15 Aug 2013 Why Major in Liberal Studies?
Our Liberal Studies major is one of the fastest growing of the college. I asked Dr. Donna Dunbar-Odom, head of Liberal Studies, what might be contributing to that popularity. “It’s probably the most flexible degree we offer. It allows students the freedom to design their own degree plan.” Those who graduate in the major are also among our most satisfied with their university experience. “I listen to the students. I try to understand what they want to accomplish.” Dr. Dunbar-Odom is also adamant about acknowledging students’ struggles to finish up a degree after trying out one or two other majors. “I use what they have already done. I can usually see a way to cobble together a degree that helps students avoid redundancy while still adhering to the rigor required by the university. I want to help students the way I was helped.”
The numbers tell the whole story about Dr. Dunbar-Odom’s passion for her students. Since she took over as head of Liberal Studies, the number of students with this major has blossomed from 60 to 200. Students trust that she has their best interest in mind. She simply sees herself as doing her job. “This is what we do in the humanities. We all benefit from crossing boundaries between disciplines. Why shouldn’t we offer a degree that celebrates our students’ willingness to cross those boundaries?”