October 19, 2011
Research shows that at the time they take their PSATs, 65 percent of today’s prospective students list their college interest in the area of pre-professional programs—which includes business management (with concentrations), communications, education as well as legal and other professional studies. Rollins also closely monitors the college choice of accepted students who do not ultimately attend Rollins, many of whom opt for colleges or universities with pre-professional programs.
To be more responsive to the interests of prospective students and better equip current Rollins students to succeed in today’s competitive job marketplace, Rollins launched the College of Professional Studies. Effective July 1, 2011, Rollins restructured so that three academic departments—Communication, Education and International Business—are now part of the new College of Professional Studies.
“Strengthening professional studies reaffirms the College’s Hamilton Holt legacy of an applied liberal arts education,” said Deb Wellman, interim dean of the new College of Professional Studies. “The new structure will help Rollins align its curriculum to meet the needs of 21st- century students while honoring the values of a liberal arts education.”
To improve and assess student learning, the American Association of Colleges & Universities encourages liberal arts colleges to adopt the LEAP (Liberal Education & America’s Promise) learning outcomes. This structure supports those efforts. The new structure allows all programs more control over their course offerings. This change also facilitates accreditation of programs like Education and International Business.
“Many colleges and universities around the country are engaged in researching sustainable business models and offerings,” said Rollins Provost Carol Bresnahan. “The College of Professional Studies is a good liberal arts model and a common structure. It will make us more competitive with our peer colleges. And students who major in its subjects will, like all Rollins students, take the core liberal education courses.”
This internal restructuring will be invisible to students and will not affect their coursework or matriculation. Based on interest Rollins has seen over the last few years, the College expects prospective and current students will be very receptive.