Hilbert’s New Evening Accelerated Degree Programs Geared to Adult Learners | Business
HAMBURG, N.Y. – New bachelor-level accelerated degree programs designed to address the needs of busy adults seeking to advance their education and career prospects in a fast-tracked academic format are being launched this fall at Hilbert College.
Offered in two sought-after majors, Hilbert’s Accelerated Degree Programs (ADP) were developed specifically for adult learners who have already earned a minimum of 48 college credits and want to complete their undergraduate degree. Bachelor’s degrees will be available in conflict studies and dispute resolution and also in organizational development. Students enrolled in either program with maximum allowable transfer credits can complete their degree in as little as 12 months.
“Many adult learners are looking for a viable way to finish their bachelor’s degree for career improvement or career change but face the challenge of attending college while also raising families and handling other commitments,” said Hilbert President Cynthia Zane, Ed.D. “Having earned all three of my degrees as an adult student with a family, I have a special interest in ensuring that Hilbert’s Accelerated Degree Programs will provide students an outstanding learning experience that best serves their particular needs and is most convenient for them.
“We are increasing access and opportunity for adult students throughout Western New York who are not defined by the traditional college format,” added Zane. “To that end, Hilbert’s programs respond to what is fundamentally essential to working adults advancing their professional goals.”
The new programs, which reflect and incorporate Hilbert’s strong liberal learning foundation, feature a flexible hybrid format that merges traditional classroom-based sessions with online education, a blended learning approach that’s integral to making it easier for working adults to pursue a Hilbert degree. Based on seven-week terms, all classes are scheduled Tuesday evenings in the fall, spring and summer.
Christopher Holoman, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs, said Hilbert’s ADP underscores the college’s historically strong commitment to adult students.
“Capitalizing on the college’s strengths, the programs are tapping into Hilbert’s long tradition of educating and serving adult learners,” he said. “With this in mind, we’ve refocused our efforts for these students and created a new model of course delivery that will best accommodate an ever-increasing demographic of nontraditional-age students who want to complete their degree in an expeditious manner.”
Through comprehensive coursework, the programs aim to foster new career opportunities for adult learners from a range of backgrounds, including individuals who hold associate’s degrees, working adults looking to further their job options or veterans continuing their academic experience.
A highly interdisciplinary field, the conflict studies and dispute resolution curriculum integrates coursework from the college’s social sciences and professional studies divisions. Altogether, the core program is intended to prepare students for careers in human resources, public policy, criminal justice, community planning, education and other areas where practical conflict resolution skills are needed.
Students who select the major’s professional track option will receive specialized training in the growing professional fields of alternative dispute resolution, mediation and labor relations. To supplement student learning, the track combines an internship in a community-based setting with classroom-based skills development in mitigating conflict.
Associated with Hilbert’s well-regarded business administration program, the organizational development major will educate students on principles vital to promoting positive change in organizations and acquire competencies in functional organizational areas, including human resources, budgeting and management. Beyond this, students will explore contemporary ethical issues.
Program graduates will be knowledgeable on relevant concepts and strategies in effectively managing organizational change. Using a process-driven, value-centered approach, the program will be beneficial to managers from organizations of all sizes, from small businesses to large corporations.
According to Holoman, “both degree programs will introduce students to many opportunities for professional growth that will enable them to immediately enter the workforce or go on to graduate studies. Given the framework of the majors, it will be a natural transition for students furthering their education in specific professional fields to enroll in Hilbert’s recently established master’s in public administration or master’s in criminal justice administration programs.”
Looking ahead, Holoman said the accelerated degree programs were developed with the expectation that more majors will be added in the future to further expand learning options for students.