Southeastern CALL initiative to offer undergraduate degree in nursing online
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Registered nurses who are graduates of associate degree or diploma programs can now earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Southeastern Louisiana University completely online through a new program starting in the fall.
The program is being offered through a new statewide adult learning initiative known as CALL (“Continuum for All Louisiana Learners”), a Louisiana Board of Regents project piloted last year in the northwest region of the state. The initiative offers a variety of undergraduate degrees through six Louisiana higher education institutions and is aimed largely for adult learners who have some college credit but have never earned a degree.
“This program makes it possible for registered nurses without a bachelor’s degree to enroll and earn the undergraduate degree online and at an accelerated pace,” said John Crain, Southeastern provost and vice president for academic affairs. “For many nurses, this is an important step in their career advancement.”
To be eligible, applicants must have graduated from a nationally accredited associate degree or diploma nursing program, hold an unencumbered nursing license and be in good standing with their licensure board, and have completed at least one year of current nursing practice as determined by the Southeastern School of Nursing. More information on eligibility and how to apply for the program is available at the university’s Web site, www.selu.edu/call.
Courses generally will be offered in four to eight-week formats. The accelerated pace allows students the opportunity to complete the program in as early as three semesters, depending upon prior course work and experience. And while the program is intended primarily for Louisiana residents, out-of-state applicants will also be considered.
Nursing CALL Program Coordinator Jean Urick said the School of Nursing will work with applicants to review their completed courses and work experience to determine the courses needed to meet the requirements of the bachelor’s degree.
“As a result of prior educational programs in nursing, registered nurses can earn up to 30 nursing credit hours awarded by transfer credit, transfer block credit, or prior learning assessments,” Urick said. “In addition, transfer credit is awarded for any equivalent general education courses.”
Crain said an increasing number of adults recognize that continuing education is important to career growth and professional advancement.
“This is an important part of our workforce, and the state has recognized the need to develop programs that will allow adults to complete their degrees and to advance professionally,” he said. “We recognize that these students are already working, in most cases full time, so we designed the courses to be short in duration and to be taken completely online.”
Urick explained that online learning is not for everyone. The Southeastern CALL Web site includes links to information to help individuals determine if online education would be appropriate for them.
Beginning this fall, CALL will offer a total of seven complete degree programs through six Louisiana public colleges and universities. In addition to the nursing program at Southeastern, other programs include two-year associate degrees in business administration, computer information systems and general studies at Bossier Parish Community College, a bachelor of general studies degree at Northwestern State University, associate degree in criminal justice at LSU at Eunice, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at McNeese State University, and a bachelor’s degree in health studies at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. More information on the programs is available at the general CALL Web site, www.yourCALLla.org.
“We are genuinely excited about the success of the CALL initiative,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Savoie. “In order for Louisiana to prosper in the new global economy, we must produce more college graduates. And with a shrinking supply of high school graduates projected over the near term, we must focus on improving the educational attainment of our working adult population. CALL provides a very attractive option for busy adults who want to finish college and enhance their work skills and marketability.”
The CALL initiative is part of the Louisiana Board of Regents’ “Education … Go for More!” campaign being implemented in cooperation with the Southern Regional Education Board’s adult learning campaign. The program is supported by a grant from Lumina Foundation for Education and the Go Alliance, a consortium of SREB member states chartered to cooperatively prepare for and launch media outreach campaigns to motivate all students to complete school at high levels of achievement. SREB established the Go Alliance to help states share expensive media materials and run more effective campaigns. The Go Alliance is supported by its member states and is sponsored by the College Board and ACT, Inc.