News & Features

OPTIONS make Gateway even better

By: St Louis Post Dispatch staff reporter

May 5, 2006


The Fontbonne University OPTIONS program has taken steps to make its unique Gateway program even more convenient and practical for working adults.

Designed as an introduction to higher education, OPTIONS Gateway is for those adults who aspire to earn a bachelor's degree but have little or no college credit. The curriculum provides a liberal arts foundation for a degree and serves as a stepping stone into any of the other OPTIONS bachelor degree programs.

Nearly 3,000 graduates have found the OPTIONS programs to be a practical educational alternative for adults juggling jobs, family and other responsibilities. Traditionally, all OPTIONS degree programs followed a streamlined format: one course at a time, with one night a week reserved for class and another for study team. The streamlined, accelerated pace has proven ideal, especially for the business degrees offered by OPTIONS, at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Through student surveys and feedback from faculty, OPTIONS has determined that Gateway will be even more desirable and convenient with the following changes in format:

Effective in June 2006, OPTIONS Gateway can be completed in about 19 months, rather than 22. Students will be able to take two eight-week courses at a time, with no formal study teams. There are no required meetings outside of class.

"We're really very excited about these changes," said Linda Maurer, Fontbonne's dean of business. "The traditional, liberal arts nature of Gateway's general education curriculum was not as conducive to the study team concept that works well within OPTIONS business courses, where teamwork is often simulated, much like it would be in the workplace. The new format also allows students to commit the same amount of time per week to their education, but finish faster."

The changes will make Gateway even more streamlined and convenient for working adults.

New courses have also been added to Gateway's carefully selected sequence. Students will still register once for the 19-month curriculum, then meet for classes on the same two nights each week. Groups for all OPTIONS degree programs are forming throughout the year at all four locations: Clayton, South County, North County, and Chesterfield.

Gateway courses provide a great opportunity to develop and sharpen many practical skills for the real world, including written and oral communication skills, critical thinking skills and time management.

"Fontbonne University offers a high-quality academic experience available to a broad range of students, both traditional and non-traditional," added Maurer. "We are committed to identifying and addressing student needs, while maintaining the solid academic standard they've come to expect from us."

For more information, call 314-863-2220, or Visit the Web site at

with permission, copyright (2006) St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Education for Life Section