or BA, Professional Studies

For information contact James Calderone, EdD

PROFESSIONAL STUDIES MISSION:

The mission of Professional Studies is to provide an arena for students to complete a Bachelor’s Degree utilizing liberal arts based and advanced upper level courses in a professional area of study.

PURPOSE:

The Professional Studies purpose reflects the Misericordia University Mission in upholding the integrity of higher education formulating a Bachelor’s Degree completion program based on a profession and other upper level course in an integrated manner. This degree completion empowers students who are making academic and career direction changes the opportunity to earn a liberal-arts based Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts Degree to meet their academic and professional life needs. In doing so, the Professional Studies Major allows students to utilize previous academic work by accepting those courses that have been completed successfully either at Misericordia University or at another accredited college or university and combining them with courses that enhance their exposure to the liberal arts and to areas of professional and /or personal interest.

In the Professional Studies Major students are encouraged to use critical thinking in redirecting their efforts toward achieving realistic educational and professional goals, which may include the addition of career development counseling, job-seeking skills, graduate school advisement, and cooperative educational experiences. In addition, students will be required to demonstrate an ability to apply the core values expressed in the University Mission and Liberal Arts Core Goals.

If possible, students are encouraged to develop a "concentration," and in some instances a minor, in academic areas which may help employment and / or graduate school admission. The Degree is designed to be flexible enough to permit students who have needed to make a change in their educational and / or career goals to do so and "learn to succeed".

At least 30 credits must be earned in upper-level courses. In addition, at least 30 credits must be earned at Misericordia University. These two requirements may be satisfied by the same 30 credits.

Total required for graduation: 120 credits

PROGRAM GOALS:

  1. To promote sound academic and career decision making.
  2. To encourage critical thinking in selecting courses and community experiences that expose students to the liberal arts and pre-professional learning experiences.
  3. To prepare students for graduate education and / or bachelor’s level positions in the workforce.
  4. To foster life-long learning, sound and ethical decision making, and continual assessing of personal and professional aspirations.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Students will:

  1. Assess their previous academic learning, community engagement, and work experience in order to plan a realistic curriculum.
  2. Develop an academic plan which takes into account the need for a liberal arts base and realistic goals, based upon their capabilities and areas of interest.
  3. Demonstrate their ability to connect with university and community resources which will enhance their academic and career-oriented decision making.
  4. Integrate their previous learning, work experience, and community engagement with required liberal arts and pre-professional course work.
  5. Develop a post-graduate plan for continued education and / or employment.
  6. Provide evidence to affirm that they can write effectively, think critically, and apply the University Mission and Charisms to their decision making and life choices.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Students will:

  1. Submit an educational plan to their advisor for approval.
  2. Provide evidence to their advisor that they have contacted university and community resources needed to insure academic success.
  3. Develop a post graduate career and / or graduate educational strategy which are based upon their undergraduate program, work experience, and community engagement.
  4. Submit a capstone portfolio which includes evidence that the student has completed satisfactorily the University and Core Goals and is able to apply the keys values embedded in the University Mission.
  5. Graduate in a time frame which does not exhaust loan and scholarship moneys and that is not burdensome to family and work responsibilities.

METHODS FOR ASSESSING OUTCOMES:

  1. Regular assessment meetings (at least two times per semester) with the Professional Studies advisor(s) to evaluate the students’ evidence for sound educational plans, appropriate resource gathering, and realistic post- graduate planning.
  2. Yearly assessment of the percentage of Professional Studies students who graduate within their own projected time frame.
  3. The submission of a "capstone portfolio," prior to the completion of their last semester, based on University, Core, and Mission goals and values.
  4. Student self-assessment regarding educational goals to be completed prior to graduation.
  5. Student satisfaction survey, to be completed prior to graduation.
  6. Alumni survey every four years to assess whether post-graduate educational and / or work goals have been achieved.