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Loyalist grads get degrees online and in half the time

By Joanna Becket

Loyalist College graduates can now complete their business and justice degrees – online – and in half the time.

On Jan. 16, the college announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Fredericton, in N.B., and Husson University, in Bangor, Maine, that would allow graduates of Loyalist’s School of Business and Management Studies and the Centre for Justice Studies programs online opportunities to complete their university degrees.

“Having the combination of a college diploma, a university degree, and an MBA puts that graduate in a different light when viewed by an employer,” said Dan Holland, Dean of the Schools of Business and Management Studies, and Biosciences, and the Centre for Justice Studies at Loyalist College.

“I think the community colleges do a great job in training students in applied skills,” said Holland. “This initiative offers new pathways to degree completion for our graduates.

“I’ve signed a lot of these types of transfer agreements and I think this is probably one of the strongest ones ever negotiated,” said Holland. “Many of the Loyalist programs allow students to transfer their Loyalist credits towards a university degree.

“But this one is different in a couple of ways,” he said. “It’s the first tri-party agreement I’ve seen – with Loyalist College, Husson University and the University of Fredericton partnering – and the first agreement that recognizes Loyalist in a substantial way.”

Husson University is a private university accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, one of the top accreditation agencies in North America.

The association has also accredited Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“That says a lot,” said Holland.

With this partnership, all graduates of Loyalist College’s School of Business and Management Studies and the Centre for Justice Studies programs will have the opportunity to transfer to Husson College for the fourth and final year of the bachelor’s degree programs.

As students in Husson University’s online diploma-to-degree programs they will work toward a bachelor of science in business administration or a bachelor of science in criminal justice.

The programs are delivered through the University of Fredericton’s online learning platform.

“Loyalist students are given three years of credit for two years of study at Loyalist,” said Holland. “Qualifying students can get up to 90 credits toward their four-year program which requires 120 credits. And they can do it online.”

“As a past graduate, you could actually be in the workforce and already working in your area of interest. Or you can graduate and start working right away. It’s not mandated that the program has to be completed in one year.”

Students completing the Husson University programs will receive a certificate in applied management from the University of Fredericton. They are then eligible to apply for the university’s one-year online MBA program.

For students taking the university route it traditionally requires six years to complete an MBA.

Add it all together ­with this program, a student earns a college diploma, a university degree and an MBA in just four years – half of the time it usually takes.

Tony Pilon, 26, a third-year business administration student at Loyalist, responded enthusiastically to the news that the program was now available.

“Wow! Jeepers! That’s amazing!” he said. “I just hope I’ll be eligible for it. Normally it would have taken two years for a bachelor’s degree and two years for an MBA. I never really thought about going to the level of a master’s degree. There’s hardly any barrier to entry and it’s time-sensitive. It’s pretty cool.”

“I’m a big believer in continuing education,” said Holland. “Never stop learning.”