UMSL NOW initiative expands night, online, weekend class options

by | Oct 29, 2017

The new endeavor, launching this spring, will also focus on bolstering support services for students and faculty already engaged in flexible scheduling options.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis is launching a new academic initiative during the upcoming spring semester called UMSL NOW – that’s UMSL Nights, Online and Weekends. While not exclusive to working adults, UMSL NOW is designed specifically for individuals who need a flexible path to a meaningful degree.

Busy, working students will have even more reason to choose the University of Missouri–St. Louis this spring.

The upcoming semester will see the launch of a new academic initiative called UMSL NOW – that’s UMSL Nights, Online and Weekends.

“The purpose of NOW is to enhance the university’s support services for students in night, online and weekend courses as well as to facilitate the development of more flexible and dynamic programming in these areas,” said Kathleen Burns, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Burns, who has long been the leader of UMSL’s successful Advanced Credit Program, is stepping into an expanded role as NOW’s new director. She and her staff will be housed under the Office of the Provost and report directly to Associate Provost for Student Success Beth Eckelkamp.

“I am delighted that I will have the opportunity to work with the many different colleges and programs on campus to create more learning opportunities for all UMSL students,” Burns said.

The UMSL NOW office will be located on the third floor of the J.C. Penney Building on North Campus, where staff working extended hours will help guide students through the advising, financial aid and registration process. Their aim will be to provide an academic version of a concierge service – one that empowers students to navigate the process of earning a degree with confidence and trusted guidance.

“Essentially, the NOW office and staff will serve as a liaison between the administrative, academic and support services for our students,” Burns further explained. “The Gateway to Adult and Online Learners is also a part of the NOW program and will provide course mentoring for the NOW population of students.”

In a recent campuswide announcement, Provost Kristin Sobolik shared her support and enthusiasm for the new initiative.

“This is an extremely important and exciting effort which will involve all aspects of the university,” Sobolik said. “UMSL NOW will enhance the university’s already nationally ranked support services for students and faculty, while also providing fresh and innovative new options for those members of our community who want to pursue a path toward a meaningful degree.”

Sobolik added that the spring launch of UMSL NOW will include more than 900 night, online and weekend course offerings. Further additions for future semesters, including eight-week and other formats, are being explored.

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