Springfield College working towards online classes

Irene Rotondo

Springfield College was founded in 1885 as an institution of continuing studies and has been progressive ever since, from updating the facilities and creating new opportunities for students across all campuses, to even unrolling plans this fall for an entire new campus layout.

Springfield has now announced that it will open select majors to be available in all 50 states and United States territories online.

The Bachelor of Science in human services, with concentrations in early childhood education, addiction counseling, community youth development and leadership, and criminal justice, will be offered online beginning in January 2019.

The other program that will be available is the Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in nonprofit management. These programs speak to the College’s commitment to serving the community and overall ideals of helping those in need.

Though these are the only two online programs that will be offered at that time, the College will be seeking further approval from The New England Commission of Higher Education to expand the amount and types of majors that can be available.

Martha Potvin, the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Springfield College, said that the school will be delivering these degree completion programs from the School of Professional and Continuing Studies via faculty members who are already present at Springfield.

Five student success coaches will be available to aid students in their online studies within their majors, as well as the students’ online instructors, through discussion sessions and reaching out directly.

Springfield is opening up the online courses to make programs available day and night to students who are already working, have families, or those who are facing an intense life schedule and are unable to physically attend classes on campus.

Online programs would give students the flexibility to continue their education while integrating it with their daily lives.

“It extends our reach, brings new students to the institution… there are ways to teach students using online instruction that can be at least as instructive as our traditional means of teaching and there is a good number of instructional designers who have helped put together these programs so there is a lot of social interaction between the students,” said Potvin. “It’s not that it’s just a lecture online; it’s a whole manner of taking your courses in a different way.”

Springfield College will be partnering with the YMCA, whom they already have a long withstanding relationship with, to offer degree completion programs for the potential students who are already employees or work with the Y.

These students, as well as current Springfield students, are going to be primarily advertised to in the early stages of the online majors. However, the type of student whom Springfield is hoping to attract will not just be staying at that level.

“As we gear up, we could potentially have students around the country and around the world as part of the Pride,” Potvin stated.

 

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