Community Education

UM-Flint set to launch new accelerated online degree program Aug. 29

Written by Tanya Terry
The University of Michigan-Flint has announced classes will soon begin for a program is specifically geared to address the concerns of adult learners who may be already working in career fields, as well as those of transfer students.
Beginning August 29, the university will launch its new Accelerated Online Degree Completion program.
The AODC program will be offered in an entirely online asynchronous format. Since there are no set class times, students can complete course requirements when and where it is convenient for them. Each course is seven weeks in duration (as opposed to 14 weeks in traditional programs) and students will generally take two courses at a time as opposed to one.  

Students can choose between certificates to enhance their skill set in cybersecurity fundamentals, data analytics and interpretation and digital communications.

“This degree program actually combines certificates, which are 12 credits each, and they’re in areas that we feel and are confident are in demand by employers in the area and really nationwide,” said Roy Barnes, professor of sociology and director of the AODC program.

Barnes pointed out “the world is becoming digital, and digital communications are everywhere.” He stated data analytics is a huge and growing field and creating visualizations to data to communicate it will be part of the program. In addition, according to Barnes, cybersecurity is also a growing field and can be used as a steppingstone to change or enhance careers. He said asking employers what type of skill sets they need in their workforce helped in designing the flexible program.

Roy Barnes
In addition to online coursework and classes that offer in-demand skills, there will be scholarships available.

AODC students can receive $8,000 over the course of the first academic year. Anybody who is enrolled during the academic year 202-2023 will be eligible for scholarships. There is no GPA requirement and financial need does not need to be demonstrated for the scholarships.

Since AODC students will earn a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) and will need 120 credit hours, this could cover about 70-75% of two semesters for a student classified as full time. Other students may prefer to attend classes part time and can still qualify for scholarships.

According to Barnes, discussions about the program started about a year and a half ago.

“The university realized that there are 1.6 million Michiganders that have some college and no degree,” he pointed out.

He said this is a big portion of the population.

“We felt that as the University of Michigan, we could offer something that these people can use,” he added.

As a University of Michigan degree program, the AODC program is described as rigorous. It is being taught by experts in various fields who have, according to Barnes, been selected because they care about students and are committed to student success. AODC students will have access to all the support services other students have, including the Writing Center, Tutoring Center and Accessibility Services center for those living with disabilities.

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