News & Features

OPTIONS Offers More options; Fontbonne program gives students requested flexibility

St. Louis American

October 8-14, 2009 Choices Issue

Special to the American

For many adult students, finding a balance between work, school and life presents a demanding struggle. But Fontbonne University is making undergraduate and graduate degrees more accessible for adult learners through recent changes to its OPTIONS program. Now, the program offers more flexibility, personalization and speed, 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 enhanced OPTIONS 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.

“Students can now enroll in one or two courses each eight-week term,” Maurer explained. With five terms per year, a greater number of credits can be earned in a shorter timeframe. “And the many choices available to OPTIONS students give them the ability to achieve better balance in their lives. They decide what works best for them as individuals.”

Various programs and courses are offered in different formats — weeknights, weekends and online — so that students can choose the degree that fits their goals, needs and schedule. For example, the master’s in management and new master’s in supply chain management are offered evenings and online, while the MBA is offered evenings and weekends. Students can choose one class format or the other, or combine both to accommodate their lifestyle.

Nearly a dozen bachelor’s and master’s degrees offer a variety of degree program choices. Many are broad-based and designed to prepare well-rounded professionals, including the bachelor’s in business administration, organizational studies, and corporate communication. Others are specialized niche programs like the master’s in accounting and master’s in taxation.

Graduate certificates, as well as optional MBA and undergraduate concentrations, are now available offering adult learners an additional opportunity to create a more personalized educational experience. Students requested these options and Fontbonne responded.

Another new feature of the OPTIONS program is an advising team that guides each student through the enrollment process, course scheduling and financial aid options that specifically meet their personal needs. And students receive continued support from the specialized staff throughout their enrollment at Fontbonne, providing personalized counsel and helping to streamline the program.

“Ultimately, we want students to feel like earning a degree at Fontbonne is a flexible way for them to manage their lives and meet their personal and professional goals,” said Maurer.

Fontbonne University has provided high-quality values-based education for more than 80 years. In addition to its main campus in Clayton, the university has OPTIONS locations in North County, South County, Chesterfield, Downtown and a new facility in Brentwood. To learn more, visit or call 314.863.2220 to speak with an admissions counselor.

with permission, copyright (2009) St. Louis American / Choices & Careers