The grand opening of BJU’s new location for the School for Continuing, Online and Professional Education was held Wednesday afternoon at University Center Greenville on Pleasantburg Drive.
The newly created school, known as SCOPE, brings together several components of BJU’s online educational offerings. SCOPE also brings new programs and an increased emphasis on reaching post-traditional students and working professionals both in Greenville and beyond.
Although SCOPE has been in place offering courses to post-traditional students since September 2018, the grand opening Wednesday was a way to celebrate the new facility BJU now has in the University Center.
Other Upstate universities at the University Center include Furman, Clemson, Anderson and USC Upstate.
SCOPE is led by vice provost for strategic initiatives and academic dean Dr. Beverly Cormican.
Dr. Steve Pettit, Dr. Gary Weier, Dr. Beverly Cormican and David Taylor, the president of the University Center, participated in the opening. Guests were also invited to tour the newly completed SCOPE office suite as well as the common areas of the University Center.
SCOPE will manage all the University’s previously offered online courses as well as add several new programs especially for post-traditional students.
Cormican defined the post-traditional student as typically those 25 and older who are working or have work experience and who study full-time or part-time. “They are seeking accelerated ways to get their degree,” Cormican said. Post-traditional students now outnumber traditional students in the United States educational system, according to Cormican.
Although currently all SCOPE courses are offered only online, Cormican said SCOPE plans to offer some courses onsite at the University Center in the near future.
Cormican also mentioned a few features of SCOPE, such as flexible credit requirements that account for credits students might already have as well as frequent course availability so students can fit classes into busy schedules.
Dr. Jeremy West, online facilitator and associate dean of SCOPE, said the school now offers approximately 110 courses with plans to expand that number significantly to meet the needs of different types of students.
Students can earn dual-enrollment college credit, complete undergraduate degrees and master’s programs and earn credit and noncredit certificates through SCOPE.
A new online option includes an RN to BSN program, allowing students with a registered nursing license to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Carol Keirstead, BJU chief communications officer, said SCOPE also offers certificate programs that allow individuals to take college courses without being enrolled in a degree program.
These certificates improve their qualifications for employment and can enhance their performance in current jobs. Certificate programs are often common in areas such as healthcare, technology, education and leadership. “[Certificates] are becoming very popular in helping people gain more knowledge for a job or ministry,” Keirstead said.
SCOPE currently offers a graduate certificate in biblical counseling with plans to add more soon.
BJU is emphasizing the development of non-credit courses in areas such as project management.