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IU Northwest News

IU Northwest introduces three new degree options


K-12 Online Teaching certificate, Weekend MBA Hybrid, Bachelor of Applied Science meet growing needs of students

Friday Jan 09, 2015


Responding to the growing demand for online educators, Indiana University Northwest launched its new K-12 Online Teaching Certificate in January. The certificate program, which is taught fully online, is a 15-credit hour program that instructs certified K-12 teachers on how to develop and teach online courses geared toward primary and secondary level students.

Angela Solic, Ph.D., Associate Director of IU Northwest’s Center for Innovation and Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (CISTL) and Clinical Assistant Professor of Education, developed the certificate with the assistance of faculty from the School of Education to address the growing need for K-12 teachers skilled at teaching online courses. 

According to Solic, online education for K-12 students benefits the students, teachers and school districts. 

“Online courses are an important offering for K-12 students because they offer greater flexibility with learning content. Students can take remedial or advanced courses during school breaks, in study hall, or at night that might not be offered during the regular semester,” Solic said.  “Teachers also benefit from the possibility of earning extra income and teaching in areas of interest that they can’t fit into the daily school schedule, while school districts will see potential increases in enrollment by being viewed as investing in innovation.”

The certificate requires completion of five accelerated courses, each at 7 1/2 weeks long, as well as each teacher to create his or her own fully online course over the duration of the program that can be taught within the school district once complete. Currently, the program is the only one of its kind offered in the state of Indiana and one of only a few offered nationwide.

“Given the high demand for online teachers and the potential that online courses have for accelerating the educational development of students, we are pleased to have invested in this practical professional development program for K-12 teachers,” Solic said. “We truly believe that instructing more educators on online teaching will be a win for teachers, school districts and, most importantly, students.”

While the deadline has passed to enroll in the first cohort, which concludes in October, teachers can enroll at any time and simply wait to begin until the next offering of the first course. In order to be accepted into the program, enrollees must fill out an application, provide evidence of a Bachelor’s degree, and proof of a teaching certificate.

For information about enrollment in the K-12 Online Teaching Certificate Program, contact Kelly Zieba at (219) 980-6879 or kmzieba@iun.edu.  For questions about the courses and curriculum, contact Angela Solic at (219) 980-6642 or asolic@iun.edu.

New Weeknight Hybrid MBA program ideal for working professionals

This new option from the School of Business and Economics allows students earning a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree to attend weeknight classes every other week. The new program format, which combines online and face-to-face learning, was specifically designed for students who work and want to pursue an MBA on a part-time basis. 

According to John Gibson, director of graduate and undergraduate programs at IU Northwest’s School of Business and Economics, students benefit from the Weeknight Hybrid’s use of the best features of web-based and face-to-face learning, as well as from attaining a high-caliber and affordable IU Northwest MBA.

“The hybrid component of this new program gives working students more flexibility to balance their time between professional, educational and personal commitments,” Gibson said. “Students who have too many time constraints to participate in a traditional MBA program format now have the opportunity to take advantage of the high-quality and value IU Northwest’s MBA program offers through this new structure and online learning.”

Classes within the new hybrid program are held Monday through Thursday evenings every other week, while professors are on-hand to answer questions at lab sessions during the “off week.” Additionally, the off week allows students to focus on readings and interactive videos; and student teams can use this week to work on business cases and projects. Students also have rich online learning content provided via Canvas - the new online learning management system at IU.  Through Canvas, students have access to online learning modules, web-based applications, chat rooms and discussion forums to enhance their learning experience. As a result of the new format, students will spend less time in a traditional classroom. 

The Weeknight Hybrid MBA program requires completion of between 36 and 51 credit hours of coursework, with students eligible to enter directly into the 36-credit hour core curriculum if they have an undergraduate business degree.

For more information about the Weeknight Hybrid MBA or to apply, visit http://www.iun.edu/mba/.   

New Bachelor of Applied Science degree serves as completion program for AAS holders

IU Northwest now offers a new degree program that will enable thousands of Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree holders to pursue a four-year Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree without losing the credits they have already earned.  The program, which was approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and is the first of its kind in Indiana, was established through a collaborative effort between the Indiana University regional campuses – IU Northwest, IU South Bend, IU Kokomo, IU East and IU Southeast. 

At IU Northwest, the B.A.S. is offered through the General Studies Program and will build on the University’s relationship with Ivy Tech Community College by guaranteeing Ivy Tech A.A.S. graduates a bachelor’s degree with 60 credit hours or less of bachelor’s level course work.  Approximately 5,000 Ivy Tech students graduate with an A.A.S. degree statewide each year, many of whom prefer a bachelor’s degree or need one to advance to supervisory or managerial positions. The new degree has the potential to benefit many Ivy Tech Northwest students with an A.A.S. degree, as well as A.A.S. degree students from other institutions in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland.

“We’re excited that this new bachelor’s program exists because many A.A.S. degree holders, both from Ivy Tech and other institutions, need or desire a bachelor’s degree for advancing their careers and expanding their career options. Our hope is that many of these individuals take advantage of this degree completion program so that they can achieve both,” Dean of IU Northwest’s General Studies Program and College of Arts and Sciences Mark Hoyert, Ph.D. said. 

Students completing the B.A.S. will earn 120 credit hours of which up to 64 credit hours can be transferred from an accredited A.A.S. program.  As an interdisciplinary degree, the B.A.S. will require students to both complete general education classes and choose either a health care management or personalized program track.  The personalized track will allow students to work closely with an academic advisor to develop an area of career interest, such as communication, human resources or entrepreneurship.  Graduates with a B.A.S. can apply their degree to a variety of careers, including hospital administration, general supervision or entry-level management, as well as marketing, communications and human resources. 

Additionally, the B.A.S. program will be offered online through a consortium of the IU Northwest, IU East, IU Kokomo and IU Southeast campuses.  IU Northwest students will be able to complete the program fully online, fully on-campus, or through a combination of online and on-campus courses.

“The flexibility and accessibility of this program will prove most beneficial to A.A.S. graduates.  Not only will these students be able to develop practical, managerial and personal communication skills beyond that of the technical skills they acquired through their associate’s degree, but they will be able to focus their coursework on a particular area of need, whether online or in person,” Hoyert said.  “This flexibility, combined with being able to apply at least 60 credits that have already been earned, has the potential to help thousands of A.A.S. students throughout our region advance.”

For more information about the B.A.S. degree at IU Northwest, contact General Studies Advisor Georgia Kontos at (219) 980-6728 or gkontos@iun.edu.  To apply, please contact the Office of Admissions at (219) 980-6991.

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