UCA Online launches fall 2015

The University of Central Arkansas launches UCA Online beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year.

UCA Online offers three undergraduate degree completion programs for individuals with an associate’s degree or at least 60 hours of undergraduate work. The undergraduate degrees are a Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in professional studies with a concentration in health and safety. UCA Online also offers the Bachelor of Science in nursing track for registered nurses.

“We have a strong, long-standing academic presence in higher education as a face-to-face, brick and mortar university,” said Dr. Steven Runge, executive vice president and provost. “We are offering degree programs that students interested in online learning will find valuable and attractive. We have not previously tapped into that group of students at the undergraduate level.”

UCA has offered online graduate and post-baccalaureate certificates for several years: 15 masters’, five certificates, one education specialist and one doctorate program. UCA Online will continue to develop and increase the number of undergraduate online programs.

“This is a strategic move to reach a different demographic of students than we currently reach,” Runge said. “Right now, UCA has a very traditional student population at the undergraduate level, with the bulk of our students being the 18-year-old freshman coming in and matriculating through. With these online degrees, we hope to attract students who might be working adults, people who have earned at least 60 hours of college credit or an associate’s degree who want or need to earn a bachelor’s degree.”

Enrollment growth through revamped undergraduate and graduate degree programs is one of the goals outlined in UCA’s “Framework for the Future” which was introduced in November 2013.

The UCA Online completion degrees offer flexibility and convenience while maintaining academic rigor and quality. Content for UCA Online courses will be the same as the conventional classroom and will meet the same learning objectives as the face-to-face options.

“Quality online education is so much more than just the technology that is used for delivering the content. It requires careful course planning and design, outstanding student support, and high caliber instructors trained in the art of teaching online,” said Dr. Christopher Davis, chief technology officer. “UCA Online will provide all of that to our students.”

Michael Judge has been hired as the director of online learning and is coordinating the UCA Online roll out. In this role he will provide the operational leadership and institute a framework for quality control. Judge has extensive knowledge and education in the areas of online learning, instructional technology and distance education.

“UCA Online will allow students the opportunity to earn a degree from a well-respected university without the traditional constraints of time and location experienced by on campus students,” Judge said.

Judge earned an associate’s degree from Pensacola State College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production and a Bachelor of Arts in radio and television production from the University of Central Florida. He has a Master of Science in instructional technology and distance education from Nova Southeastern University, and he has completed all courses towards a Doctor of Education in instructional technology and distance education.

For more information about UCA Online, visit uca.edu/online or send questions and information requests to ucaonline@uca.edu.

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