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Online Degrees for Non-Traditional Students

The University of Louisiana (UL) System is taking steps to encourage adults with some higher education experience to return to the academy and complete their degree.

With 27.9 percent of working adults holding a degree across Louisiana, the need for state higher education institutions to tap into the adult market is becoming increasingly important. According to the Lumina Foundation, Louisiana’s degree attainment rate is significantly lower the national average.

“Louisiana has more than 545,000 adults with some college education but no degree,” Jackie Tisdell, assistant vice president for communication at UL System, told the Daily Comet (Thibodaux, Louisiana).

To accommodate the needs of prospective adult learners, the UL System designed a program tailored to help adults return to higher education, in partnership with the Center for Adult Learning.

The new program, created to enroll students 25 years of age or older, offers a fully online bachelor’s degree program in organizational leadership with courses from UL institutions across the state. With nine different schools in the UL System, each institution can offer specializes in one unique innovative concentration. Nicholls State University, for example, offers food service operations while Southeastern University offers a concentration in disaster relief management.

In addition to being offered entirely online, the program is accelerated, allowing students to complete their bachelor’s degree more quickly than in a traditional classroom setting.

With only 26 adult students currently enrolled in the organizational leadership degree, Program Coordinator Robert Allen admits that the program is off to a slow start, but hopes it is only temporary, since it was launched during the summer months.