FORT WAYNE, Ind.—A new degree completion program has been developed by the Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) to provide maximum convenience to working adults with busy schedules. The new degree completion program, called General Studies Advantage, offers a hybrid classroom approach so that students only have to come to campus one night per week. Student applications currently are being accepted for fall 2013, which is the inaugural semester for the new program. To be admitted into the new hybrid program, applicants must have completed 60 credit hours of college studies.
The new program was developed to serve a growing population of area adults who want to pursue a college degree but are limited by work schedules or family obligations. “IPFW knows that there are more than 140,000 northeast Indiana residents without a bachelor’s degree but have some college credits or have received an associate’s degree. Many think coming back to school is impossible due to their busy schedule or the age of their college credits,” according to Deb Conklin, executive director of the IPFW Division of Continuing Studies. “General Studies is a popular and flexible program for many of these adults. The degree can be customized to fit career and personal goals with options for generous transfer of credits from accredited institutions, prior learning assessment, military service, and approved training programs through the American Council on Education (ACE),” she said.
The Advantage program will complement IPFW’s traditional General Studies degree program that for more than 40 years has catered to students wishing to customize their own degree by taking courses in a broad range of subjects. In addition to welcoming credits previously acquired from accredited post-secondary learning, General Studies allows for students to specialize their course work through an interdisciplinary approach based on their interests.
While the Advantage degree program schedule is similar to programs offered by a couple of the area’s other universities, IPFW graduates will receive a greater value, as the Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) degree is awarded under the auspices of Indiana University, a world leader in professional, medical, and technological education, and the IPFW tuition rate is lower than most other area universities.
An added bonus of the new Advantage program is that students can complete their bachelor’s degree at their own pace. “The General Studies Advantage program organizes the schedule so that someone with 60 hours or an associate’s degree can graduate in 18 to 24 months with minimal time on campus,” according to Conklin. “In addition, it provides orientation and support for learning with technology, skills that are useful in today’s work and home environment,” she said.
While majoring in General Students and concentrating their course work on specialized subjects in the areas of arts and humanities, science and mathematics, or social and behavioral sciences, these students may also incorporate minors into their program to match their interests. Popular minors to complement the General Studies degree are in business, communication, organizational leadership and supervision, psychology, and sociology. Certificate options are also available in Advanced Manufacturing, Supervisory Leadership, and Small Business Management.
Students enrolling in the new IPFW General Studies Advantage program this fall will attend courses one night a week. They can combine their certificate course work with other on-campus and online courses, working at their own pace in a part-time or full-time study schedule to fit their careers and personal or family schedules. In addition to offering weekday and weeknight courses on campus and online courses, IPFW also offers classroom courses on Saturdays to accommodate working adults.
Individuals wanting to learn more about IPFW’s new General Studies Advantage program are invited to attend an Open House on Tuesday, July 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The events will meet at the Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse IPFW Alumni Center, 1528 East California Road in Fort Wayne, Ind., located to the west of and directly across the river from the main IPFW Campus at 2101 East Coliseum Blvd. More details on the new program are also available at the website, or by calling Angela Williams, assistant director of DCS credit programs, at 260-481-5449, or Julie Fellers Hook, director of general studies, at 260-481-6828.