NorthWest Arkansas Community College announced last week students can obtain an associate of arts degree online in two years, a structured program track that fits the needs of working adults.
“We realize that students are looking for the convenience of completing their degree without having to travel, so we believe the Online AA program will benefit students by providing an affordable local alternative to on-campus classes,” said Dr. Kate Burkes, the college’s director of distance learning.
Burkes said the degree track includes all of the basic courses that are accepted at most four-year colleges and universities.
“This is an accelerated cohort program designed to allow working adults, and those with other responsibilities, to concentrate on two eight-week online classes per term,” Burkes said. “It’s called a cohort program because participants move through the courses with the same group of classmates.”
Courses are offered in a pre-determined sequence that will allow students to complete the associate degree in the shortest amount of time possible and to plan around family and work schedules. Classes are taken year-round (including summer sessions) for two years.
Enrollment for the program is under way. A student group will begin taking the classes in August. Other groups will begin study in January and May of 2014.
Lacey Nast of Greenwood is one of the first to enroll in the program. She is the import sales manager/senior account executive for Clear Channel Outdoor in Fort Smith.
“It’s giving me the opportunity to go back to school and to continue working full-time,” Nast said. “This program was perfect. It fits in my schedule, and it’s going to allow me to pursue my future.”
The degree track was developed with the input of many faculty members at NWACC. The college’s online classes use the same curriculum as traditional on-campus classes, and they are taught by NWACC faculty.
Burkes said NWACC online classes are designed to be affordable. Tuition and fees are the same rates as traditional classes, plus a distance learning fee per class. Qualified students in the program are eligible for financial aid.
Individuals interested in the program can obtain more information online.