General Studies program offers guidance, new approach
Most of Seton Hall’s faculty and students have heard about the General Studies (GENS) program, but have yet to understand what exactly it offers.
According to Tracy Gottlieb, dean of Freshman Studies and vice president of Student Services, GENS is a transformation from the usual Seton Summer Scholars program to more of a support program for students who need extra help.
“Students who, in the past, would have been required to attend [classes] during the summer, are instead being accepted as GENS students with extra help and support from Freshman Studies,” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb added that these students are pre-major students and can only be allowed to declare a major once they have shown success in GENS.
Gottlieb said for the class of 2016, students who are accepted as GENS will be guided by the school on what classes to take and the different resources they can utilize to help succeed.
The main reason this program was created was to allow students who cannot afford the Seton Summer Scholars program to still be able to enroll and get the help they need, according to Gottlieb.
“We knew that some students who wanted to come to Seton Hall were unable to come because the cost of the summer program was outside the scope of financial aid,” Gottlieb said. “We wanted to remove this barrier to enrollment.”
Gottlieb added that the school has studied the positive effects of the Seton Summer Scholars program as well as the Educational Opportunity Program, which both have a summer component.
“We know from experience that students who receive the extra advising, tutoring and study skill preparation from these programs are very likely to stay at Seton Hall and, ultimately, to graduate,” Gottlieb said.
According to Gottlieb, the Seton Summer Scholars program will now be offered as an optional program for the month of July.
“Students who are accepted as GENS are being invited to join us for the summer to kick start their academic career by earning seven credits in July,” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb said the main reason these changes were made was to increase the number of Seton Hall students who stay at Seton Hall and graduate.
According to Gottlieb, the provost also requested that the faculty consider, for the future, creating a broad Associate of Arts degree that would allow students to leave the University, if need be, before earning their bachelor’s degree.
“Our goal would always be to transition students in to a four-year degree, but this would help students who invested in their studies but need to move on,” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb added that the faculty is now considering this proposal for acceptance.
Gottlieb said that all of these initiatives were created to better students’ success here at Seton Hall.
“We wanted to create a structured academic year program to help students in this group be as successful as possible,” Gottlieb said.
Lindsay Rittenhouse can be reached at Lindsay.rittenhouse@ student.shu.edu.