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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Providence Campus takes continuing education to a new degree

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

University offers new option for CCRI graduates

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- April 21, 2004 -- For more than 60 years in Providence, the University of Rhode Island's Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education has been holding the doors open for adults returning to school or going to college for the first time to earn their four-year degree.

Now the College has partnered with the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) to open a new door for their graduates to earn a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree from URI. Students majoring in CCRI's Allied Health or Rehabilitative Health Programs are now eligible to transfer 50 credits or more toward a BGS degree with a major in Health Services Administration. A total of 118 credits are needed to earn the BGS degree.

The BGS degree in health services administration is seen as a natural next step for students who already have their associates degree in the applied health sciences.

"Instead of building something entirely new, we're using the resources that are available to provide a smooth transition from one academic step to the next to help students meet their career goals. We've been working closely with CCRI for several years to develop a seamless process for their graduates and others with associates degrees to continue their education," said Ed Ferszt, associate dean of URI's Feinstein College of Continuing Education.

In fact, that is precisely what the program has done for Rebecca Jackvony, the supervisor of respiratory care at Women and Infants Hospital. Having earned her associates degree in Applied Health Science from CCRI in 1997, Jackvony began the program this semester, entering as a junior instead of as a freshman.

"Not only did the URI program allow me to transfer my degree credits, I chose URI because itís more convenient and more flexible than any other options. It's something I can actually do, one class at a time, while working 40 to 50 hours a week and having a family," said Jackvony who has worked at the hospital since 1997 and has been promoted from therapist to assistant manager to supervisor of her department during the seven years. "This opens up more opportunities for me down the road."

The health services administration major provides students with a broad look at the health care system, while also allowing them to focus on a specific area of interest. Program graduates will be strong candidates for entry or mid-level manager or supervisory positions in various health care organizations. Upon completion of the program, for example, graduates will be eligible to sit for the Rhode Island exam for nursing home licensure. They may also work in other health-related fields including the research, pharmaceutical and insurance or computer industries.

"The beauty of the unique BGS program is that an area of emphasis is designed by the student, for the student, to offer the most flexibility to fit their experience and career interests," explained Ann Hubbard, an assistant professor at the Feinstein College of Continuing Education and coordinator of the BGS program. "A BGS health services administration student may choose an area of interest in gerontology, communications or any number of programs that exist or can be designed to meet their career goals.

"And the degree can be completed with all courses being held at the Providence campus during convenient after-work hours," Hubbard added.

In addition to health services administration, the BGS degree offers majors in applied communications, business institutions, and human studies. BGS students must meet the University's general education, major curriculum and elective requirements and complete three six-credit interdisciplinary senior seminars, in addition to a senior project.

As the semester begins to wind down, Jackvony says she likes taking things one step at a time. "I really want to master what I'm doing here [at the hospital], I'm not in a rush to complete the degree all in two years," she said. "This program lets me do it all, just at my own pace."