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June 27, 2008

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’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:

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.

According 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:

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.

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