Arkansas State University Works With Academic Partnerships To Put New Bachelor’s Degree Program Online

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Online Degree Completion Offers One Way to Meet Governor’s Goal of Doubling Degree Holders by 2025.

In keeping with Arkansas’ joint higher education “Compact With the People of Arkansas,” which Arkansas State University helped shape earlier this year, the university is launching a new online degree program for both incoming first-time students and students seeking degree completion.

The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (BSIS), launched in partnership with higher education service provider Academic Partnerships, is designed to provide students with a well-rounded and integrated learning experience. The online degree program offers an accessible, affordable accelerated path to earning a bachelor’s degree. It fits with the Compact’s pledge to meet the state’s educational, social and economic needs, as outlined by Governor Mike Beebe’s goal to double the number of Arkansas’s degree holders by 2025.

“Arkansas State University takes seriously the governor’s call to stay competitive and to prepare better for the future by increasing the state’s number of college graduates in Arkansas,” said Dr. Dan Howard, interim Chancellor at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. “This new online degree program is an effective option for both students just entering college, as well as for non-traditional students already in the work force who have previously earned college credits, but who never graduated. Through this program, such students can continue working, complete their degree and ultimately increase their earning potential.”

“We are proud to partner with Arkansas State University as it adds another program to its online degree offerings,” said Marsha Schattner, Executive Vice President at Academic Partnerships. “We are honored to know that our ongoing partnership has already helped the university deliver viable online higher education options to many students who face challenges getting to traditional classrooms. Governor Beebe’s call for a significant increase in the state’s college graduates makes this new online degree program especially timely.”

Students who enroll in the online BSIS degree program may be first-time college students who prefer the new online format or continuing students who wish to use previously-earned college credits for degree completion. The BSIS degree also optimizes transfer of academic credits for students with associate’s degrees from two-year colleges. In addition, the online program makes it possible for students to receive credit hours for military or on-the-job work experience, or design a personalized degree program that addresses their own career interests.

Although the online BSIS degree program presently is available only to residents of Arkansas, Arkansas State University is also working to expand its online programs and offerings both in and out-of-state. Additional information will be available in the near future.
Currently, the online BSIS degree program offers three areas of study: Criminal Justice, Communications and Technology. Other areas of emphasis will be added in 2012. The online degree program comprises 124 hours, with course lengths of seven weeks and an in-state course cost of $530.40. Students who are not seeking financial assistance may pay as they go per online course. Financial aid is available to full-time students who are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours.

Initial classes in the online BSIS degree program begin August 22, 2011. The registration deadline is August 12. To take August or October classes, students must be admitted into the online degree program by August 8. For registration information about this and other Arkansas State University degree programs offered online, visit http://degree.astate.edu or call (866) 621-8096.

To schedule an on-site meeting or to find out how employers can provide this program to their employees contact Susan Bariola at sbariola (at) astate (dot) edu.

To demonstrate further their commitment to Governor Beebe’s call to action to meet the state’s educational needs, Arkansas State University is providing a Tuition Scholarship for the first course for all new students enrolling in 2011. For more information contact an enrollment specialist at (866) 621-8096.

ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
Arkansas State University has a long and distinguished history of providing access to a high quality education at an affordable price by faculty members who are experts in their fields. The University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities (HLC) and holds 20 specialized accreditations underscoring the quality of its academic programs. ASU is ranked as a Tier I Southern institution of higher education by the editors of U.S. News & World Report in the 2011 edition of America’s Best Colleges and is ranked among the nation’s most military and veteran friendly universities.

ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIPS, LLC
Dallas-based Academic Partnerships, LLC (http://www.academicpartnerships.com), a higher education service provider, helps state universities expand access to their programs by converting traditional degree programs to online delivery and recruiting qualified students.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, Jan. 11, 2011
Gov. Beebe said in his address to legislators that the state’s anticipated small increase in revenue would be used for public education funding, and that his budget proposes a 2 percent per-pupil increase in state foundation funding, to $6,143 per pupil. The proposed K-12 budget for fiscal 2012 is $2.7 billion, up 3.7 percent from fiscal 2011. In his State of the State address Jan. 11, Gov. Beebe also touted the state’s 6th place ranking nationally in Quality Counts 2011, published by Education Week, up from 10th last year. Gov. Beebe said the state had “a much bigger hill to climb” in addressing its higher education challenges. The state must double its number of college graduates by 2025, he said. Gov. Beebe said he requested a 1 percent increase in higher education funding to help the state’s colleges with increased enrollment. He also said the state would have to address the financial barriers that block some students from completing degree requirements. —Michelle D. Anderson

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