Degree completion programs are an innovative way for adults to transfer in most past college credits and/or earn college credit for life or military experiences. When you combine the OM program with these credits, it is possible to complete a bachelor's degree in as few as 15 months, just one night per week!
- Cohort Structure: As a student in the OM program, you are enrolled in a small group (typically 15 to 18 in size), which remain together as a cohort for the entire length of the program. The cohort provides internal support to students throughout the program and a professional network after graduation.
- Time-shortened Format (1-night per week or online): You will be enrolled in only one course at a time and attend class just one night a week from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. or online. All courses are completed in five to eight weeks. Each weekly class session is four hours long. The day of the week is always the same throughout the program, i.e. if your program starts on a Monday, it will always meet on Mondays for the duration of the program.
- This is unlike the traditional four year approach to earning a degree, which requires you to juggle many classes and assignments simultaneously.
- Class Time: Class time is devoted, largely, to the processing of information. The teacher functions as a facilitator in a learner-centered classroom rather than a teacher-centered environment.
- Homework and Related Studies: On average, you can expect 3-4 hours of homework for every hour spent in class. Students are expected to spend 15 to 20 hours each week acquiring information from textbooks and work-related assignments.
Why does this format work?
Three factors make it possible for the program to function effectively in a time-shortened format: (a) the common goal orientation of the students; (b) the cohesiveness and continuity of the cohort structure, and (c) the participative, androgogical teaching methodology, which assumes the students are self-directed, goal-oriented, and interested in applied learning.
- Participative Methodology: The primary role of the instructor in the nontraditional programs is that of facilitator. The lecture approach is used only in a limited way.
- Applied Learning: Throughout the modular course work, students are required to integrate theory and academic content with knowledge from their work experiences. Evaluation of the students' progress is based not only on evidence of their grasp of content, but upon their reflections about the application of the content in their workplace.
- Applied Research Projects: Additionally each student is required to complete a work-related project which requires:
- The definition of a researchable topic
- Literature search related to the topic
- Identification of appropriate research and analytical methodology
- Completion of data collection and an evaluation of the data
- Analysis of outcomes, usually involving statistical measurement
- Statement of conclusions