upower There are 24 hours in a day for the  average adult to incorporate work,  meetings, family, cooking, cleaning and  sleeping. Earning a degree in the midst of such  a busy schedule can seem impossible; however,  Hodges University has created a program to  make earning a degree possible – UPOWER™.

As a self-paced, online program,  UPOWER™ allows students to earn an  associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree in  selected degree programs at an affordable price.

Priced at $2,500 for undergraduate and $3,000  for graduate programs, students may complete  as many courses as possible within a six-month  period. Enrollment in the program is available  the first day of each month.

Created by Dr. Al Ball, dean of the Fisher  School of Technology (FSOT) at Hodges  University, UPOWER™ began in September
2014. “The goal for the first subscription  period was 50 students and we ended up with  45; however, within the first year, we had 100 students enrolled in the program,” said Ball.

“This program is designed for the highly motivated, self-driven student who is looking  for an alternative to the traditional classroom program, and is not limited to individuals  with workforce experience and skills,” he explained.

Enrolled students are required to register for a minimum of 12 credits per subscription  period in order to qualify for financial aid eligibility.

“Students must be self-motivated,  computer literate and comfortable learning material at their own pace,” said Carol
Morrison, senior vice president of student and academic services at Hodges. “These  programs have made it possible for students with prior learning or work experience to  validate their knowledge outside of the traditional semester format,” she added.

Hodges alumna Tammy Llorens graduated from the UPOWER™ program in 2015,  receiving her bachelor’s degree in  cybersecurity and forensics in one year. “I had my  associate degree but had been out of the IT field for five years. Looking to reenter the  field, I knew I would need my bachelor’s degree,” she said.

“Our program is set up to look at the outcomes of a field and determine what it is that  students need to know. We assess micro competencies to determine what students must  understand and achieve in order to reach the desired outcomes in a particular field,” Ball  added.

While many of the UPOWER™ programs exist within the Fisher School of  Technology, Ball explains that other academic schools at Hodges are beginning to  incorporate their degree programs within the self-paced format. “Technology is more  competency-oriented and based in hard skills. It is not as abstract as business or  psychology. That is why a majority of the programs are situated in the FSOT,” he said.

Employed as an intern with the United States Department of Defense, Llorens credits  her degree earned through Hodges’ UPOWER™ program for her current position,  saying, “I most certainly contribute my employment to my degree from Hodges. As an  information technology specialist, I am not only getting back into the IT field, but I am  utilizing my degree.”

Setting a goal of one day working in a management position, Llorens plans to achieve  her Master of Science in information systems through the UPOWER™ program,  saying, “By obtaining my master’s degree through UPOWER™, it will open up doors of  opportunity for me.”

As of January 2016, 207 students enrolled in the program. Hodges offers the following  programs in the UPOWER™ format: associate degrees in computer information  technology and digital design and graphics; bachelor’s degrees in computer information  technology, computer networking, cybersecurity and forensics, digital design and graphics,  and software development; and Master of Arts in visual communication, Master of  Science in information systems and Master of Public Administration.

To learn more about Hodges’ UPOWER™ program, visit www.hodges.edu/upower  or call 1.800.466.8017.

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