A new, customizable program in the College of Technology is helping to speed students with real-life experience to associate and bachelor’s degrees in Applied Technology.
The first graduate, Barry Kirk, earned his bachelor’s degree in less than a year by virtue of credits he earned from his unique military experience. He also completed a project charter internship to help him create a model business partnership and website called Kirk’s Lucky Box Breaks.
“Ordinarily, it would have taken four years to get his degree,” says Dr. Doreen Palucci, chair of Applied Technology and CTA. “Now, Kirk has his own business and we are very proud of him.”
Lindsay Rice, assessment manager of the College of Online and Experiential Learning’s CO-OP program, initiated the idea. “He was advising many students only to find that he couldn’t fit them into any programs that really met the needs of the students, so his department started the ball rolling,” says Dr. Palucci.
There were 17 students enrolled when the program was launched last year. That’s expected to grow along with demand for technology degrees.
“Ten years ago, most people didn’t need a degree to get into technology,” says Dr. Palucci. “Today, even to move horizontally, they need a bachelor’s degree. There also are a number of students who are looking for instruction in business.”
Advisers received advanced training to craft individualized programs for each student, mining the experience they have from work lives, the military and other pursuits. “It’s a huge check list, a lot of intense work,” says Dr. Palucci.
The new Associate of Science degree in Applied Technology will be launched in Fall of 2017. Both degrees use the College of Technology new eportfolio system at https://portfolium.com/network/wilmington-university that showcases student work and advertises for careers.