The ACCESS adult education program at DeSales University is not afraid of change. On the contrary, it embraces it.
| Deborah Booros, Dean of Lifelong Learning at DeSales University |
“Adult education is all about change. Transformative changes in careers, lives and personal outlooks,” explains Deborah Booros, Dean of Lifelong Learning at DeSales University. “Anticipating the evolving needs of busy adults and changing to accommodate them has always been the hallmark of the ACCESS program. Combined with the quality of a DeSales education, our eagerness to consistently adapt has kept ACCESS at the forefront of adult education here in the Lehigh Valley for well over thirty years.”
Unlike other universities which expect students to change their life rhythyms to fit institutional class schedules, ACCESS does the opposite…flexing class schedules to fit the busy lifestyles of students with jobs and families.
The most recent example of this “flex to fit” practice is evident in a newly enhanced course schedule in which ACCESS students can opt for a one-night-per-week format with 3-hour classes offered from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday and Saturday.
Each of the classes are supplemented with a weekly 2-hour “online/offline component” that consists of various activities designed to keep students and faculty engaged beyond the face-to-face classroom experience.
“This supplemental online/offline component changes to keep the overall learning experience fresh. Assignments may include reading additional articles or watching a video and writing a response report. It could be in-depth research of topical websites or participating in lively online discussions or debates,” said Booros.
“These weekly assignments are creatively crafted and vary widely in format, this keeps the excitement and student interest levels very high,” she said, pointing out that, while the one-night-per-week classroom format is new, ACCESS has offered the “hybrid” combination of classroom and online courses for several years and “it has proven very popular with our students.”
Another new class scheduling innovation making it easier for time-crunched adults to earn their Bachelor’s degrees faster is the addition of a new Summer “Minimester” to the ACCESS annual calendar of six regular sessions and two online only sessions, most of them 8 weeks in length. “With very little time overlap, ACCESS students can now take one course per session and earn 27 credits per year. It’s a very time-efficient way to gain career-boosting knowledge or earn your Bachelor’s degree,” Booros says, adding “while still keeping up with a full-time job and family responsibilities.”