U.Va. couple spends weekends horsing
Byers, an executive secretary in Health System Development at
U.Va., has competed in Tennessee walking horse shows for seven
years. Here she rides her favorite Tennessee walker, Pro. Her
husband, Eddie, who works in the Chemistry Department, grooms
and shoes their horses. See "After Hours."
Opening U.Va.'s doors
to working adults
Ida Lee Wootten
people are beginning a new chapter in U.Va.'s history this fall.
Coming primarily from the local area, with an average age just over
37, the students are the first to enter the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary
Studies program. Approved by the State Council of Higher Education
in April, the program opens U.Va.'s doors to working adults who
want to pursue education on a part-time basis.
enter the program, students must meet strict admission requirements
including completion of approximately 60 transferable hours of credit.
"This is not a way to circumvent the regular undergraduate
admission process," said Donna Plasket, who was named BIS director
in August. "It's not a program for 18-year-olds."
new third-year students are embarking on an academic path quite
different, but just as rigorous, as that facing other undergraduates,
program planners say.
who enter the BIS program begin as provisional-status students.
To gain regular status, they must successfully complete within four
consecutive sessions a core of liberal studies, prerequisites needed
for their concentrations, BIS coursework and a computer competency
requirement. Once gaining regular status, BIS students must declare
a concentration, choosing from business, humanities, information
technology and social sciences. In rare cases with permission of
the BIS director and guidance of an academic adviser, students can
create their own concentrations.
the BIS courses students must complete are two Critical Issues Seminars
and one Analytical Skills Seminar. Small, discussion-oriented classes
focusing on ethics and effective decision-making in contemporary
society, Critical Issues Seminars will require at least two oral
presentations and major papers, allowing students to refine their
thinking, writing and speaking skills. After soliciting proposals
from faculty across Grounds, the first two seminars are on "Punishment
and Forgiveness" and "Nationalism and National Identity."
order to graduate, BIS students must complete a Capstone Project.
Similar to a senior thesis, the project will allow students to work
as individuals or teams to examine their educational experiences
in a meaningful way, such as through research, scientific experiments
or performances. The group of new students is expected to finish
the program in two to six years.
want to get to know these students and their needs. We'll need to
know, for example, if they want representation on Student Council
or the Honor Committee," said history professor Thomas Noble,
who has served as chair of the BIS Advisory Committee.
about the new program, from its admission requirements to the curriculum
and areas of concentration, has been crafted through the caring,
deliberate work of the advisory committee. Created in April 1998,
the committee met weekly for well over a year to hammer out such
details as administrative regulations, advising procedures, faculty
credentials, and students' access to computer labs, library resources,
recreational facilities and career planning and placement. The committee
continues to meet at least monthly. Full story.