CEHD Program Makes College User-Friendly for Adult Learners
William Walker has served in the military for 20 years, including tours in Iraq. It would seem nothing would appear intimidating to him; until he made the decision to return to college.
For many adult learners, the idea of going back to college is overwhelming and seemingly impossible to manage with a family and a full-time job. But the Workforce Leadership program at the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) has presented a tremendous opportunity for adults who want to complete their bachelor’s degree.
Walker graduated from the program in December 2007 with a 4.0 GPA. “Getting started in college again is intimidating when you look at all that is ahead of you, administratively and logistically. The staff at UofL helped me put it all in perspective and organize a schedule that worked for me,” stated Walker.
The Bachelor’s of Science in Workforce Leadership is offered through the Department of Leadership, Foundation and Human Resource Education in the CEHD. (It was formerly the Occupational Training and Development Program). It is designed to assist working adults with prior college credit and work experience to obtain a degree. Many adults like Walker, who have years of work experience, come into this program with some college or an associates degree, and successfully complete the major concentration of coursework.
The ideal candidate for this program has the option of attending part-time or full-time, and can complete the program in as little as six semesters.
“Working full-time with the military and balancing school was difficult but well worth the effort. After 20 years of service, I’ll retire in November and I knew finishing my degree was vital to a career outside the military,” said Walker.
“The program itself is very user friendly for adults which made it easier for me to do the coursework and finish the degree. I could do most coursework at GE and Ft. Knox and completed some courses online. The sacrifice was well-worth it,” stated Walker.
A feature of this program is the Specialization Component, in which students may obtain up to 48 hours of college credit at no cost for documented learning from work experience. Walker pointed out that the specialization credit is great for adults with years of work experience because it can help build your confidence in taking on the higher-level coursework.
A statewide initiative, Project Graduate, assists adult learners who are ready to transition back into the classroom and complete their degree. The CEHD also supports the Greater Louisville Inc’s program, Graduate Greater Louisville: GED to PhD.
Graduate Greater Louisville is a joint partnership between Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce, Kentuckiana Works, the local workforce development agency, the Mayor’s Office and 23 colleges and universities in Kentucky and Indiana.
Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson held a press conference about the program on Feb. 12. And Walker was invited to speak at the event about his experiences as an adult learner and UofL’s Workforce Leadership degree program.
Walker said the impact has been immediate with the degree but he cannot make definite career plans until November. He now has the opportunity to pursue a second career in Human Resources and Instructional Design and Training in the private and public sector. “The degree in combination with the transferable experience I gained in the military has definitely opened more doors for me.”
He recommends that any other adults returning to school consider the program since it is designed to be a seamless transition from work to college for them.”The staff support and flexibility of the program helps students regain their confidence in themselves and their ability to complete a degree.”
For more information about CEHD’s Workforce Leadership degree program, contact Susan Hildebrand at 502-852-0568.