ST. LOUIS - Fontbonne University has implemented several changes to its OPTIONS program, making it even more feasible for adult learners to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree. The program is faster, more flexible and highly personalized, according to officials.
"Going back to school, or starting college, is a huge decision for many of our students," said Linda Maurer, dean of the College of Global Business and Professional Studies, Fontbonne's new academic college. "Their lives are already hectic; getting a degree shouldn't add to the chaos. We've designed the new OPTIONS program so that students can have more control over the structure of their education as well as their lives."
The new format allows students to complete their degrees faster - if they want - without sacrificing quality, according to Maurer.
"Study teams are no longer required in our program and that's an important distinction," Maurer explained. "Instead, students can now enroll in one or two courses during a single eight-week term."
The previous format also used a "cohort" model where students went through the entire program as a group, but that requirement has been eliminated.
"Now classes will continually be infused with new students, allowing for a more dynamic academic environment in which students are exposed to different ways of thinking," Maurer said.
Another new feature of the OPTIONS program is an advising team that will guide each student through the enrollment process, course scheduling and financial aid options that specifically meet their personal needs. And students will receive continued support from specialized staff throughout their time at Fontbonne.
Additionally, the program now accepts more transfer credits than in the past, and students may receive undergraduate credit for prior work experiences.
Courses are taught at six area locations, and different programs are offered on evenings or weekends with some courses available online. One degree program - the master's in management - is offered entirely online, and a graduate program in supply chain management is expected to be available online soon.
OPTIONS classes are small in size, and each class emphasizes practical, real-world skills and experience.
The Fontbonne OPTIONS department recently moved to a new facility located at 1300 Strassner Drive off Hanley Road just south of Highway 40. OPTIONS still offers classes at Fontbonne's Clayton campus and four other locations around the metro area.
To learn more, visit www.fontbonne.edu/optionsforme.