As more turn to online classes, Creighton University ends evening program with low enrollment

Gayathri | Tuesday, November 1, 2016 12:29 PM IST

As more turn to online classes, Creighton University ends evening program with low enrollment

Creighton University has terminated a once-popular evening program for adults returning to school to obtain bachelor’s degrees in certain fields of study.

Tracy Chapman, an associate dean at Creighton, said online courses have boomed while enrollment in the evening program, called AcceleratedCreighton, has dwindled.

“The numbers were steadily decreasing,” she said.

AcceleratedCreighton offered bachelor’s degrees in three major areas: creative writing, communication, and health administration and policy. Students took those classes on campus.

Creighton administrators discontinued the program two or three weeks ago, she said.

About 25 students were in the program, she said. Their academic advisers will work with them so that they can finish. Students who can’t attend class during the day will be offered options such as online courses or independent study.

In some instances, Chapman said, evening courses will be available. Not every class in the program will be offered through each of those options, but Creighton will work individually with students to give them access to the classes they need, she said.

Some students, though not pleased with the development, understand the situation and appreciate the effort that Creighton is making for them, Chapman said.

AcceleratedCreighton has been around for more than 10 years and at one time had more than 100 students, she said. The program predated the widespread availability of online courses through Creighton, she said.

Online technology “makes it more accessible to them,” she said. “It fits better in their schedules.”

Typically, she said, students can take online classes at their convenience, although there are times when students must be available at a specific hour for small-group discussions or other class activities.

AcceleratedCreighton compressed class content into an eight-week term compared with the typical 15- or 16-week semester.

No faculty members or staffers face layoffs because of the discontinuation of AcceleratedCreighton, she said.

Chapman said the end of AcceleratedCreighton is no reflection on Creighton enrollment overall. Creighton’s enrollment of 8,393 this fall is the second-largest in university history.