April 1, 2011
11-71

Thressea Boyd
Director of Communications

Online Bachelor Degree Programs Provide Greater Accessibility

VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University has opened the door for more students to earn a college degree. The University System of Georgia Board of Regents has authorized VSU to offer online bachelor’s degrees in office administration and technology and criminal justice.

The two new degrees will be the first completely online undergraduate degree program at VSU. For more than a decade, VSU has offered online graduate programs including education specialists, master’s level education degrees, and a Doctor of Public Administration.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for a lot of people who are working full time to earn a bachelor’s degree within two very diverse career fields,” said Provost Phil Gunter. “We have created these programs to offer flexibility and accessibility. Both programs allow students to remain employed throughout the program.”

Gunter notes that the online degrees are not only perfect for working adults, but provide military members and students at two-year colleges and technical schools with options toward earning a bachelor’s degree.

Business Leaders of Tomorrow
The office administration and technology degree is now offered in both the traditional classroom environment and online. The degree prepares students for careers in administrative, supportive and supervisory positions in business and industrial settings, as well as professional offices, public institutions, and government agencies. The degree emphasizes oral and written communication skills, as well as time management and work ethics.

“The degree in office administration and Technology is unique in that it offers what 21st century employers need, with an emphasis that goes beyond just business-related skills,” said Dr. Vesta Whisler, associate professor in Adult and Career Education. “We like to call this a general business degree with a technology twist because of the many courses our students take related to productivity software.”

The office administration and technology online degree began spring 2011, and has attracted working adults from across the state. Many of these students are unable to attend traditional classes due to work schedules and other obligations.
For more information regarding the online Office Administration and Technology program, visit the web site at www.valdosta.edu/go/oatonline

Expanding Accessibility for Law Enforcement Professionals
The opportunity to work in the field of law enforcement is expanding. Careers today include those in homeland security, criminal investigation, public and private security, loss prevention, probation and the legal field.

VSU’s traditional classroom criminal justice program has approximately 500 majors at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels. The online programs are scheduled to begin fall 2011 for both undergraduate and graduate students.

“The criminal justice program is a popular program of study which results in successful employments after graduation,” said Dr. Darrell Ross, professor and head of the Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice and Marriage and Family Therapy Department.

“The online program provides another method for acquiring the degree for many students who may not be able to come to campus.”

The program’s primary goal is to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of the structure and function of the criminal justice system, as it applies to adults and juveniles, federal, state, and local criminal laws and procedures, and the relationship of these to the Constitution of the United States.

“The program’s goals will be accomplished through innovative research, teaching and service provided through the undergraduate and graduate degrees,” Ross said. “Undergraduate students are able to study both the theoretical and practical aspects of the criminal justice system, crime control, and the administration of justice.”

Using similar teaching methods, the master’s program will also incorporate opportunities for research in a criminal justice setting as well as in the community.

“The degree prepares students for entry level positions in varying facets of the criminal justice system and prepares them to continue their education in law school or other graduate programs,” Ross said.

For more information on the criminal justice programs, visit the web site at http://www.valdosta.edu/crju/ .