New online programs offer big opportunities - The Seahawk: News

New online programs offer big opportunities

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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013 1:00 pm

UNC Wilmington announced the launch of new nursing and education programs, offering specific degrees through online courses.

Within the Watson College of Education and School of Nursing, Registered Nurses will be able to obtain their Bachelor of Science degree and teachers will be able to acquire their Master of Education with a specialization in Elementary Education degree.

UNCW has collaborated with Academic Partnerships to help convert the programs into an online format and to ensure high educational standards.

Associate Vice Chancellor for External Programs, Johnson Akinleye, said Academic Partnerships was chosen because of its reputation to assist public higher education in creating integrated online services.

The programs are designed in what is called a carousel model. The model allows for courses to be offered every seven-in-a-half weeks and six times during the year, opposed to the traditional fifteen week offerings with semi-annual enrollment.

 “I have taken several online courses and have not seen one that comes close to this one,” said Dana Crowder, a student utilizing the new RN to BSN program. “I find these courses to be designed very well.  So far, my instructors have organized the courses in an easy to understand way and have made the expectations very clear.”

Akinleye ensures the courses are similar to the classroom setting because they meet the same learning outcomes and have the same quality, rigor and standards that are expected in all of the classrooms or face-to-face courses offered at UNCW.

“The courses differ in that they are fully asynchronous online courses in which students are expected to be more disciplined, highly motivated and goal oriented,” Akinleye said.

The University Innovation Council is responsible for cultivating programs to enhance productivity. They had a crucial role in developing the new programs, especially the RN to BSN program.  

“We believe we needed to enhance the RN to BSN program because of the shortage and increasing demand for nurses both at the state and national levels,” Akinleye said.

Crowder is learning her goals are more easily accessible with the help of the new online programs.  “The journey towards my BSN is strengthening my skills as a nurse and preparing me to be a leader in the nursing profession,” Crowder said. “I hope to utilize these skills in order to advocate for my patients and be an instrument of change for the better.”

The initiative is currently limited to RN to BSN and M.Ed. programs, with the hope of expanding to other degree programs in the near future.

“I would definitely recommend the RN to BSN program at UNCW for those seeking out their BSN,” Crowder said. “However, I feel that each student must realize how they learn best because for some, an online program would not work due to the high level of discipline required.”

For those interested in enrolling or finding out more information about the RN to BSN or M.Ed.  programs please visit

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