Appendix F: Distance Education Program Being Planned

Back to Distance Education Programs List

SUBMIT DATE:08/12/2013 
Constituent Institution:East Carolina University 
CIP Discipline Specialty Title:General Studies 
CIP Discipline Specialty Number:24.0102  
Exact Title of the Proposed Program:Bachelor of Science in University Studies 
Exact Degree Abbreviation:BS 
Date of Initiation:08/2/2014 
Will this sequence of courses be completely individual access (e.g., Internet, videocassette)? YES 
If "yes," what will be the mode of delivery?Internet 
If "no," list proposed sites. 
If short-based, length of time to complete the prog (e.g., 1 year, 18 mos.):N/A 

SACS/COC substantive change questions (1=Procedure One; 2=Procedure Two)

Site-based (where the instructor is present):

Is the institution initiating instruction where the student may earn more than 25% and less than 50% of credits toward a degree at a site 30 miles or more from the campus? (2) NO 
Is the institution initiating an (additional) off-campus site at which students may earn at least 50% of an educational program? (1) NO 
Is the institution adding significantly different degree programs at a currently approved site? (2) NO 
Distance learning (where instructor and student are geographically separated):
Is the institution offering its first credit courses via technology-based instruction by which students can obtain at least 25% of credits toward a degree program? (2) NO 
Is the institution expanding a previously reported program from less than 50% of credits to 50% or more of a degree program? (2) NO 
Is the institution adding a significantly different program from previously reported programs offered via technology-based instruction? (2) NO 
Does this action constitute a substantive change? If so, by what date should SACS be notified?  
1. Briefly describe the proposed program and intended audience.

The Bachelor of Science in university studies (BSUS) is a university-wide program designed for students who seek a unique course of study outside traditional majors. This program offers the opportunity for students to develop an integrated, yet individualized, program of study that is personally interesting and professionally relevant within specific institutional guidelines. The BSUS degree is intended for students whose goals and interests for education are not met by current degree programs and offers avenues for academic innovation and accomplishment of 21st century educational goals.The BSUS program supports the university’s commitment to access by removing barriers to university completion for many students and enhances its ability to provide students with rich opportunities for meeting individual career or academic interests. Specifically, it addresses student success through increased retention and graduation rates, and provides a pathway for personal and professional development by allowing students to craft majors that better fit their intended skill sets.

A Faculty Oversight Committee, representing a diverse group of faculty across the university, will be chosen to provide attention to the academic integrity of the courses chosen to comprise a thematic core.  Care will be taken by the Faculty Oversight Committee that thematic cores are not designed and/or approved that in any way attempt to circumvent existing majors.  The academic integrity of the program will be a function of the way in which the Committee provides oversight to the processes and policies that govern the development and implementation of the thematic cores.

2. Describe the proposed instructional delivery systems (e.g., on-site instruction by faculty, interactive video, Internet, etc.).

The program will be delivered via the Internet utilizing Blackboard as the course management system.

3. Describe need for the program (referencing results of surveys or special studies).


The proposed BSUS meets the needs of students whose goals and interests for education are not met by current degree programs. It provides a pathway for personal and professional development by allowing students to craft majors that better fit their intended skill sets. There is an increasing number of students, particularly those who have served in the military, who have attended various institutions and accumulate academic credits that cannot efficiently be applied to more traditional degree programs. Limitations on financial aid for these students prohibit many from completing the requirements for traditional programs. This program will ensure greater access and completion rates for students and provide them the opportunity to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment. It offers avenues for academic innovation and accomplishment of 21st century educational goals regardless of the age, ability or circumstances of students.

During the 2008-2009 academic year, the university engaged in a year-long Strategic Enrollment Management Task Force (SEMTF) study to help direct East Carolina University (ECU) enrollment planning and student success. Four major issues were identified that impact ECU’s success including “Improving Student Retention and Graduation.” A key recommendation of the Task Force report, accepted by the ECU Board of Trustees in February 2009, was item 2.7.4. Establish a degree in University Studies.

In a survey conducted by Hart Research (January 20, 2010), entitled “Raising the Bar: Employers’ Views on College Learning in the Wake of the Economic Downturn),” 302 employers indicated the skills and knowledge they wanted from college graduates. Results of the report, which was commissioned by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, indicated they value skills and abilities at least as much as specific major-related skills. Among the skills that they indicate as of increasing value are in the “intellectual and practical” realm:

·        The ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing (89%);

·        Critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills (81%);

·        The ability to analyze and solve complex problems (75%);

·        Teamwork skills and the ability to collaborate with others in diverse group settings (70%);

·        The ability to be innovative and creative (70%);

·        The ability to locate, organize and evaluate information from multiple sources (68%);

·        The ability to work with numbers and understand statistics (63%)

CIP Code

Program Title



Liberal Studies

UNC Greensboro


Interdisciplinary Studies

Winston-Salem State University


General Studies and Humanities

NC State University

4. Projected total annual enrollment:
Year 1:25 
Year 2:40 
Year 3:60 
Year 4:80 
Year 5:100 
his intent to plan a new distance education degree program (or program site) has been reviewed and approved by the appropriate campus committees and authorities.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Contact Name:Austin W. Bunch, Ph.D. 
Contact Title:Senior Associate Provost