Post Classifieds

IDS expands bachelor program; offers independent curriculum

By Phillip Long
On April 5, 2011

Interdisciplinary Studies has become an independent program, departing from the English & Foreign Language Department this semester.

Cynthia R. Kasee has been appointed as the Program's interim director. Jerry Howard Hickerson retired in January after being the head of the Program for 30 years. Kasee has been the assistant director and online faculty since August 2007.

"In careful tutelage, Hickerson taught me the skills I would need to take the reins of Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies when he retired," Kasee said. "I would never say that I am "replacing" Dr. Hickerson, because that can't be done."

"I plan on maintaining the continuity in the administration of the program, but serving as interim director."

The IDS curriculum involves integrating electronic and academic viewpoints to answer questions and solve problems too complex to be addressed by one academic discipline.

Lynn Harvey, a sociology professor said that different academic disciplines bring different perspectives and each contributes to the full picture of what is happening and how it can be changed.

"Depth studies are what IDS calls concentrations." Kasee said.

They include mass communications, history, physical education, art, math, chemistry, and exercise science. The most popular depth studies are sociology and psychology.

"Students looking to get a degree in IDS can take 30 semester hours of sociology and psychology as their area of concentration," Harvey said.

Non-traditional students are typical IDS majors who are between ages 30 and 40. These students may have families, full-time employment and have been out of school for more than 10 years.

According to Kasee, in recent years, IDS has been expanding its demographic and attracting traditional students ages {18-23}.

"They [traditional students] are often those who changed majors two or more times and now need a program with the flexibility to put those electronic course choices into a comprehensive whole."

For students with two-year transfer credits, it takes one-half to two years to complete. The average traditional student takes two to 2 1/2 years to complete the IDS program. These students come into the program with 60 credit hours within WSSU.

However, Kasee said there has been a long misconception about IDS being a last resort major.

"Students often come to us because courses they are required to take in their major are only offered infrequently," Kasee said.

"Most students can't afford to wait a year or more for a required course to be offered."

IDS take steps to help students when they cannot meet the requirement of other programs. For example, student-athletes may transfer to IDS to meet academic requirements set by the NCAA.

"We are definitely not a program which people can come to with a lackluster attitude toward completing their academics and be able to graduate," Kasee said,

"IDS is hard, those who choose it as a path to degree completion are not taking the easy way out."

Introduced in 1974, IDS is nearing its 40th anniversary at WSSU. Formally known as the "2+2" program, it was originally for parents with full-time jobs that wanted to continue their education. WSSU is the only university in the state that accepts associates degrees in the IDS program.

The information about IDS has been through word-of-mouth. Students may go to IDS and find out that they meet all of the requirements. They will go back and tell their friends. This is how many students find out about the IDS program. There are only three advisors to about 200 students causing IDS not to heavily recruit students to their program.

Kasee said she hopes that in the next three years IDS becomes more independent and expand their student base when more faculty members are available. It averages about 60-100 graduates every year.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More thenewsargus News Articles

Recent thenewsargus News Articles

Discuss This Article


Class of 2019, what are your plans after graduation?


Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format