Fairmont State University’s College of Business & Aviation has been granted approval to offer a new adult degree completion program. Beginning in the fall of 2022, students will have the opportunity to enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Strategic Leadership program to complete a four-year degree through online delivery methods.
The Strategic Leadership program is designed to provide a specific concentration to offer students a credential for workplace readiness, and was introduced to boost career advancement opportunities for adults currently engaged in the workforce in the State of West Virginia.
“According to a study by JobsEQ, in the past year nearly 70 percent of job postings which specified a degree credential as a minimum qualification required a bachelor’s degree of some type,” said Fairmont State University College of Business & Aviation Dean, Timothy Oxley. “Clearly, of these job postings in West Virginia which require a college education, a bachelor’s degree is still a strong entry-level or career-boosting credential.”
To be eligible for acceptance into the Strategic Leadership program, students must possess an associate degree from a regionally accredited institution or have 60 or more transferrable credits from one or more regionally accredited institutions. The program also allows for individuals with an associate degree in a technical or applied field where there is no corresponding baccalaureate option to complete a four-year degree, including areas in Applied Manufacturing Technology, Applied Design, Emergency Medical Services, Industrial Technology, Paralegal Studies, Welding Technology or Veterinary Technology.
“We know that more than a quarter of a million West Virginians hold some college credit or have completed an associate degree,” Oxley said. “The B.S. in Strategic Leadership is designed to give these individuals an opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree without having to commute to campus for classes.”
Students enrolled full-time may complete the entirety of the 30-hour curriculum in an 11-month period, from August through July. The Strategic Leadership program format includes a minimum of 10 three-credit hour core online courses in strategic leadership, offered in seven-week half terms on a static rotation each semester. The accelerated design allows for students to complete up to 12 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters, with the remaining six hours to be offered during a 12-week summer term.
“The online, accelerated format of the Strategic Leadership program will enable those who are working full or part-time, or are otherwise place-bound, to obtain a useful credential and add value to the college credit they already have completed,” Oxley continued. “Not only am I proud that the College of Business & Aviation at Fairmont State University is delivering this program in a format that is convenient to working adults, but I believe that offering such opportunities is our duty in order to support educational needs throughout the state and our communities.”
The Bachelor of Science in Strategic Leadership program is similar to and complements the existing Regents Bachelor of Arts program offered at the University. However, students desiring to pursue the RBA degree may benefit from the specialized concentration made available through Strategic Leadership curriculum.
"Having coordinated the RBA program for over a decade, I have witnessed firsthand the benefits of providing online courses in a compressed timeframe, which allows students to fit the completion of a college degree into their already full lives," said Regents of Bachelor Arts Director, Pamela Stephens. "While the RBA program offers students maximum flexibility in meeting their learning objectives, the Strategic Leadership degree is ideal for students who aspire to gain the knowledge and skills relevant to advance into mid and upper-level management in today’s dynamic organizations."
Program coordination will be assumed by the Dean of the College of Business & Aviation, with program oversight, admissions and advising to be coordinated through the Director of the Regents Bachelor of Arts program.