SJU Debuts Online Learning for Professionals

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

As the economy continues to struggle, people in every walk of life are doing everything possible to build as much job security as they can. Thanks to a new set of online programs from Saint Joseph's University, professionals in several fields can do just that starting this month, with the launch of SJU Professional.

SJU Professional (www.sjuprofessional.com) offers online certification for degree-holding adults who are interested in adding credentials to their line of work or learning relevant skills for a new career. The site debuts with classes in crisis management, purchasing certification and project management, and will soon expand to offer courses from various disciplines.

"The site is geared toward career enhancers and career changers," said Paul DeVito, Ph.D., associate provost at SJU. "The typical user already has a degree, but is looking to make him or herself more employable."

The concept of not-for-credit programming is not new to SJU – classes have been offered through University College and the Early Responders Distance Learning Center for years – but the online component, according to DeVito, is bringing SJU into a market already occupied by several of its peers.

"Students who choose SJU Professional will encounter a truly virtual classroom experience," DeVito said. "Instead of a class run by a computer, our programs feature a facilitator who will interact with students." He added that class participants will also have the opportunity to interact with each other online.

The programs will tap both on-campus teachers and non-faculty experts to act as facilitators. Future classes in medical coding and pharmaceutical technologies, for example, will utilize existing partnerships between the University and authorities in those fields. Programs in Sport Management and Certified Financial Planning are also being planned through the expertise of SJU faculty.

The use of online programming is beneficial both to the student and the University, according to DeVito. "Professionals who enroll in online programs can take classes from anywhere in the world at their convenience, and they learn from an expert and receive the advantage of a certificate from Saint Joseph's," he said. "Meanwhile, the University is able to reach constituents that we are normally unable to reach without expending physical facilities, and we can generate revenue that can be used to fund traditional programming."

For more information on the site, or to offer suggestions for future programs offered on the site, contact DeVito at 610-660-3260 or pdevito@sju.edu.

--Jeffrey Martin '04, '05 (M.A.)




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