Arkansas State expands online bachelor’s offerings

4 new programs could help adults who attended college and want to finish their degree.

online-collegeArkansas State University announced four new online bachelor’s degree programs designed for working adults who have had some higher education and who now wish to complete their degree.

The programs accept as many transfer credits as possible to help students make the most of college credits already earned.

“There are many reasons a person might have attended college but not graduated,” said Lynita Cooksey, Arkansas State’s provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research. “Many working adults are often precluded from on-campus programs due to scheduling and location constraints. Former students recognize the value of a bachelor’s degree, and the A-State faculty and administration have worked diligently to make higher education more accessible to them.”

(Next page: Descriptions of the new programs)

The new programs are Bachelor of Arts degrees in:

  • Communication Studies: This degree provides a deep understanding of communication theory, including a focus on interpersonal and professional communication as well as mass media communications. Related career opportunities include sales positions, ministry, marketing, public relations and business communications.
  • Criminology: This program focuses on the big picture of crime and its social contexts, including the underlying causes of crime, how socio-economic inequality affects crime and what types of social changes can reduce crime. Related career opportunities include government jobs at all levels; local police crime labs; and the U.S. departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Interior.
  • Political Science: This degree offers a solid background in law and policy, including an in-depth understanding of modern political theory and constitutional law. Students will develop skills in legal writing, research and advocacy. Related career opportunities include public service positions at all levels of government, non-profit work, human resources and policy development. Up to nine credits can be applied to an Arkansas State Master of Public Administration online degree.
  • Sociology: This degree helps students understand the science behind how humans respond and adapt to their world. Course topics include the causes, effects and prevention of crime; how family dynamics affect social behavior; and the individual and societal impact of changing gender roles. The course prepares students for law school or paralegal positions, non-profit work, government and social-work positions, marketing demographic research and analysis, and positions at the U.S. State Department.

For the first round of classes in each program, applications and supporting documents are due Sept. 28, 2015, and classes will start Oct. 19, 2015. For more information, please visit

With these new offerings, Arkansas State now offers a total of six bachelor’s completion programs that are 100 percent online, in addition to an online program for registered nurses seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Arkansas State is ranked among “The 100 Most Affordable Online Colleges in the U.S.,” according to Great Value Colleges, a web-based resource. Also, the online personal-finance publication Alot Finance lists the university among the “Top 10 Best Online Business Schools in the U.S.,” praising the Arkansas State program for using solely “full-time instructors, allowing for dedication and attention to online students” with tuition costs that are “remarkably affordable without forsaking a quality education.”

At the graduate level, Arkansas State already offers 100 percent online programs in Education, Public Administration and Sport Administration.

The university receives support from Academic Partnerships, a Dallas-based leader in online services for higher education.

“Helping people complete a bachelor’s program, regardless of their location or circumstances, is a noble mission, and we appreciate the opportunity to help Arkansas State expand and achieve that vision,” said Susan Dukes, vice president and managing director for Academic Partnerships. “We look forward to supporting A-State’s expanded efforts to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”

Academic Partnerships provides experts to help faculty members put their curriculum into best-practice formats for online delivery. The company then recruits eligible students on the institution’s behalf and provides ongoing encouragement to the student to complete the university’s program. Faculty deliver instruction, students receive the education they desire, and universities can expand their reach and revenue.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione