Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is introducing a completely online degree completion program in integrative studies with a focus on leadership in organizations. It is geared toward non-traditional students, primarily working adults and is available for fall 2017.
“This flexible program is designed to help adult learners return to college to complete their degrees,” said Denise Cobb, PhD, SIUE provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “In particular, SIUE now provides a pathway to a baccalaureate degree for individuals who have an associate’s degree, or are close to obtaining one, and are unable to come to campus for coursework We recognize the hurdles that working adults face, and this program was designed to support this particular population.
“This program will provide flexibility and an important opportunity for potential students to achieve the goals that they started, but had to leave behind. Likewise, it will provide a path for students who complete an associates degree at a community college to use this online program to complete a baccalaureate degree.”
The online integrative studies program with focus areas of sociology and psychology revolves around organizational leadership and administration themes. The program features courses on leadership theories and practices, as well as organizational dynamics, in order to instill critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential for effective leadership. The coursework provides the array of knowledge and skills that many employers seek while allowing flexibility for graduates to pursue many different opportunities.
“A bachelor’s degree can lead to increased earning potential, ability to pursue graduate school, advancement in current career or opportunities for a change in careers,” said Zenia Agustin, PhD, integrative studies program director. “In the St. Louis region, the median earnings of an individual with a bachelor’s degree are 77 percent higher compared to someone with a high school diploma.”
The new program may also appeal to individuals who are already in the work force and are seeking advancement opportunities afforded by a bachelor’s degree. The program allows credit for prior learning up to a maximum of six credit hours.
A bachelor’s in integrative studies with a leadership in organizations focus prepares students to be business and non-profit leaders. Graduates can pursue career opportunities in the corporate world, medical and health services, non-profit organizations, educational institutions or government, among others. Effective management and organizational leadership skills are sought after in areas such as organization management, human resources, corporate recruiting, training and development, and program development in higher education, as well as social, community and non-profit organizations.
“A highly educated workforce benefits not only the individuals, but also the greater community, as well,” Agustin said. “This new program is a testament to SIUE’s commitment to developing innovative programs that address the needs of the region.”
The integrative studies program requires the completion of at least two focus areas where each focus area involves approximately 18-21 credit hours. These focus areas will be reflected on a student’s transcript resulting in more information about the academic fields that the student pursued.
SIUE originally introduced the bachelor’s in integrative studies during fall 2015.
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