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NEWS

Dec. 5, 2006

RSU to Offer Adult Degree Completion Program*

A degree completion program for working adults who once attended college but never finished their degree will be offered beginning this spring at Rogers State University.

The bachelor of science (B.S.) in organizational leadership will be offered in a flexible, accelerated format to assist more adults in northeast Oklahoma to earn a four-year degree, said RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley.

"This is a second chance for adults to finish their degree while keeping their normal routines and maintaining regular work hours, yet still having time for their families," Wiley said.

The new degree was approved by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, the governing board for RSU, at a meeting in Norman.

The degree may be earned entirely via the Internet through the RSU Online program, and will be the fourth bachelor's degree to be offered online at RSU.

Classes toward the degree will be offered in convenient, eight-week "mini-semesters" beginning in March on the RSU campuses in Claremore and Bartlesville. Many students will be able to complete the program and earn their degree in as little as 18 months, Wiley said.

Participants in the program also may be granted up to 30 college credit hours for experience they have gained during their careers, training programs or volunteer work.

Students will be allowed to enroll in the program at four times throughout the year. They will be placed into classes with their peers, allowing them the opportunity to study together and share their experiences. Most assignments may be completed online, providing a maximum level of flexibility, according to Dr. Larry Minks, RSU vice president for academic affairs.

"Our goal is to make this program as convenient and flexible as possible for working adults who have told us they don't have time to return to college," Minks said. "We're committed to doing everything we can to get them back into college to complete their degree without too much disruption to their busy lives."

Recognizing that adult students bring a variety of experiences with them when enrolling in college, RSU will work with students to assess any college-level learning they may have acquired before enrolling in the program. Through prior learning assessment (PLA), students will actively examine their own experiences in work, training, volunteer work and life that may qualify as college-level learning to qualify for college credit.

The new degree is part of the Oklahoma Adult Degree Completion Program, a statewide initiative to increase the number of state residents who have earned bachelor's degrees, spearheaded by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. This spring, 10 public universities in Oklahoma will participate in the program, including RSU, with Northeastern State University in Tahlequah taking the lead in curriculum development and program planning.

According to research completed by the state regents office, more than 69,000 Oklahoma residents have earned some college credit but have not completed all requirements necessary to receive a bachelor's degree. In addition, a smaller percentage of Oklahomans have earned college degrees compared to surrounding states and the national average.

"RSU is pleased to play a leading role in helping more residents in northeast Oklahoma to earn their degrees," Wiley said. "Countless studies have shown that a more highly educated populace leads to a better regional economy, higher per capita incomes and an overall higher quality of life."

Program curriculum consists of classes that cover topics and skills important in today's workforce, including organizational behavior, ethics, interpersonal skills, management, finance and communication, and also includes group projects and a senior capstone course. The curriculum was developed by faculty throughout the state with feedback from business and industry leaders in Oklahoma and assistance from the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning.

The broad-based degree will prepare students for a wide variety of careers including education, government and corporate and non-profit environments.

For more information on the Adult Degree Completion Program at RSU, call (918) 343-7615.

*Pending Approval