FSU center to offer student-designed major

August 20, 1999|By BRUCE HAMILTON

Students will be able to design their own majors this fall at Frostburg State University's Hagerstown Center, where a new Liberal Studies program will be available for the first time.

The center also is offering Information Systems Management classes from the University of Maryland University College.

"We have been working on bringing these majors to Hagerstown for several years," said Jim Shaw, the center's director.

The Liberal Studies program is intended to let students tailor their educations. For example, one could create a public administration major, taking courses in public policy, human resources and management principles.

"Theoretically, everything is fair game," said Shaw.

Although classes can be taken at the Hagerstown Center, courses generally are limited to the curriculum at Frostburg's main campus.

The Liberal Studies program builds on general course requirements completed in a student's first two years. The bachelor's degree requires an approved "focus area" of eight courses in a given field plus a project, such as an internship.


The major can't be made up of unrelated classes. "It won't be a Whitman's Sampler of courses, but something that has coherence to it," Shaw said.

Frostburg expects a major in public administration to be popular in Washington County, Shaw said. It would dovetail with a public administration program started by Hagerstown Community College in the fall of 1997.

Other study options include general majors in the humanities and social sciences, Shaw said. Potential majors include specialized topics such as the Civil War, design studies or business communications.

Classes taught at the main campus can be given in Hagerstown through the university's television system. The Liberal Studies program will depend on supply and demand, Shaw said.

"This major should be especially interesting to adult learners who have previously acquired technical or professional training elsewhere," he said.

The Information Systems Management degree requires eight courses such as Software and Hardware Concepts, Human Factors in Information Systems and Database Management.

The program will prepare graduates to manage, design and establish computer operations in a business or other agency. Classes for both new majors begin Aug. 30.

For more information, call the center at 301-791-4020.

The center has about 400 students enrolled in Frostburg's courses and 50 more students in programs offered by other University System of Maryland colleges. The center offers about 50 to 60 junior-, senior- and graduate-level courses each semester.

Tuition is $135 per undergraduate credit and $174 per graduate credit for Maryland residents.

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