A college degree. At night and on weekends. No interruptions.
That might sound like a lofty goal for working adults, but a bachelor’s degree despite having a full time job is well within reach through Jacksonville University’s Accelerated Degree Program (ADP).
It’s the only program of its kind at a non-profit school in the area with the offering of a full-blown, four-year degree and not a patchwork of night courses. Differing in format and philosophy from conventional programs, ADP gives adults the opportunity to complete a college degree in expedited fashion.
Courses are offered in eight-week terms (two terms per semester) including summer. Students may select from courses offered on weeknights and occasional weekends. Classes meet one night per week, with some being online or hybrid.
“The program allows the working adult to easily take four courses every semester,’’ said Dr. William Crosby, Acting Associate Provost, Director of ADP and a Professor of Accounting. “Students may take two the first eight weeks and two the second eight weeks for three semesters and complete 12 courses each year. That is slightly faster than for the traditional student.’’
Because of the work load, students have full-time student status as they work toward a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with majors in Business Administration, Finance, Management or Marketing; a Bachelor of Science with majors in Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Sciences or a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies. The full-time student status is important as it helps in gaining financial aid.
And, while ADP courses are taught by the same professors who teach traditional daytime classes at JU, the program is not a budget buster as tuition per credit hour is about half that of the traditional program.
The program has come a long way since its inception decades ago.
“The program has been around in some form since before I arrived (on campus) in 1993,’’ Crosby, who has led the ADP the last four years, said. “We had what we called a weekend studies program which consisted of Friday, Saturday and some Sunday classes at the time. At one point we moved to five week classes and eventually migrated to an evening program in an eight-week format with limited degrees.
Currently home to about 150 students, Crosby said program expansion isn’t out of the question.
“We are continually seeking ways to increase enrollment,’’ he said. “The Davis College of Business has been very receptive to expanding to include additional majors. I think Accounting and Business Analytics are possibilities for the Davis College, and in the College of Arts and Sciences we could potentially offer degrees in philosophy, sociology, psychology, and maybe a few other disciplines.’’