University of Louisiana System Develops Online Degree Completion Program

Compiled by Ryan Garner
February 21, 2013

The University of Louisiana System has developed an online degree program that will help people earn a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership. All nine universities in the system are adopting the program, which will be launched in May, and aims to help more than 600,000 adults in Louisiana who started college but did not complete a degree program.

Applicants must be at least 25 years old and have a minimum of 60 hours of college credits in order to be eligible for the program. However, people who have fewer than 60 credit hours will be able to reach the required total through online tests or assessments of skills learned on the job. Tuition for the program will be set at $325 per credit hour.

"Having been a nontraditional undergraduate student, I know firsthand that life can get in the way of college completion goals," said University of Louisiana System President Sandra Woodley. "With the flexibility of this degree and the wide variety of specialization options, we have tried to remove all barriers to earning that diploma."


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While the degree will be a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership, each University of Louisiana System school will offer a different specialty to help enhance career skills. The University of New Orleans will specialize in cultural and arts institutions, but degree tracks at other schools include:

- Disaster-relief management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond
- Financial services at the University of Louisiana at Monroe
- Food-service strategies and operations at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux
- Health and wellness at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
- Human relations at Grambling State University in Grambling
- Project team leadership at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston
- Public-safety administration at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches
- Strategic global communication at McNeese State University

The degree program will entail five eight-week terms each year. The first 30 hours of courses will be taught by a mixture of faculty members from the system’s nine universities. The final 30 hours will consist of elective courses taught by faculty from the student’s chosen degree track.

"All of us are facing resource challenges, and by developing programs collaboratively we are sharing resources and are able to best utilize the resources we have to deliver unique degree programs at each university,” said Ron Berry, dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He notes the program is a “great use of resources, and an opportunity to reach students statewide with these unique concentrations.”


Sources:

“New program will let students finish their degrees online at any UL System school,” nola.com, February 15, 2013, John Pope

“Finish that degree online,” thenewsstar.com, February 20, 2013

“University of Louisiana System offers 2-year degree-completion program online,” thetowntalk.com, February 18, 2013