By: Cassidy Martenson
IU South Bend is expected to offer three new world language degrees for fall 2021. The IU Board of Trustees approved a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in French, German, and Spanish at their February meeting.
The decision will be finalized when the programs are approved by the Indiana Commission of Higher Education. If approved, these world language degree programs will likely be conducted fully online. However, there is a chance that some of the courses will be conducted in a hybrid format due to limited resources.
These degrees will allow IU to reach a more diverse group of learners. Doug McMillen, Associate Vice Chancellor of Operations and Initiatives, said “The major advantage of the new fully online degrees are that they serve an older adult population that don’t have the opportunity to earn a degree through an on-campus program.” These degrees also offer students more options for their educational and professional career.
IUSB currently offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Spanish, French, and German. The new B.S. degrees are more specialized and focus on specific sets of skills. According to Jeff Luppes, Department Chair of World Language Studies, these degrees are also more career-focused than the current B.A. degrees.
Teaching a language in a fully online environment comes with a wide set of challenges, but the faculty and staff are excited about this opportunity.
Luppes says that he “embraces the opportunity to innovate and reach more students.”
These new degrees will not only allow students to grow, but they will allow faculty to innovate and become better problem solvers.
These new degrees are a part of the ongoing collaboration between the IU campuses through the Office of Collaborative Programs. This collaboration is meant to connect IU campuses and combine resources to create optimal online courses for all students. Each year, the program proposes between 6-12 collaborative programs that IUSB is typically a part of.
Students should continually be looking for new degrees coming to campus. According to McMillen, approximately 11 degrees are being proposed next year. A full list of online collaborative programs can be found at https://online.iu.edu