Student Handbook

The BLS Advantage

Online Concentrations in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Professional Studies, and General Psychology

All BLS Courses are 100% Online

Online BLS courses never require on-campus orientations, meetings, or tests, so you can take your BLS classes anywhere you can get a good internet connection. Students have taken BLS courses from such far-flung places as Shanghai, China; Dharamsala, IndiaBamberg, GermanyParis, France; Baghdad, Iraq; Bangkok, Thailand; Seoul, South Korea; Johannesburg, South Africa; Tamale, Ghana; Managua, Nicaragua; The Turks and Caicos Islands; The Navajo Nation (Arizona); New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; and—of course—North Carolina, from the Smokies to the Outer Banks!

Study When You Want—Or When You Can

All BLS classes are asynchronous by design: You will not be expected to “attend” class at any specific time. Lecture materials are pre-recorded, so you can view them at your convenience. Class discussions are conducted through threaded forums on Canvas, so as long as you meet the regular deadlines you can participate when it fits your schedule. Even student presentations are asynchronous; you may log on before going to the office and view a presentation your classmate made last night after her bartending shift.

These classes are specifically designed for people who cannot attend regularly-scheduled classes. If you travel for your business, work irregular hours—even the infamous shifts in the emergency services—as long as you have some time to spare at your computer, BLS courses are compatible with your schedule.

Most BLS prefixed courses operate on a 7 week half-semester intensive schedule. Most other prefixed courses at UNCG operate on a full semester schedule. The following BLS courses are typically offered only as full semester courses:

  • BLS 301: Pathways: Reading and Writing in the Humanities
  • BLS 324: Banned Books

Small, Interactive Classes = Individual Attention

BLS classes are generally 25-30 students (not 250-300!), which means you get more individual attention from your professors. Classes are interactive, not impersonal; this is an online program where you will actually get to know your classmates!

Students in BLS classes participate in the dialectical process with engaged instructors and peers, exploring and testing ideas through online discussions and peer-critiqued assignments. These are not assembly-line, lecture-and-test classes; you won’t be expected to regurgitate the “right” answer on an automatically-graded test. Instead, you’ll be invited to investigate complicated issues and thorny dilemmas, and to assess the relative merits and shortcomings of many possible solutions proposed by you and your peers—there may not be a right answer!

Adult Classmates and a Culture of Excellence

The average BLS student is over 30, and their ages range from the 20s to the 70s. These adult students bring the benefit of a broad range of life experience to class discussions. BLS classmates include grandmothers, military families, paramedics, performing artists, contractors, and entrepreneurs—people who know what the real world is all about, just like you.

Adult students who have seen the real world also tend to be a little more motivated than traditional students. Almost 30% of our students have graduated cum laude or higher, and over 40% have graduated with an honors GPA!

Education for Life—Not Just a Job

An Academically Rigorous Liberal-Arts Education

The BLS program won’t teach you to be a nurse, or a hotel manager, or a systems engineer. The skills learned in a liberal arts program are less discipline-specific—and therefore more versatile. In the BLS program, you will hone your communication skills while discussing esoteric topics with your classmates; you will develop your problem-solving skills as you discuss the ageless quandaries that haunt humankind; you will sharpen your critical-thinking skills as you read well-written and convincing arguments with the intent to expose and exploit their weaknesses. You will learn about your human context through literature and the arts, through a critical examination of human history, theology and philosophy. You will meditate on what it means to be a human—not what to do when you’re an accountant.

Not Mere Job Skills, but Versatile Career Skills

Employers are looking for the exact skills you will develop in the BLS program. That’s why many potential employers require a bachelor’s degree before they’ll even interview you. They’re filtering for the communication, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills mentioned above, and for people they can trust to work unsupervised. Simply earning a bachelor’s degree will open employment doors in many different fields, and give you access to careers that you would not have otherwise. Some employers specifically look for people with degrees in the liberal arts!

Our graduates have gone on to masters’ and doctoral programs (including law schools), to administrative positions in various industries, and to promotions within the places they were already working. Many of those opportunities would not have been available to them if they hadn’t completed a bachelor’s degree.