In a bid to help people seeking career advances and organizations looking to hire, Fayetteville State University will launch five new graduate certificate programs.
The programs come after years of consultation with sectors of the Fayetteville community, said LaDelle Olion, dean of the Fayetteville State University Graduate School.
Starting this fall, graduate certificate programs will be offered in project management, health care management, military behavioral health, teaching of writing and professional writing.
A press release issued by the university said these programs have been strategically selected to meet workforce demands and enhance career opportunities in business, health care, education and professional writing.
Each certificate program is run by a university department and consists of four to six courses related to the field of specialization.
Olion said he has received requests to launch this type of program from Fort Bragg, teachers from Cumberland County Schools and the health care community.
“Most of the certificates are based upon surveys made upon areas of our community,” he said. “They point to the needs that community factions have identified.”
Bill Sollecito, director of five graduate certificate programs at UNC, said certificate programs are effectively a bundling of courses in a specialized area.
“It is a very efficient way to learn a specific set of skills,” he said. “People can sometimes use what they learn the next day or next week on the job,” Sollecito said.
Sollecito said the use of certificate programs is primarily useful for people seeking promotions or looking to work in a different field.
Fayetteville State already has graduate certificate programs in criminal justice and sociology.
Olion said most students entering the programs are currently employed but want to advance their career opportunities.
But he said the university will work toward partnering with agencies that help the program’s unemployed students find jobs.
Olion said he expects at least 10 students to enroll in each certificate program for the 2012-13 academic year.
While all courses require a bachelor’s degree at minimum, Olion said alumni of the university would not get preference over other North Carolina residents.
Joni Worthington, spokeswoman for the UNC system, wrote in an email that the system played no role in developing the programs.
She said individual universities are not required to obtain consent from the UNC system to develop a certificate program.
While Olion said he has no information on the cost of the program, he said the school could simply train current faculty to teach them.
“One of the great things about the program is that we already have faculty members to teach it,” he said.
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