These changes began with the combining of the Center for Adult and Professional Centers and the Internet Degree programs into the Division of Adult learning.
Dr. Joshua Black, executive director for the Division of Adult Learning, said the goal of the program is to provide the “Lee University experience ... to (adult students) who are not able to come to Cleveland, Tenn.”
This consolidated department is now located in the Church Street Annex, across from the old First Baptist Church sanctuary.
A new degree option is also being offered this school year. The liberal studies degree is a degree completion program for those with at least 60 hours from an accredited college or university. Black said this degree offers the student flexibility in emphasis of study.
“There are a lot of adult students not only here in Tennessee, but all over the country who went to multiple schools, but never finished their degree,” Black said.
This option also allows those who live in Cleveland to attend traditional classes in addition to online classwork.
The Division of Adult Learning is open to applicants who have been out of high school for at least three years. Additional requirements are a high school diploma or GED and application to the Division of Adult Learning.
“We are not competing with the traditional campus,” Black said. “But we are serving a different population.”
A new format is also being adopted for the courses offered. Black said courses would be offered on an eight-week schedule instead of the 15-week schedule of traditional college. He said this would break up a semester into two sessions.
“We are reformatting hundreds of courses right now into the eight-week format,” Black said.
While the majority of the program is completed online, Black said the program is adding an intensive weekend course option. These courses would be completed at Lee, with students attending two weekends of classes and completing additional work online.
Black said this would give students the opportunity to come to Lee and get a taste of the campus experience. Courses being offered for the weekend intense courses are an English course, Ministry of Worship, Theology of Leadership and the introduction course for new students.
Courses given in Spanish are also new for this year. Offerings entirely in Spanish include an online Old Testament course and an on-campus course in ethics and a theology course. These will be offered in the second fall session.
“We’ve had interest from both the Church of God and Church of God of Prophecy Hispanic ministries for offering this to students,” Black said.
Although this is Black’s first semester leading the program, he already has plans for the future.
Black said he would like the department to be able to add graduate programs in the coming semesters.
“We’ve already started talking with the four schools here … about extending some of the current graduate degrees online and in the educational centers,” Black said.
His goal is to add three to five new programs to the department each year.
“We want to be a leader amongst the Christian institutions in offering quality adult education,” Black said.
With all the changes to the program, components are also being added to the online courses to provide video of traditional classroom lectures.
The Division of Adult learning offers degree programs in Bible and Theology, Christian Studies, Ministry Leadership with multiple emphasis tracks available.
Black said student tuition also reflects that the online students will not have the benefits of traditional students such as access to the recreation center and school plays.
It’s less expensive per credit hour than attending the traditional campus.
The program accepts applications to its programs every eight weeks.