Those who pursue a college degree with a specific job in mind often choose a major that provides them with specific skills. But Stephen Levine, Director of the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) at the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies, says the fast-changing pace of modern technology means employers are now looking for workers with “soft skills” - writing, critical thinking, problem solving, working in groups and adaptability - in addition to technical abilities.
The BIS program offers a liberal arts education with Business, Health Care Management, Information Technology, Liberal Arts and Individualized concentrations. This degree-completion program is aimed at non-traditional students with a high school diploma or equivalency, and 60 hours of transferable credits from other institutions. Applicants must submit two short essays, transcripts from all colleges they attended, and a letter of recommendation as part of the application process.
Face-to-face and blended classes are held on UVA’s Grounds, and at sites in Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Virginia Beach. Online classes provide access for all students, regardless of where they live or work, including the Roanoke region, where the Roanoke Higher Education Center serves as a recruitment point for the program, Levine says.
The online platform allows local students to complete their course work without leaving home. Students enroll in an average of two classes per term, and most complete the program within three or four years, Levine says, athough a maximum of seven years is allowed.