BACHELOR OF INTEGRATED STUDIES: MEETING THE NEEDS OF ADULT LEARNERS
The University of New Brunswick’s Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS) is a degree completion program designed for adult students who have previous post-secondary study.
Launched in 2004 to meet a growing need for a flexible, relevant, accredited degree program for mature students, the BIS has more than 65 active students and 21 graduates.
Part-time and full-time students enroll in the BIS for a variety of reasons, the first being to improve or advance their career options.
“Several BIS graduates have reported being successful in employment competitions specifically because they have a degree. Some have said that completing the BIS has enabled them to compete for government contracts, both in Canada and abroad,” said Marilyn Carkner, coordinator of the program.
BIS students have also stated personal growth, intellectual enrichment, and continuing education after retirement as reasons for enrolling in the program.
“Many adults want to finish a degree that they may have started years ago. As time passes they have a desire to fill that gap in their lives and the BIS is an ideal opportunity for them to do so.”
An aspect of the program that appeals to applicants is the scope of transfer credit the BIS accepts, and the opportunity to review their non-formal learning for possible credit.
“A customized study plan, access to online courses, and knowing that they have ongoing support throughout their program makes the BIS both relevant and accessible to potential students.”
The BIS is a 120 credit hour program. To be admitted, applicants require a minimum of one full year of university credit to be transferred into the degree. Candidates will complete a university minor consisting of 24 credit hours in a chosen subject such as psychology, English, sociology, adult education, or business; 12 to 15 credit hours of BIS core leadership courses, elective credits, and a Personal Learning Portfolio. Forty-five of the 120 credit hours must be completed at UNB.
The majority of BIS students are from New Brunswick, but a few are from Nova Scotia and Ontario. Within New Brunswick, students can also choose locally offered courses in Bathurst, Moncton, and Miramichi, in addition to those offered at the Fredericton and Saint John campuses.
Depending on the applicant’s background and interest, the program may be completed at a distance through a combination of teleconference and online courses. Courses offered via these methods include adult education, leadership, some business, psychology, and technology management and entrepreneurship (TME). In addition, students may also count pre-approved courses from other universities if there is room in their program.
UNB’s College of Extended Learning continues to work with UNB faculties to develop more online courses to enable more students to complete the BIS program from a distance. In the meantime, all core courses required for the BIS are available online, and there are also over 80 additional online courses in various subjects and levels from which to choose.
For more information about the BIS click here or call 506-458-7976 or toll free 1-866 599-4646 to further discuss your options.