Fully online, intensive seven-and-a-half-week courses in liberal studies and business offer adult learners a flexible, quality option designed to work around their busy lives.

The Adelphi University College of Professional and Continuing Studies (CPCS) recognizes that nontraditional students lead busy lives, often balancing work and family responsibilities. To meet the needs of these students, the College introduced a new option: seven-and-a-half-week asynchronous online programs in liberal studies and business.

Andy Atzert, dean of the College, said the condensed courses allow adult learners “to concentrate on fewer courses, with fewer professors, and fewer academic goals at any one time.”

Sandra Castro, PhD, associate dean, said, “We’ve been working on this approach since last year and are excited now to be moving forward with the first group of students in our new liberal arts and business half-semester programs,”

According to Dr. Castro, comparable online programs have been adopting shorter semester formats with success. “There is still the same amount of work in a full semester, it’s just taking one or two, rather than four or more, courses at once. Full-time students no longer have to split their attention between four courses at a time in a semester.”

Dr. Castro added, “Our adult students are serious students who are focused and committed to completing their degrees. Now it’s much easier for them to set aside the time they need to focus on one or two content areas at a time at their own pace.”

Helping Adult Students Succeed

Adelphi has been serving nontraditional students since the 1970s, when it adopted a traditional model of night and weekend in-person courses. CPCS tuition is already less expensive than tuition for other Adelphi programs, according to Atzert, while the half-semester courses can be especially cost-effective. The CPCS Panther Potential Program, which readmits former Adelphi students who stopped out at least three years ago to earn their degrees, offers attractive financial incentives and previous debt forgiveness that can significantly reduce the cost of completing a degree.

Applicants receive pre-advising to help personalize their learning experiences. “Faculty members work with them to evaluate their résumés to determine what credit for prior learning from their life experience and certificates they might be eligible for,” Dr. Castro said. “Veterans or police officers, for example, would likely get credit for prior learning.”

A Full Adelphi Experience

CPCS instructors have doctoral degrees “and are often professionals who share their expertise with their students,” she said. Professors have built office hours, time for one-to-one meetings and virtual discussion forums into their course designs.

CPCS students have the same access to Adelphi’s student support offices, library and Writing Center as traditional students. The latter can sign up for CPCS courses too, but CPCS students have priority, according to Dr. Castro.

Dr. Castro concluded, “Overall, our goal is to provide adult students with the support they need for their future success.”

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