BUIES CREEK -- Campbell University is expanding its online education offerings this fall when it will enroll students in seven new bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that will be completed entirely online.
Designed with adult learners in mind, the new, fully-online degree programs that will first be offered through Campbell University Online this fall and that are now accepting applications are the Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts in Religion, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Security, Bachelor of Science in Information Management, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Master of Science in Clinical Research.
Beginning in the fall of 2014, Campbell will also start offering online certificate programs. The first concentration will be in Christian Studies, with other certificate concentrations expected to include organizational management and accounting in the near future. These certificates are designed to be add-ons for professionals or as entry points for individuals interested in pursuing a college degree.
All degree and certificate programs operate on rolling admissions.
“Moving to online education is a strategic decision positioning the university for growth and the development of new educational opportunities to meet the evolving needs of traditional and nontraditional students,” said John Roberson, dean of Campbell’s extended programs, which include Campbell University Online. “Years ago the university began offering a limited number of courses online to accommodate our military students who were facing deployment or base reassignment. This is the first time the university will offer to students enrolled in its online campus complete degree programs online.”
Campbell established its extended program office in 1976 when it opened a campus on Fort Bragg and began offering online classes in 1999. Today, the university’s extended programs enroll nearly 1,400 students through its online offerings and through its physical campuses in the Research Triangle Park and on the military bases at Camp Lejeune, New River Air Station, Fort Bragg and Pope Army Air Field.
But over the past 14 years, students could earn up to only 49 percent of their degrees online. Now, online campus students can earn all their credits online in the seven new degree programs, which are responsive to changing student demographics and education delivery systems, Roberson said. Nearly 50 percent of all undergraduate students today are non-traditional students.
“The stereotypical image of the undergraduate student being 18 to 22 years old, living in a residence hall, eating in the cafeteria and attending classes in columned buildings is being challenged by a new reality,” Roberson said. “The new reality is almost half of all undergraduates are older than 22 years and are nonresidential students. As many nontraditional students are juggling the responsibilities of work, marriage, family and school, they prefer the convenience of online learning. Campbell is embracing this new reality.”
Meeting the growing demand for working adults led the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ Department of Clinical Research to move toward a completely online program for its Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) degree, said Col. William Pickard, chair of the clinical research department.
“The online program offers our students greater flexibility and time management to accommodate their professional and personal demands,” he said. “Our faculty and staff have been amazing in their driven, dedicated efforts to produce a quality program. We are very excited about moving to a teaching methodology that can reach a broader geographic area, which includes international students.”
Nearly 100 students are expected to be enrolled across all the online degree programs that will be available this fall. The majority of the students are working professionals between the ages of 34 and 37, said Katherine Spradley, director of Campbell University Online. “These students work full time, have a family, and want to expand their career potential.”
In addition, the online degree programs will maintain a low student-to-faculty ratio while emphasizing project-based learning. The smaller class size ensures students get the engagement they need to be successful, while the project-based learning gives student the opportunity to practice and apply the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired throughout the program, Spradley said.
She added that Campbell University Online has about 65 faculty members, all of whom have earned at least a master’s degree, with nearly half holding a doctoral degree. Online faculty members are also gainfully employed in their fields of expertise and design their own courses. “Adult students want a theorist who can design a class and engage the students by saying, ‘When I was doing this today, here is what transpired,’” Spradley said. “It’s the application and engagement piece each student seeks that our faculty provide.”
Roberson said he anticipates that Campbell will add an online Master of Business Administration program as early as January 2015. Other online degree programs expected to be added in the future include a Bachelor of Applied Science in Clinical Research and an RN to BSN program, which allows registered nurses to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
“Campbell has had an excellent reputation of teaching high quality courses online for many years,” said Mark L. Hammond, Campbell’s vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Now, we are offering complete degree programs via online delivery—thereby making available outstanding degrees and majors to students unable to attend one of our traditional campuses. Regardless of location and schedules, students can now pursue a Campbell degree. Our online programs really do allow us to transcend space and time.”