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.