NPC Offers Flexible And Accelerated Degree Paths

National Park College (NPC) Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting Wednesday, March 27. Business and Technical Division Chair, Jennifer Lyons shared about accelerated, online and evening degree options.

Two of NPC’s most popular degrees are now being offered in an 18-month accelerated degree track, completely online or completely in the evening. The Associate of Arts degree is a general transfer degree. The Associate of Science in Business degree is intended for students who want to pursue business related fields of study. Both degrees are transferable to any public university in Arkansas, with the exception of the University of Arkansas.

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Wade Derden said, “It all boils down to helping more students complete a degree. Working adults face many obstacles and what we are trying to do is make it as convenient as possible for them to work, go to class and balance that with family responsibilities.”

The evening degree track offers eight-week classes one or two nights per week to accommodate working adult students. Lyons explained a blended class model allows students face-to-face time in the classroom with instructors a couple of days a week, with the rest of the course requirements available online. “The traditional night schedule of four days per week at three hours per night was taking many students longer than two years to complete a degree. The blended model helps accelerate that and students can complete 12 hours in one semester attending one to two nights per week.”

Both degrees are also available completely online. Class schedules for either degree path can include a mix of evening, online, traditional face-to-face or blended formats to accommodate students’ needs.

NPC President, Dr. John Hogan said, “I challenged our academic team to take a look at our options for non-traditional students, those working adults with families that need flexibility to be successful completing a degree. They have put together a very innovative menu of options. I am very proud of their work and I am confident it will have an impact on degree attainment for this population of students.”