General studies to become part of Arts and Sciences

Due to an administrative move, the School of General Studies (SGS) will be integrated into the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) in the fall.

The SGS, currently a separate standing school, is a program designed to give more one-on-one attention to incoming freshmen before they transfer into one of the five other colleges.

CAS Dean Jim Stellar recently sent an e-mail on Jan. 11 to the student body of the SGS announcing the change and assuring students this move will not affect the current students’ transition into the academic program they were admitted to Sept. 2006.

“Our decision to integrate the program under CAS was made following extensive analysis on how best to meet the unique needs of the General Studies students. As the University changes and evolves so too do the needs of the students who enroll in this program,” Stellar wrote in the e-mail.

The SGS offered very few courses and the majority of those were CAS classes, said Provost Ahmed Abdelal.

“Instead of running independently, we want [the SGS] to capitalize on resources the CAS has to offer,” Abdelal said.

At the end of students’ freshman year, a large majority transferred to the CAS more than the other colleges, Abdelal said.

The students will benefit from this integration, as they will have access to faculty and resources in the academic departments responsible for relevant disciplines and they will be fully integrated with the academic experience, Stellar said in the e-mail.

Andrew Parquette, a freshman SGS student, said he would not have been accepted to Northeastern if he had not gone through the SGS.

“I’m a little nervous stepping into sophomore year. It has been comforting to know my advisor was there to meet with me regularly,” Parquette said. “In the fall, I’m on my own.”

Parquette said the SGS was helpful for athletes busy with team practices.

“[SGS] was good for kids that had to make the transition from high school to college easier,” said David Brook, a freshman in the SGS.

Brook said the SGS was helpful for students who might not know what they want to major in and for those who needed more individual attention from advisors and smaller classes.

“We have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that the core elements of the General Studies program will continue, including a continued high level of individual support, small classes and low student to teacher ratios; and extensive advising and peer tutoring,” Stellar said in the e-mail.

Brook said in the long-run, the effects on the students will not be severe.

“[SGS] students are still Northeastern students, so everyone should be fine,” Brook said.

Leave a Reply