The Regents Bachelor of Arts Program at West Virginia University will move July 1 to join the University’s newest academic hub for nontraditional students and those still plotting their path to choosing a major.

Currently housed within the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, the program’s move will place it in the recently announced University College. The University College initiative will serve as a centralized support college for non-traditional students, McNair Scholars, the First-Year experience, general studies students and students who have not declared a major.

The change, administrators say, will not affect the structure of the innovative degree program designed for adult learners. The program has been a statewide staple by offering a flexible degree option that helps adults earn bachelor degrees while juggling other commitments, such as work and family.

Regents students are admitted on a rolling-basis and are permitted to enroll in classes across the University.

Carol Hando has served as the program’s coordinator since 2004. In the spring, she announced she’d be retiring at the end of June. She said she’s proud of the Regents program’s growth during her tenure.

“I feel good about that,” she said. “We have over 360 students in our program taking classes. That’s a pretty substantial group of students. When we started, we had around 200.”

“We work with a lot of online students. I developed an online orientation class and an online portfolio development class to help our off-campus students,” she said. “When I first started there were very few online classes. As that process grew we were able to grow students from outside of WVU.”

Helping nontraditional students complete their undergraduate education has been a cause near and dear to Hando’s heart. She earned her Regents Bachelor of Arts degree in 1994 and went on to receive a master’s degree in corporate and organization communication. As an adult learner, she said she understood the importance of completing a bachelor’s degree and the difficulties students can encounter.

Kristi Wood-Turner, director of the WVU Center for Civic Engagement, will become the Regents program’s interim coordinator.

“I think that the change is positive. I’m comfortable retiring and knowing the program will really be in good hands and will be able to grow and continue,” Hando said.

The Regents Bachelor of Arts program will move its administrative office to Stansbury Hall in July. For more information about the program, call (304) 293-5441 or email regents_ba@mail.wvu.edu.

-WVU-

ma/06/10/13

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