Northeast's hybrid business diploma offers flexibility for students

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by amandab  7/18/2018 8:47:12 AM --  NORFOLK, NE - The business diploma program at Northeast Community College is taking a hybrid approach to meet the needs of students across its 20-county service area.

The classes meet face-to-face or via ITV once a week on Mondays from 5:30-8:30 p.m., while the rest of the coursework is completed online.

Kacie Borchers, director of Northeast’s West Point extended campus, said the program was designed with the busy student in mind.

“We felt that it’s possible for a working adult to fit one night a week of class into their schedule. The program’s classes are laid out in a sequence, so students know exactly what class they will be taking at each stage in the program.”

Dr. Cyndi Hanson, executive director of the Northeast’s South Sioux City extended campus, calls the interactivity of face-to-face and ITV classes combined with the convenience of online classes “the best of both worlds.”

“Online coursework is really appealing because you can do the work around your other life activities. But it can sometimes be overwhelming to be completely on your own; it is tempting to quit when you have a harder module. However, when you meet face-to-face, you get to ask questions of your classmates and encourage each other. You realize you are not alone and there is help. So the hybrid is the best of both worlds - you have one night a week with your instructor and classmates to work through the concepts and then do the rest of the work online.”

Hanson also noted that the business diploma program was designed for students in all corners of Northeast’s 20-county service area. The ITV format allows for students to attend their classes at Northeast’s extended campus locations, including O’Neill, South Sioux City and West Point.

“One of the best things about taking (ITV) classes at the extended campus locations is the convenience and connection. It’s always easy to find parking and your classrooms, and you get to know the others in your class and the staff who are committed to helping you succeed. The distance technology is also great because you can connect with people in other parts of Nebraska who have similar goals.”

Borchers said the business diploma’s one-course-at-a-time format can be especially beneficial for students with demanding schedules. The program allows students to take one class every four to eight weeks.

“Taking one class at a time gives students the opportunity to really dig into the coursework since they are focused on just one subject instead of multiple. It also gives them the chance to really build on their skills as they progress through the program.”

For example, a student may take a Microsoft Office course for the first eight weeks of the fall semester and personal finance for the next eight weeks. In the spring semester, they may enroll in a customer service and business etiquette course for an eight-week session, then focus on a human relations and ethics course for the next.

Merri Schneider, director of the O’Neill extended campus, said the diploma program helps students cultivate essential skills, whether they are aspiring to work in a business or are already employed.

“The program develops the foundational knowledge for those looking to break into a career in a business setting. For those who are already in a business setting, it enhances their skills and provides some in-depth exposure on specific topics. Employers may encourage their staff to pursue this diploma in order to upskill their workforce.”

All credits students earn in the business diploma program can be directly transferred to the associate of arts degree in business administration, which students can complete at the same campus where they earned their diploma.

Fall classes will begin Monday, August 20.

For more information about the business diploma program, contact Dr. Wade Herley, dean of business and technology, at (402) 844-7299.

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Posted In -- Degrees and Programs, Extended Campus Campaign, Norfolk, O'Neill, Press Releases, South Sioux City, West Point

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