Frost School Offers New Options for Working Students

April 28th, 2006 by Adam

Going to college while working full-time and raising a family is no easy feat. The Frost School at Plymouth State University, a new undergraduate division designed to meet the needs of working professionals and nontraditional students, will make the process of earning a bachelor’s degree more manageable, even for the busiest of working students.

The Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers degrees in business administration, communication studies and criminal justice. Through a combination of evening, weekend, online and blended (a mix of online and face-to-face) classes, students can earn a bachelor’s degree in as few as four years. The first Frost School classes will begin next fall.

The format and flexibility of the Frost School are based directly on market needs for alternative options in higher education in New Hampshire. During the planning stages for the Frost School, PSU sent out 16,000 surveys to community members to determine the local needs of students, employers and community leaders. Community feedback indicated a great desire for a local undergraduate program designed for nontraditional, working students. Many prospective students wrote to the Frost School to express how excited they were to learn about the new program, which would allow a student to complete a degree while keeping their day job and still having time to spend with their spouse and children.

Balancing work, family and academic needs is the goal of the Frost School, says Dr. Julie Bernier, associate vice president and acting director of the Frost School.

“We recognize that there are many potential students who cannot access classes offered during the traditional daytime schedule. We know it is important to offer classes in multiple formats to meet the needs of working adults in New Hampshire,” said Bernier.

Vicki Libby of Warren is one such student. After earning an associate’s degree from New Hampshire Community Technical College, she was unsure about whether or not she would be able to continue on to earn her bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“When I heard about the Frost School, I was so excited. At last, a great way for me to go forward with work on my degree, with the flexibility that I need,” said Libby. “This is a great opportunity for a non-traditional student like me.”

Students enrolled in the Frost School will be able to take advantage of over 100 evening classes and a number of weekend, online and blended classes, including intensive classes offered over a four or eight-week period instead of the traditional 16-week undergraduate semester. This unique format allows students to take three or four courses during a single semester, without having to take more than one class at a time.

Several full-time employees at PSU already plan to take advantage of the new opportunities offered at the Frost School. Elaine Kondrat, an administrative assistant at Plymouth State University’s College of Graduate Studies, is applying for admission into the Frost School’s communication studies program. The program’s flexibility and format will help Kondrat complete course work without having to take time off from work during the day to attend classes.

“The environment at PSU is so supportive of staff members who want to continue their education, and the Frost School will offer the perfect opportunity for me to work toward my degree,” said Kondrat.

Community members who wish to sample the Frost School’s offerings may take one or more classes as a continuing education student. Continuing education credits earned at PSU can apply toward degree requirements once a student is formally admitted. Formal application to a Frost School degree program has many benefits: Students who enroll in the Frost School can apply for financial aid, and may enroll in 12 or more credits each semester.

The Frost School was named in honor of poet Robert Frost, who lived on campus and taught at Plymouth Normal School in 1911. The Frost School honors Frost’s dedication to individuality, hard work and humanitarianism and “devotion to the country north of Boston”

For more information about the Frost School’s course offerings and degree programs, please call (603) 535-2822 or visit the Frost School Web site at www.plymouth.edu/Frost/

Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.

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