William Woods University Continues to Expand in Columbia

William Woods University is experiencing unprecedented growth on its main campus and at outreach sites including Columbia, thanks to innovative programming and attention to student needs.

The main campus in Fulton, which is expecting its largest incoming class since 1970, is introducing a new Department of Human Performance, encompassing physical education, athletic training and a new sports management major.

The department will be located in the new $1.5 million Center for Human Performance, a one-story 12,000-square-foot facility that will serve a two-fold purpose—providing state-of-the-art care to WWU athletes and, at the same time, enhancing the university’s ability to provide clinical experiences for students.

Creation of the new department is the latest example of William Woods University’s ability to recognize academic trends and adapt with the times. Unique programs of study offered at WWU include an internationally recognized equestrian studies program, a four-year American Sign Language Interpreting program (one of only 25 in the U.S. and Canada) and a degree in juvenile justice (the first in the state).

Meanwhile, the Graduate & Adult Studies program in Columbia continues to grow and was forced to move to a larger facility to accommodate the ever-increasing demand for additional classroom space.

Since its inception in the early 90s, William Woods University’s Graduate & Adult Studies program has strived to meet the needs of working adults by offering progressive programs at convenient times and locations.

This year, G&AS is making new programs available to residents of the Columbia area, with the introduction of specialized master of business administration (MBA) programs. In addition to the regular MBA, William Woods now offers MBAs with concentrations in accounting, health management and human resources.

Columbia classes are now being offered in a modern new 7,500-square-foot facility at 3100 Falling Leaf Court, near AC and Highway 63. The building, which is owned by Cornerstone Insurance, has more classroom space and will accommodate more students and programs as a result.

Just three years ago G&AS moved into a new 6,000-square-foot facility in Jefferson City—at 3405 W. Truman Blvd. In both cases, G&AS had outgrown its former facilities because of program expansion and enrollment increases.

In the beginning, the G&AS programs were located only in mid-Missouri. Now, thanks to the growing demand, William Woods has expanded G&AS programs to locations across the state for the convenience of interested students.

These programs make it possible for people with full-time jobs to complete a baccalaureate or a graduate degree while remaining employed. The programs are designed to prepare students for career advancement and to enhance their marketability in the job market.

The MBA program is a 36-credit-hour program, designed to further prepare the working professional for a career in general management. Classroom activities of the entire curriculum are designed to provide the proper blend of theory and practice, thereby making for a true applications-oriented program. What is learned in class one evening may literally be applied to the real workforce the next day.

According to Kathy Pabst, a Jefferson City MBA graduate, “This program incorporates the principles of the textbooks and applies them to work situations. With other working adults as students, there is a great deal of respect for opinions and experiences.”
Employing a model of accelerated learning developed especially for the convenience of the working adult, these educational programs are structured so that a degree can be completed in as few as 18 months.

To guarantee the graduation of many well-rounded professionals, William Woods offers degree programs that utilize a cohort model, emphasizing learning through student-directed study groups of three to five students.

The word “cohort” describes a group of people who collaborate to reach a common goal. WWU’s program utilizes the diversity of the individual members to broaden the learning experience of the class as a whole as they work together. The school recognizes that learning can and does take place outside of the classroom and that theoretical knowledge is only useful if applied to real-life on-the-job situations.

To better fit the schedules of the ever-busy G&AS students, classes meet once a week in the evening for four hours. Study groups can meet once more to prepare projects and assignments before the upcoming week.

“With the teamwork approach of using study groups and projects within the
cohort model, students can draw on a greater pool of ideas, and they have the opportunity
to learn quickly that the effectiveness of one person can be greatly enhanced by utilizing the other members of the group,” said Betty R. Tutt, vice president and dean of academic affairs.

Because of the nature of programming—focusing effort on one course at a time—nearly 90 percent of all students finish their program successfully. Each course normally runs five to 10 weeks in length.

“William Woods University is a leader when it comes to designing quality programs for nontraditional adult students. Everything we do here at WWU in our Graduate & Adult Studies program is specifically designed to help adults succeed in reaching their goals as efficiently as possible,” said Tutt.

Non-traditional students reflect a growing national trend as more full-time working adults realize the value of maintaining a sustained involvement in higher education. Many adult students recognize that they need additional education either to advance in their current positions or to change careers.

In addition to the MBA, William Woods offers several other G&AS programs, including a program of general education, an associate of arts degree in liberal studies, ACCESS (general education), a bachelor of science in management, a bachelor of science in computer and information management and a master of education in both administration and in curriculum/instruction.

More information is available on the William Woods website at www.williamwoods.edu or by calling 1-800-995-3199, e-mailing cgas@williamwoods.edu or faxing (573) 592-1164.