Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Helping Dropouts Build a Future

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Helping Dropouts Build a Future

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts is positioning itself to tap one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry -- continuing education -- through its Professional Adult Continuing Education Program.

The degree completion program also fills a need of helping college dropouts earn their bachelor's degrees.

Unlike other programs aimed at dropouts, this one puts students in a classroom setting where interaction is a key element of learning, said Budd H. Hebert, executive director of the university's Center for Professional Development. "This is not so much a lecture-based learning experience as it is for us to listen and for students to react to what's going on," he said. "An important element of this is to give students credit for their experience and they want to share these experiences." The program, which began in April, now has three classes going. The average age of students in session is 39. Leading to a bachelor's degree in organizational management, courses cover group and organizational dynamics, organizational communications, a systems approach to change, research and analysis, using statistics, economics, marketing, accounting, finance, human resources and strategic planning. It takes about 18 months to complete the entire block of courses. "We hope that students who come to us already have 60 hours college credit, that is the general academic courses, behind them," Hebert said. "This means they should have completed two years of college." Students are given credit for their work experience to make up the required college hours for a degree. "There are three tiers of education that we must go through," Hebert said. "The first is the general academic courses, English, math, elementary science. The next is the 18-month study program we have. …

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