MOSES LAKE – Whitworth University will offer a bachelor’s degree program in organizational management at Big Bend Community College campus beginning in January.
Registration is open now, said Terry Ratcliff, dean of continuing studies at Whitworth.
Whitworth will be the third four-year college to partner with BBCC through its University Center, said Doug Sly, BBCC’s public information officer. Heritage University offers four-year degrees, and Central Washington University also offers degrees.
The organizational management program is a general business degree targeted toward people who are looking to advance their careers, Ratcliff said. “We are looking for students who have been in the workforce and need the degree for promotion opportunities, or to enhance their skills in management,” he said.
Many students have some college experience, or an associate degree, but can’t or don’t want to move to pursue continuing education, he said. “Our goal is to bring the degree to the students,” he said.
The class will be a mix of online and classroom instruction, what Ratcliff called a “hybrid format.” Students meet in a classroom with a professor all day on one Saturday and two weeknights per six-week session, Ratcliff said. The rest of the coursework, about 60 percent, is online.
The program is designed around six-week sessions, with three courses per semester in the fall and spring and two courses in the summer. Semesters run from August to December, January to May and June through August, he said.
The estimated timeline for earning the degree is about two and a half years, Ratcliff said.
“This is our first time taking our program on the road,” he said, adding that it’s an effort to address the changing landscape in higher education.
The Internet has given potential students more higher education choices, he said. In addition, “we have more and more adults coming back to education,” Ratcliff said. “And the traditional model doesn’t work for those students.”
Many students coming back to college, or students who don’t go to college directly after high school, can’t or don’t want to move for school, he said. “We recognize people are geography-bound. This is a way to reach out.”
Expanding the options for bachelor’s degrees is the reason behind the partnerships with four-year colleges. “This is what we envisioned when the University Center opened,” BBCC president Terry Leas said.