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Opportunity awaits: new online degrees offered through ULM GOLD

An academic degree earned at the University of Louisiana at Monroe unveils a world of opportunities. Now, thanks to ULM's new online initiatives, that world is accessible to non-traditional students juggling careers and families far from ULM’s campus.

ULM Gateway to Online DegreesULM’s Gateway to Online Degrees program, a clearinghouse for all of ULM's online degrees, enables non-traditional students to utilize the convenience and accessibility of online learning in an accelerated format.

A few GOLD degree programs include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Health Studies: Marketing/Management concentration
  • Bachelor of General Studies: Business concentration
  • Bachelor of General Studies: Social Science concentration
  • Associate of General Studies

Soon, ULM's GOLD will unveil additional online degrees: a Master of Science in Nursing Administration, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Science in Instructional Design.

GOLD also incorporates Continuum for All Louisiana Learners (CALL), a joint program with the Louisiana Board of Regents, The Southern Regional Education Board, and the consortium for Education, Research and Technology of North Louisiana. ULM's Bachelor of Science in Health Studies degree is part of the CALL initiative.

ULM President James E. Cofer, SrAccording to information provided by the Louisiana Board of Regents, approximately 600,000 Louisiana adults have earned college credits towards degrees that they have not completed. ULM’s new online programs will help fill that void, said ULM President James Cofer.

"At ULM, we must continue to adapt to today’s ever-changing student, and that includes non-traditional students who want to finish their educations and better their lives. These students are older, they work, and they have families and the concomitant job and time constraints. We must be prepared to meet the needs of those students with anytime, anywhere, anyplace instruction."

The entire state of Louisiana benefits from these online initiatives, Cofer said. Citing a recent statistic from the Louisiana Department of Labor that estimates that nearly 30,000 health services positions will need to be filled within the state during the decade ending 2010, Cofer continued, “Education is economic development. The online BSHS program will prepare professionals for mid-level management positions in a variety of healthcare organizations, and that directly enhances Louisiana’s workforce.”

Complete information about ULM's GOLD program can be found at: www.ulm.edu/onlinedegrees.

More about CALL:

CALL piloted in the northwest region of the state during the 2007-08 academic year and has since expanded to four additional Louisiana campuses, including ULM. CALL enables adults without a degree to enroll at a Louisiana public college or university and earn a degree online and at an accelerated pace.

Beginning this fall, CALL will offer a total of eight complete degree programs through six Louisiana public colleges and universities.

"We're genuinely excited about the success of the CALL initiative," said Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Savoie. "In order for Louisiana to prosper in the new global economy, we must produce more college graduates. And with a shrinking supply of high school graduates projected over the near term, we must focus on improving the educational attainment of our working adult population. CALL provides a very attractive option for busy adults who want to finish college and enhance their work skills and marketability.”

A statewide advertising campaign kicked off in mid-May and will run through the middle of August. The campaign features television spots, billboards, radio, print and direct mail, and an Internet advertising component through Google Ads.

The CALL initiative is part of the Louisiana Board of Regents' Education's Go for more!" campaign, being implemented in cooperation with the SREB's Adult Learning Campaign. SREB established the Go Alliance to help states share expensive media materials and run more effective campaigns.

ULM program in top 10 nationally to produce qualified mathematics teachers

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Elementary Education Program is one of only 10 in the nation to receive full passing marks for its preparation of future mathematics teachers.

A new study, released Friday by the National Council on Teacher Quality, looked at 77 elementary education programs from all states but Alaska, examining the mathematics courses that elementary teacher candidates had to take.

Only 10 of the 77 programs scored adequately on all three criteria, according to the report, “No Common Denominator: The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America’s Education Schools.” They are the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the University of Georgia, Boston College, Indiana University at Bloomington, Lourdes College, University of Maryland at College Park, University of Michigan, University of Montana, University of New Mexico, and Western Oregon University.

ULM President James Cofer said, “We are very pleased that the National Council on Teacher Quality recognized the ULM Elementary Education Program for its excellence and caliber of instruction. Both the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Department of Mathematics long ago foresaw the need to fortify existing programs, keenly understanding the absolute necessity of superior mathematics instruction for our nation’s children. We are proud that their valuable work has received such acclaim."

Dr. Beverly Flowers-GibsonThe College of Education and Human Development and the College of Arts and Sciences mathematics faculty collaborated to develop a sequence of mathematics courses totaling 15 credit hours for elementary education majors. The sequence of courses includes one general mathematics course and four mathematics courses designed specifically for elementary education teachers, according to Dr. Beverly Flowers-Gibson, associate dean for the ULM Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

“The courses for elementary education majors are aligned to state and national content and professional standards to ensure that teacher candidates have the knowledge and skills they need to effectively teach mathematics. It is exciting to receive affirmation of the value of our collaborative efforts in the report from the National Council on Teacher Quality,” Flowers-Gibson said.

According to information from James Heggen of Inside Higher Ed (www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/06/30/math), the report looked at three factors: “relevance,” the extent to which courses were relevant to what candidates would be teaching in the field; “breadth,” the degree to which essential topics are covered; and “depth,” if enough time was given to these topics.

The study attributes the inadequacy of other programs to a combination of low expectations and standards, haphazard state guidance and an absence of national consensus about what mathematics teachers should know, and the relative lack of algebra instruction in many curriculums.

All agree that it is critically important that elementary teachers gain the knowledge and skills they need to effectively teach mathematics, passing on skills necessary to allow American children to keep up with their peers around the world, and to produce a skilled workforce that can compete in today’s global economy.

For more on the National Council on Teacher Quality report, go to:

Scholars at ULM are among nation's best

A national report ranks the University of Louisiana at Monroe among the top 20 universities that produce the most scholarly work. ULM is the only Louisiana university included in the ranking.

The Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, partially financed by the State University of New York at Stony Brook and produced by Academic Analytics, measures the scholarly work of more than 7,300 doctoral programs in the country; the index measures book and journal publications, journal article citations, federally-funded research grants, and other awards. Universities that publish the most work are included in the index.

ULM ranks in the category: Top 20 Specialized Research Universities for Business, Education, and Social Sciences, 2006-2007. ULM’s doctoral programs in this category are housed in the College of Education and Human Development: Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy, Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

Provost Stephen Richters said, "I'm proud of the quality of research produced by faculty in all areas of the university, and I'm pleased with this national recognition of our academic programs."

Founded in 2005, AA LLC compiles and produces the Index and the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Database, a quantitative method for ranking doctoral programs at Research Universities based on a set of statistical algorithms developed by Dr. Lawrence Martin, Ph.D., and Dr. Anthony Olejniczak, Ph.D.

The index is updated yearly, based on the previous academic year. The index may be viewed at: www.academicanalytics.com/TopSchools/TopSchools.aspx.

Stories courtesy of ULM's Office of University Relations

Photos courtesy of Richard Lupo, University Photo Services

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