New evening, weekend program at TTU geared towards working adults

People who haven't earned a college degree because they can't fit the traditional schedule of classes into their work and family schedules now have an alternative at Tennessee Tech University.

Every class in the new Organizational Development program will be taught during the evenings or on weekends. Students can enroll beginning this fall on campus at Tennessee Tech or at the university's off-campus site in McMinnville.

"This is a perfect opportunity for people who work full time and juggle many responsibilities," said Susan Elkins, director of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Extended Education (ISEE).

The four-year program offers a bachelor's degree in Multidisciplinary Studies -- Organizational Development through the College of Education. The curriculum stresses psychology, manufacturing and industrial technology, communications, and business.

Thanks to the TTU program, Deanna Smith of Cookeville, a day-shift line supervisor at Fleetguard, doesn't have to quit her job to get her degree.

"It is a little scary because I haven't been to college in about 14 years, but my husband, Barry, and family are very supportive," she said. "This program is for people like me -- the working adult. And the classes offered are all the types of classes that will help me do my job as a supervisor better."

"We've designed the program to be broad so that students have a good core of instruction that will allow them to use their credentials in a variety of careers," said Harry Smith, program advisor.

Students can enroll as freshmen or transfer their associate's degree and complete the last two years in the Organizational Development program.

The concept was developed in response to demand from Tennessee Tech's Extended Education site in McMinnville, where students earning associates' degrees from Motlow State Community College needed flexible scheduling to help them finish their bachelor's degrees with TTU.

And with TTU's emphasis on community service, it was a natural to develop the same program on campus in Cookeville, said TTU President Bob Bell.

"And once it begins and grows in success, we hope to see more options in the program, including online courses," Bell added.

TTU already offers an online degree program that allows students to earn their degrees from home via the Internet, said TTU Provost and Vice President Marv Barker. But, the Organizational Development program offers non-traditional students an alternative if they're not comfortable with online classes.

"Working professionals can now earn their entire degree at Tennessee Tech in the evenings and on the weekends or online. This is just part of TTU's effort to make a university education more accessible," Elkins said.

Contact ISEE for more information about the evening and weekend program at (931) 372-3394. 

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