With an increased focus on affordability and flexibility, Evangel University has expanded its digital presence and online offerings, specifically by growing the online undergraduate programs and services, and offering online degrees from associate through doctoral levels.
The College of Adult and Graduate Studies has been renamed the College of Online Learning. There is a new online and graduate student service center that allows more time to focus on elevating the student experience for online undergraduate learners while also adding academic programs that will meet the needs of both students and organizations that will potentially hire those students.
“We’re always looking for new opportunities to serve the needs of students and organizations, especially those that are hiring our students,” said Lisa Tyson, PhD, Dean of the College of Online Learning. “We recognize that those organizations are looking for specific skills and knowledge. We feel like the time is right and the opportunity is there.”
Tyson said that online students could potentially shave at least a semester off of their degree due to the increased flexibility of the new online components. “Which in the end means we’re getting students back to the business of doing their business sooner,” she said. This could especially affect adult learners who may just be looking to add a specific skill or certificate to their knowledge base. “Adult learners need that flexibility,” she said. “They’re not going to put their careers on hold to close a skills gap or retrain themselves in a different area.”
The future of higher ed
“Higher education is facing a demographic cliff,” said Tyson. “There are fewer students graduating from high school so that means we have to change the way we recruit and serve students.” Tyson mentioned that even before the pandemic, the idea of flexibility was at the forefront of students’ minds but it’s become even more topical now that society is starting to re-emerge. “We took that as our opportunity to expand our reach to those who have decided that they want a more flexible and affordable option.”
Benefits of attaining an online degree
“For me, this all boils down to three words: affordable, flexible, practical,” said Tyson. “No one wants to put their career on hold or pay for an education that’s not going to equip them to be successful in the marketplace.” Tyson said Evangel’s programs are designed with the working adult in mind, preparing them to live out their calling with the skills they need in a format that fits their lifestyle without breaking the bank.
“Today’s education market is consumer driven and oftentimes that consumer needs a certificate or some other type of continuing education program designed for their specific organization,” said Tyson. “As we work with organizations and consumers over the coming years, we’ll continue to add more and more to the program. You’ll continue to see new programs come to life at Evangel because of that. All of these things just help us serve the student better in terms of getting them back into their respective organizations or into a new career with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.”
Whataburger launched its second local store; Branson shop Revive Juice and Coffee Bar LLC moved; and a new Monett branch of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library District opened.