News & Features

New Year Means Exercising "OPTIONS" for Many Working Adults

Friday, January 19, 2007

St. Louis Post-Dispatch / Special Section

The beginning of a new year seems as good a time as any to get started with a new endeavor, including resolutions that working adults might have about furthering their education.

Program representatives for Fontbonne University OPTIONS say that the first few weeks in January are especially busy with queries about and commitments to the various degree programs offered.

"People are busy and they're realizing that another year has passed," said Vicki Saitz, an OPTIONS senior program representative. "They don't really come right out and say that they're here because of a New Year's resolution, but we get the sense that they're ready to turn a page and get a fresh start on a new year."

Added Saitz, "We see a real spike in the number of calls. Some of the people even sound a little bit panicked that they've not started things sooner. What I like to tell them is that what they have or haven't done up to this point doesn't matter. What they do from this point forward does."

Saitz's colleague Jackie Russell, also a senior program representative with Fontbonne, agreed. She said that any number of circumstances keep people from getting started on their degree. "For a lot of adults, the timing seems to be right," said Russell. "Often, in January, things just gel right. And when they feel like it's a good time, they're more excited and committed to the challenge."

Saitz and Russell are trained to do what Fontbonne University OPTIONS does best: listen to the needs of busy, working adults and respond with unique, accelerated, niche-based degree programs and partnerships that make earning a quality education even more convenient for adults throughout the greater St. Louis metro area.

More than 15 years and over 3,000 graduates ago, OPTIONS committed to making the experience streamlined and convenient. OPTIONS students can pursue their degree at five locations: Clayton, South County, North County, Chesterfield and downtown St. Louis. Preplanned curriculums, one-time registration, same-night-a-week classes and locked-in tuition are just a few of the time-saving and hassle-free solutions that have made OPTIONS programs so successful.

Fontbonne University has experienced tremendous growth with its OPTIONS MBA. Enrollment figures from 2005 and 2006 reflect a 23 percent growth for that degree program alone. New student enrollment in the program's seven degree programs increased by 28 percent during the same period.

Saitz said that no matter when a student gets started with OPTIONS, the baseline reasons are similar. "I think people start realizing that in today's work climate, you have to have a current skill set," Saitz said. "They start to realize that there is no such thing as job security today and that no matter how much experience they have, they will be better off with some academic credentials."

For more information, call 314-863-2220 or visit the website at

 with permission, copyright (2007) St. Louis Post-Dispatch - special section