Accelerated Scheduling – Applying Sound Educational Principles to Improve Learning and Reduce Completion Time

It’s summer time and throughout the country, most university classrooms are quiet and dark. Students are traveling, working summer jobs and reconnecting with old friends. Such is the pace of the traditional college experience. And while there’s nothing wrong with it, there are those who simply cannot accommodate such a schedule. They may be older, have families or simply want to begin their careers as soon as humanly possible. For them, accelerated scheduling is the answer.

For all the news coverage and marketing associated with accelerated scheduling – predominately practiced by private sector colleges and universities – there are myriad misconceptions. In the case of ECPI University, the message is clear and concise: Zero to Bachelor’s in 2.5 years. Those unfamiliar with accelerated scheduling often assume that the course of study must somehow be abbreviated…nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, the same educational approach that allows students to graduate early also fosters more effective learning and increased graduation rates.

“The days of the ‘sage on the stage’ blowing in the door, delivering a 50-minute lecture on some arcane topic, and blowing out the door are over,” says Dr. Cathy Roberts, ECPI University Director of Institutional Effectiveness. “In my opinion, we offer higher education the way it should be done. Allowing students to apply what they are learning is critical to their retention of the material, and the accelerated course schedule allows us to do that.”
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The Changes of Fall

Fall is the time of year that traditionally most students return to school. For some of you this may be the case, but for the majority who choose ECPI University for the convenient year-round schedule, fall is just another change in seasons that hopefully finds you closer to your goal of graduation. This year we encourage you to focus more closely on our communities and the holiday season.

At all ECPI campuses, students and staff are engaged in helping the community by finding ways we can give back to those in need. There are many people who, during these difficult economic times, need a helping hand. ECPI University supports many community charities and organizations including: the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, community blood drives, “Christmas Angel Tree“ program, Food Bank, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer, American Heart Association Heart Walks, Diabetes Walks, blood pressure and glucose screenings for diabetes awareness, book drives, Girls Get IT, and many others. Ask about the activities at your campus and join us in helping the community.

Fall has brought other changes at several of our campuses across Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In Virginia Beach, our first master’s degree students started their program pursuing the Masters of Science in Information Systems. The program, taking less than 15 months, will also be offered online beginning in January 2012. At the school of health science campus in Newport News, Virginia, students started a new associate’s degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. This program, which can be completed in 18 months, incorporates hands-on clinical training in local hospital and clinical settings, and prepares the student to take the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers board exam.

Also, three of ECPI University campuses serve as Certified Assessment Centers for the Virginia Manufacturers Association. In October the Innsbrook campus in Richmond, Virginia became the fourth site in the state to provide exclusive industry assessments. Not only do ECPI students benefit, but the entire manufacturing community will be able to make use of this assessment.

Along with change, some things remain constant at ECPI University, and one of those is our commitment to support the military. ECPI University was again honored by G.I. Jobs in its 2012 Military Friendly School list. The ranking honors the top 20 percent of colleges and universities that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students. We make every effort to assist military students in getting their degree, including our military distance learning partnerships with every branch of the military and our unique partnership with the Wounded Warrior Program to provide on base training.

As 2011 comes to an end I encourage you to remain persistent in your pursuit of higher education and know that everyone at ECPI University is here to support you in your efforts and goals.


Mark Dreyfus

Brooke Schaefer: Real Student. Real Story.

We hear so many great success stories from our students and graduates. We wanted to share one that appeared on the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) YouTube page. APSCU is a voluntary membership organization of accredited, private, postsecondary schools, institutes, colleges and universities that provide career-specific educational programs.

Brooke shares her story as a student in criminal justice.