The College of Professional Studies will launch a bachelor's degree completion program in fall 2010 for working professionals and adult learners who aspire to work in biotechnology or information systems and technology.
The program was developed within the CPS in response to the increasing number of adults interested in the growing fields and economic demands for the expanding workforce development,
"Our society requires constant reinvention of individuals, particularly in times of economic downturn, and there is now a large national need in the U.S. to create more qualified worker in science and technology areas," Dean of the College of Professional Studies Kathleen Burke said.
Burke, who will oversee the bachelor's degree completion program, said it presents a unique opportunity for cross-disciplinary work in science and business.
"Innovation often results in times like these when individuals look for new ways of doing things, when they are forced to think about new careers, and especially, when people combine cross-disciplinary approaches to problem solving and creativity through programs such as this," Burke said.
Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Research in the College of Professional Studies and physics professor Ali Eskandarian said the program has been designed to be "sensitive to the educational needs of adults and working professionals who have competing demands on their free time, often inhibiting them from joining GW."
The key difference in this program is that it will make GW available to people who may not have been able to take advantage of its resources, Eskandarian said.
"This program will make a high-quality GW education accessible to a group of professionals who would otherwise be unable to take advantage of GW's considerable intellectual capital," Eskandarian said.
The bachelor's degree completion program will be located at the education center in Arlington, Va., and CPS hopes to have around 20 to 30 students starting in the fall.
"We hope to develop parts of the program for online delivery as well. The addition of any new program to any of our centers helps attract new students to GW, and this one in particular will attract a new kind of undergraduate student to Arlington," Burke said.
All applicants are encouraged to have a completed associate's degree in a relevant field of science or engineering. Alternatively, students must have completed 60 hours of course work appropriate to the program.
The program is also available to applicants of a business background. These students will have the opportunity to combine their business training with scientific study.
"These industries are vital to the growth of our economy. As with all of our curriculum, our goal is to educate our students to become citizens of a global society. With that said, GW will continue to provide its students with the essential training to succeed in these dynamic fields and in turn propel our economic status to the next level," Donald Lehman, executive vice president of academic affairs said in the University news release.