The use of technology in higher education has become the norm — so much so that it is almost difficult to find a degree program that doesn’t demand some sort of technological component from students.
Still, whether on-campus or online, many degree programs continue to follow a traditional structure. Students are expected to show up to class or check in online at certain times, take tests according to a specific syllabus and generally complete courses on someone else’s schedule.
If you are looking for a way to earn a degree on your own time – whether that means going at a moderate pace that allows for interruptions, or accelerating progress to finish the program as quickly as possible – Hodges University’s UPOWER™ program could be the right option for you.
What is UPOWER™?
The UPOWER™ program is a self-paced, subscription-based degree program offered at a reduced cost to students who are seeking one of a variety of degrees through the Fisher School of Technology, or a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree through the Johnson School of Business.
While this is a cost-effective program, the price point does not mean substandard quality. In fact, it has become a particularly effective competency-based learning program for students who place great importance on job skills that make graduates employable and ready to work. Through the use of technology, students are able to get the hands-on learning they need in the virtual realm, but the comprehensive knowledge and critical thinking skills are still ingrained in the program.
Tracey Lanham, associate dean of the Fisher School of Technology, explained how UPOWER™ helps students get a quality education in a relevant field without the burden of extensive student loans. “When our students graduate, we want them to be employable in their field,” she says. “UPOWER™ has given students a chance to not only earn educational credentials. They also walk away with career-focused skills that help them land a job in their field of interest, and they do so without digging a deep financial hole in the process.”
Why should I consider the UPOWER™ program for earning my degree?
The UPOWER™ program offers a number of benefits that go beyond career-focused job skills and prove uniquely valuable to certain types of students. Consider the following five:
1. UPOWER™ is not an accelerated program, but you can treat it like one
Since this is a six-month subscription-based program, you can complete as much coursework in that timeframe as you want. The cost savings really kick in when you are pushing yourself to complete five or six courses in that six-month period. For particularly self-motivated students, this is a great way to earn your degree as quickly as possible and do it at a fraction of the cost.
2. UPOWER™ can accommodate life’s unexpected challenges without derailing your progress
In a traditional program, you have due dates to keep track of and classes to attend. Everything happens on someone else’s schedule, so when a family member gets sick or your job has you working late unexpectedly, you could fall behind if you are following the traditional path. That’s avoidable through the UPOWER™ program. Taking a couple weeks off may delay your studies, but you can jump back in when life allows without being at risk of failing a course altogether.
3. UPOWER™ is a cost-effective option even if you aren’t going at an accelerated pace
Even if students can only complete three courses in a six-month period, they are still realizing some cost benefits. At its core, UPOWER™ is an inexpensive option for students who don’t necessarily need the same personal support that traditional on-campus or online courses offer. Hodges passes along the cost savings to the student, so even if you are taking your time, you are still likely to realize some financial benefits.
4. UPOWER™ provides a way for non-traditional students to be successful
Not every student is cut out for the standard classroom setting, but many non-traditional students can excel in the UPOWER™ program. The self-paced format works well for active military personnel or people with substantial industry experience who can demonstrate knowledge at a modular level, leveraging the things they’ve already learned through a competency-based model. It is also valuable for working adults who need flexibility or for students with existing college credits who need a way to finish what they started.
5. UPOWER™ lets self-directed and self-motivated students bypass formal course structures
One important factor to consider in a self-paced program is the importance of your role as a student. If you are someone who is comfortable with online coursework and is self-motivated to complete your work in a timely manner, you’ll likely do well in this kind of learning environment.
To help you get started, Lanham has some advice: “When you register for the UPOWER™ program, use good time management skills. Set a schedule and stick to it. Push yourself to complete your courses as quickly as you can and do not procrastinate.” She suggests that these are the key factors that make someone successful in UPOWER™.
Are you ready to enroll in a UPOWER™ program?
If you’re ready to begin directing your own education, take a moment to explore your options through UPOWER™. Find a degree program that will help you achieve your goals and do it on your terms.