The Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program, also known as RBA, is a nontraditional academic program offered by the baccalaureate degree-granting public institutions of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
The Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program is an accredited and innovative baccalaureate degree initially developed by the former West Virginia Board of Regents. The Program is designed to give adults an opportunity to earn a four-year degree in a nontraditional way. A unique feature of the degree is that students may be awarded credit in the usual manner, in addition to the possibility of earning college equivalent credits for work and other nontraditional learning experiences. In the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program, students can plan individualized programs of study tailored to meet personal goals.
The Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program is of excellent academic quality; whereas, recipients of the degree must meet requirements comparable to more conventional baccalaureate degrees. The difference in the two routes toward obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree is the critical element of the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program. Credit awarded conventionally may be used in the Program and, in addition, college-equivalent credits awarded for work and other applicable nontraditional learning experiences may also apply toward the degree.
Students entering the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program are judged on their merit and may create unique programs suited to their individual needs. The degree program is not designed as an escape outlet for students who are excluded from other traditional academic programs for reasons of poor scholarship. Poor scholarship in early years, however, should not preclude admission of a candidate who has demonstrated the ability to acquire and use knowledge.
A Brief Synopsis of the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree System
The Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program is different from other baccalaureate degree plans:
- College credit for work and other applicable nontraditional learning experiences may count toward the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree requirements.
- While the program is designed to ensure the Regents Bachelor of Arts degree student’s sound educational foundation, rigid specialization requirements are not imposed.
- The student selects one of the participating institutions to sponsor the degree but is permitted to take courses through all institutions in the West Virginia public system of higher education including the West Virginia Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System (WVROCKS).
- Admission to the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program is open to students who have been graduated from high school for at least four years. For those passing a high school equivalency examination, admission must be at least four years after their class graduated from high school.
- By design, the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program is operated on the same level of academic quality as other more traditionally structured baccalaureate degree programs.
- The Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program has been designed as a mechanism suitable for adults who are interested in obtaining a four-year college degree.
Area of Emphasis Option in the Regents Bachelor of Arts Program
Eleven specific “area of emphasis” options have been established within the Regents Bachelor of Arts Program at Bluefield State College. These areas of emphasis permit Regents Bachelor of Arts students to take 15-to-16 semester hours of upper-level coursework (numbered 300-499) and three-to-eight semester hours of lower-level coursework in designated academic areas (precise number of specialized credits depends on emphasis selected). When the area of emphasis is satisfied and verified, it will appear on the student’s Bluefield State transcript. Area of emphasis options include Business, Criminal Justice Administration, English, History, Imaging Science, Natural Science, Organizational Leadership, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Special Education.
Students should contact the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program Director for specific “Area of Emphasis” course requirements at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
GENERAL EDUCATION - 36 Hours
Communications (6 Credit Hours)
English 101, 102 or equivalent English Composition courses, Speech, Basic Communication, Journalism or Foreign Language
Humanities (6 Credit Hours)
Literature, Religion, Philosophy, Art, Music, History, Humanities, Theatre
Natural Science (6 Credit Hours)
Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Astronomy, Physical Science, Biology, Zoology, Mathematics
Mathematical or Computer Applications (3 Credit Hours)
Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Applications, Computer Programming Language
Social Sciences (6 Credit Hours)
Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Anthropology, Political Science, Social Science, Geography, Criminal Justice
Other (9 Credit Hours)
Communications, Humanities, Natural Science, Social Science, Mathematical Sciences, Computer Applications
UPPER DIVISION COURSES - 39
These courses may be selected from courses numbered 300-499 in any academic area. However, the students must meet all prerequisites and/or consent of the instructor which may be required.
UNRESTRICTED COURSES OR CREDITS - 45
Students may earn remaining credit by completing additional courses (upper and/or lower) or by presenting CLEP or military credits. Standard awards for credit are possible upon review of certifications and licenses that the WV RBA Degree Program has established as credit bearing.
TOTAL HOURS (MINIMUM) 120
Students must complete a residency requirement of 24 hours of course work taken at one or more institutions in the West Virginia Public Higher Education System. At least 12 of the 24 hours must be earned from Bluefield State College.
Note: Student must have graduated from high school four (4) or more years prior to enrolling in the RBA program. All requests for credit-based learning other than college course work must be reviewed and evaluated by the Director of the RBA Degree Program prior to enrollment.
Total Semester Credit Hours Required: 120
Candidates for the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree must earn a minimum of 120 semester hours to include 36 hours of general education, 39 upper-level division hours and 45 hours of unrestricted electives. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0, or higher, is required for graduation.
General Education Distribution Requirements: 36 Credit Hours
Of the 120 credit hours required for the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree, a minimum of 36 semester hours must be distributed as follows: Communications (6); Humanities (6); Natural Science (6)*; Social Sciences (6); Math/Computer Applications (3); and Additional hours chosen from any of the General Education areas (9).
*Additional credit hours are necessary to complete an emphasis in Natural Science. Contact the RBA Director for details.
Upper Level Division Requirements: 39 Credit Hours
Regents Bachelor of Arts students must attain a minimum of 39 semester hours of upper division/level courses. “Upper Division/Level” refers to junior and senior level courses numbered 300 through 499. All upper-division courses are electives unless specified for an area of emphasis option.
Residency Requirements: 24 Credit Hours
Completion of 24 semester hours from accredited West Virginia state public institutions (including community and technical colleges) is required. Twelve (12) of the 24 semester hours must be completed at Bluefield State College. This requirement cannot be satisfied by CLEP, PEP, USAFI, college-equivalent or other non-traditional credits.
Unrestricted Courses or Credits: 45 Credit Hours
These electives are courses students choose to take outside of their general education requirements, upper-level division course requirements and selected area of emphasis, if applicable.
To be considered for admission to the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program, it is necessary to submit the appropriate undergraduate application for admission to the Office of Admissions. To be eligible for admission to the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program, the student must have graduated from high school at least four years before application. If the student has passed a high school equivalency examination (GED), admission to the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program must be at least four years after the student’s high school class graduated.
Prospective applicants are advised to contact the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program Director for an appointment to discuss individual program objectives, learn about program requirements, guidelines and procedures, and obtain the necessary application forms (forms may also be obtained from the BSC Office of Admissions and via the College’s website).
Admission to the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program at Bluefield State College does not provide for automatic admission to other programs. A student may not be enrolled simultaneously in the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program and another baccalaureate degree program. Students with an accredited baccalaureate degree are excluded from admission to the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program.
Tuition and Fees
No application fee is required for admission into the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program at Bluefield State College. Registration, tuition, and service fees for enrollment in courses are assessed according to the current established fee schedule in effect at Bluefield State College.
A fee of $300 is charged for portfolio evaluation and is assessed each time a portfolio is submitted. An additional transcript-posting fee of $10 per college-equivalent credit awarded is also assessed. Contact the RBA director for more information.
A graduation fee of $50 is required when the student applies for graduation. Check with the Registrar’s Office for application deadlines.
Rules Relating to Grades
All “F” grades received four years or more before admission to the program are disregarded upon student’s written request (not included in the calculation of the student’s grade point average). Grading, retention, and graduation requirements follow the same policies and procedures that govern other degree programs at Bluefield State College.
Transfer of Credits
Transfer of credits from an accredited college or university to the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program can be accomplished by having an official transcript of all earned credits sent directly from the institution(s) to the Office of Admissions at Bluefield State College.
In transferring credits from accredited institutions of higher learning to the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program, all passing grades and accredited correspondence credits are accepted. Established policies regarding the transfer of credits between institutions apply to students in the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program.
Satisfactory results from the Proficiency Examination Program (PEP), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the United States Air Force Institute (USAFI), and other similar tests are acceptable for credit. American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations for current and former military service personnel are also honored.
Transfer credits are assessed for purposes of meeting requirements in upper-level and lower-level division instruction at the time of entrance into the Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree Program.