Archive for the ‘Online Education’ Category

Grace College & Seminary Achieves Record Enrollment Again

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Grace College and Seminary once again achieves a record-breaking enrollment of 1,904 students, including 442 new students this fall – a 17.8% increase since 2011. Grace’s innovative, market-driven responses to a rapidly changing higher educational landscape, increasingly shaped by concerns about college affordability and accessibility, have made Grace a desirable option for students of all ages and educational interests.

As Grace acknowledges the ever present demand for Christian education, it seeks to offer quality degrees as it pursues innovative new programs and ideas. The school maintains a strong student retention rate, providing competitive financial awards, partnerships with Trine University for Engineering and Bethel College for Nursing, and degree programs at commuter locations in Detroit, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

Grace’s innovative three-year accelerated degree program, launched in 2011, spans all 60 majors and allows students to graduate sooner, save a year’s tuition and enter the workforce a year earlier.  Recently, Grace made quality education even more affordable by introducing a new option that allows students to graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years.

Offered with five distinct master’s programs, students choosing to take advantage of this new blended degree program can receive a bachelor’s and master’s degrees for the price and time of just an undergraduate degree. These programs utilize online classes, the accelerated undergraduate track, and summer coursework to offer students a more financially efficient option for higher education.

Grace College is one of the few public or private universities nationally to offer a three-year bachelor’s and four-year master’s degree programs across its curriculum.  Grace’s program innovation has attracted the attention of Congress, state legislators and national media.

“The increased number of students choosing Grace demonstrates that our aggressive attempts to lower costs and present more efficient educational models are directly benefiting students who seek the best value in educational options,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace. “We will continue our commitment to excellence in every area of our educational leadership and to strive to keep offering families quality, faith-based educational options.”

Grace’s Department of Online Education Presents at Learning House Conference

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Grace College & Seminary’s Department of Online Education had the privilege to participate in a conference for online education on June 26-27, hosted by Learning House, Grace’s online education solutions partner.  The Learning House Connect Conference aims to deliver current and relevant best practices in the online educational field.  At the conference, Tim Ziebarth, director of online education at Grace, co-presented a session titled “Building an Online Course with Best Practices:  How Research and Rubrics Can Improve the Student Experience.”  The presentation centered on the strategies Grace College has recently implemented in the realm of online education.

The Department of Online Education was invited to present at the conference because of the strides it has been taking towards offering the highest quality of online education over the last several months. This past March, Professor Ziebarth and his team of collaborators achieved an astounding 100 percent on an online quality review of Grace’s Principles of Management class, which occurred only two months after receiving a top-quality “5” rating (scoring 90 percent or more) on a quality review hosted through Learning House.

To determine the quality of course design, The Learning House uses a five-level scale with intricate standards of quality that each online class must meet in more than 40 distinct areas. This is the first time a school has ever achieved a 100 percent rating, making Grace College an unmistakable leader in offering quality online education.

“We are excited about the continued growth opportunities for extending our institutional mission through online education,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace.  “Having a department committed to this medium of education and a disposition to be actively involved in the profession is the key for our strategic initiatives as we move forward.”

Grace College Offers Degree Completion Program for Adult Students

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

The GOAL program at Grace College offers adult students the opportunity to complete a degree in management without interrupting their careers. With the on-campus degree completion program, students can complete their studies in as little as 16 months by attending classes one night a week and a few Saturdays. For those unable to commute, Grace also offers the program completely online.

At Grace, GOAL students learn in a small cohort model with other adult students who are returning to college to improve their career opportunities and seek the personal satisfaction of completing a bachelor’s degree. Carrie Schneider, 2013 GOAL graduate, said, “The Monday after receiving my bachelor’s degree through GOAL, I received a promotion! This is a wonderful boost for my family and career and I’m so grateful for the part that Grace College and my professors played in my professional development.”

“It is a constant thrill to share outstanding academic experiences with adult students who are working diligently to complete their B.S. degrees,” said Dr. Steve Grill, dean of the School of Adult and Community Education. “The GOAL program is special in what it offers students: an opportunity to experience a community of like-minded students and receive a Bachelor of Science in Management while maintaining work and home commitments.”

Find more information at www.grace.edu/degreecompletion or call 877.607.0012 to speak with an Admissions Counselor. Eligible applicants must hold an associate degree or have earned at least 60 college credits to be admitted into the program.

Dr. William Katip Assumes Role as President of Grace College & Seminary

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Dr. William J. Katip, president of Grace College & Seminary

The faculty, staff, and board of trustees of Grace College and Seminary are excited to welcome former provost Dr. William J. Katip as the president of Grace College & Seminary. He assumed this new role following Dr. Ronald E. Manahan’s final day on May 11. Katip received a B.A. in Bible and Psychology from Grace College, an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State University. His professional background includes 39 years of college administration (15 at Grace), teaching and counseling experience, and serving as provost of Grace College since 2007.

As Katip steps into his new role, he is implementing some structural changes to the institution’s senior leadership team. Manahan will assume the role of senior advisor to the president during the academic year 2013-2014, taking some time in the fall semester as a sabbatical. Dr. Jeff Gill was named vice president and dean of the Seminary and School of Ministry Studies, and joins the Grace College and Seminary senior leadership team.

Dr. James Swanson, vice president of Student Affairs and Academic Services, now has additional areas of responsibility that focus on developing student life. The school’s retention rates have improved yearly under Swanson’s guidance. Cynthia Sisson received a promotion from dean to vice president of Enrollment Management, and Associate Provost Dr. Carrie Yocum stepped into her new role as vice president of Administration and Compliance. Thomas Dunn, accepting his new title as vice president of Strategic Initiatives and Planning, will hone his focus on institutional growth and innovation, which is integral to Katip’s strategy. Grace will be seeking to fill the three remaining openings in the senior leadership team (vice president of Financial Affairs, vice president of Advancement, and vice president of Academic Affairs) in the coming months.

“Dr. Manahan made sure the college and seminary remained true our mission through drastic changes,” said Katip. “I commit to that same fortitude, also acknowledging that our methods must be adaptable. Higher education is in line for radical changes and we have to pray for wisdom daily to find new ways to express it.”

Grace College Online Course Receives 100 Percent Quality Rating

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Tim Ziebarth: Director of Department of Online Education; Part-time Instructor, GOAL and Business

The Department of Online Education at Grace College is blazing new paths in the realm of online education this year. This March, Director of Online Education Tim Ziebarth and his team of collaborators achieved an astounding 100 percent on an online quality review of Grace’s Principles of Management class. This occurred only two months after receiving a top-quality “5” rating (scoring 90 percent or more) on a quality review hosted through Learning House, Grace’s online education solutions partner.

To determine the quality of course design, The Learning House uses a five-level scale with intricate standards of quality that each online class must meet in more than 40 distinct areas. This is the first time a school has ever achieved a 100 percent rating, making Grace College an unmistakable leader in offering quality online education.

“We’ve put a lot of time and effort to get to this point, but having a course that meets all of the quality standards is wonderful for Grace College,” explained Tim Ziebarth. “We want to keep improving in every single one of our online classes, one class at a time.”

“It is clear that Professor Ziebarth believes strongly in using identified best practices in online education to provide for a better student experience,” said Josh Smith, Director of Partner Curriculum at Learning House. “He collaborates weekly (if not daily) with our Course Designers to continuously improve his online courses in order to increase student learning. It is this dedication and passion for excellence that enabled him to achieve the first 100% on our course Quality Review Form.”

Department of Online Education at Grace College Hires New Enrollment Counselor

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Brittney Picket, Enrollment Counselor

Grace College recently hired a new enrollment counselor for the Department of Online Education. Brittney Pickett, 2010 graduate of Franklin College, will be assisting in the growth of the department and serving as the go-to person for potential students interested in the online programs.

The Department of Online Education exists to equip each student with the competency and skills to excel in his or her chosen career field.  Pickett will be joining Tim Ziebarth, director, and Laura Laborde, service specialist, in the Department of Online Education, a comprehensive office that exists to serve and assist students from initial interest to graduation and everything in between.  They currently offer several online programs, including a degree completion B.S. in Management (GOAL), Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Master of Arts in Ministry Studies, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Education. Starting fall 2014, two new programs will be offered, a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management and Master of Science in Higher Education.

Brittney has worked in highly relational roles in the past, from fundraiser and art director (now volunteering) at the Boys and Girls Club of Nappanee to rehabilitation coordinator at the Bowen Center in Warsaw. During college she traveled to Africa as part of a service learning trip and returned there after college to work with Invisible Children, Beads for Life, and Building Tomorrow. Brittney and her husband Tanner live in Goshen and attend Nappanee Missionary Church. Brittney enjoys spending time with her three dogs, hiking, and anything to do with being outside. She is excited about her new job and about joining the Grace community.

Representatives Attend State Senate Recognition of Grace College’s 75th Anniversary

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Senator Jim Banks reads the resolution honoring Grace College and Seminary’s 75th year anniversary with representatives from Grace standing by.

On March 12, 2013, several representatives from Grace College met in Indianapolis to witness the reading of a resolution honoring Grace College and Seminary’s 75th year anniversary.  Dr. Ronald Manahan, President of Grace and Dr. Bill Katip, Provost, attended the event to hear the resolution read before the Indiana State Senate on the chamber floor.

The resolution, read by Senator Jim banks, noted the history of Grace College and Seminary as well as several of Grace’s outstanding achievements. The resolution also highlighted Grace’s recent implementation of more affordable education options for students.

Other Grace representatives at the event were Brian Ramsey, Site Director of Weber Indianapolis; Tom Dunn, Chief Operations Officer at Grace; Jennifer Anderson, Student Services Coordinator at Weber Indianapolis; Dr. George Slaughter, Professor of Psychology at Grace; Dr. Jared Burkholder, Assistant Professor of American and World History, and several students from Grace’s main campus in Winona Lake and Grace College Indianapolis.

“It was really exciting to see Grace College represented on the Senate chamber floor,” said Dr. Manahan. “When someone like Senator Jim Banks notices our achievements as a college and decides to present a resolution about it, then it recognizes the work and innovation we’ve put in.”

Also in attendance was Senator Ryan Mishler, long-time partner with Grace College and Seminary and representative of the 9th District Senate (Grace’s district), who spoke on behalf of the college on the senate floor.

Senator Banks was born and raised in Columbia City and South Whitley and received his B.A. in Political Science from Indiana University in Bloomington. He is currently pursuing his MBA from Grace College’s online program.

Grace College and Seminary’s 75th Anniversary to be Recognized Before Indiana State Senate

Friday, March 8th, 2013

On March 12, 2013, Senator Jim Banks will be presenting a resolution to the Indiana State Senate honoring Grace College and Seminary’s 75th year anniversary and achievements as an institution. The resolution will be read before the Indiana State Senate in Indianapolis, and representatives from Grace will have the privilege to attend the event at the capitol.

The resolution notes the history of Grace College and Seminary, as well as several of Grace’s achievements such as graduates of Grace’s accounting program receiving a ranking of 10th out of 793 institutions nationwide for the first-time pass rate on the Certified Public Accountant exam in 2012.

The resolution also highlights Grace’s recent implementation of more affordable education options for students. One of these options reduces cost by 25 percent through one of the nation’s first successful three-year accelerated degree programs. Another program being recognized is a $7,800 per year associate degree program for city youth now available in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

“We are honored that Grace College and Seminary’s 75th Anniversary will be recognized before the Indiana State Senate,” said Dr. Ronald Manahan, president of Grace College and Seminary. “I think it acknowledges the passion and hard work we have invested to give our students quality, affordable options for their education. We are excited to continue innovating and addressing students’ needs.”

Grace College Online Course Receives Top Quality Rating

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

As Grace College quickly becomes one of the quality providers in online education, some notable achievements are emerging. Tim Ziebarth, Director of Online Education, along with a team of collaborators, achieved a “5″ rating on a quality review of their online Principles of Management course hosted through Learning House, Grace’s online education solutions partner. The Management class is one of very few nationwide in the Learning House network that has achieved this rating.

The quality review makes use of a 5-level scale with intricate standards of quality that each online class must meet in 40-plus distinct areas. To achieve a score of 5, classes must score a 90% or higher in meeting the standards.

“We are raising the quality of our online classes. This is just one class, but now we have a course that models the best practices in online education,” explained Ziebarth. “Our next goal is to have the first class that scores a 100%.”

“The time, effort, quality, variety, and content that Tim includes in his courses achieve a high level of student outcomes,” said Carrie Yocum, Associate Provost of Grace College. “Tim leads our online department and has been an example to other instructors in the development and teaching of online courses and use of resources to make it a good learning experience for students.”

“The level five rating is a terrific example of the hard work and dedication of Tim and the Grace faculty as well,” said Derek Jones, Grace’s account manager at Learning House. “Quality was one of the first things Tim has stressed to us in our partnership and I think the fact that Grace College is leading the way is an example of their dedication to their students.”

Innovation Yields Record-Breaking Enrollment at Grace College

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Grace College and Seminary kicks off its fall 2012 semester and 75th anniversary celebration with a record-breaking enrollment of 1,821 students thanks to nationally recognized program innovation and new academic offerings.

The record enrollment, propelled by 407 new students this fall, results from Grace College’s innovative, market-driven responses to a rapidly changing higher educational landscape increasingly shaped by concerns about college affordability and accessibility.

Recognizing that rising college costs are a significant burden and growing barrier to students, in 2011, Grace College launched an innovative three-year accelerated degree program for all 60 majors, allowing students to graduate sooner, save a year’s tuition and enter the workforce a year earlier.  The program also allows students to benefit from free online summer courses.  National statistics indicate the average undergraduate spends five years completing a bachelor’s degree.

Grace College is one of the few public or private universities nationally – to offer a three-year degree program across its curriculum.  Grace’s program innovation has attracted the attention of Congress, state legislators and national media.

At a time when parents and students increasingly consider quality and affordability in their consideration of educational options, forty-nine percent of entering freshmen this year indicated an intent to pursue the three-year degree option.  In 2011, forty-eight percent of entering freshmen identified Grace’s three-year degree program as a significant factor in their college selection decision.

New online graduate and adult programs, along with the launch of additional educational sites in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, also contributed to Grace College’s significant enrollment growth.

A remarkable 85 percent retention rate of students from their freshman to sophomore year also has positively impacted student enrollment at Grace College. This figure considerably exceeds the 70 percent national average for schools similar to Grace.  Grace officials attribute the impressive retention rates to Grace’s three-year degree program and the stellar student support services offered.

“Grace College is committed to continued program innovation and educational leadership to keep a high quality, faith-based education accessible and affordable for all families,” said Grace College Provost Dr. William Katip.  “We are pleased to see the increased number of students, including those attending our new sites in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, who are directly benefiting from our aggressive attempts to adapt educational models and address escalating costs to better serve savvy educational consumers seeking better higher educational options.”

Grace College and Seminary is an evangelical Christian community of higher education that applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence and preparing for service. Grace College offers traditional undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as flexible online and hybrid-online graduate degrees, on-campus and online degree completion programs, and a highly affordable, easily accessible two-year degree program in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review have regularly named Grace as one of America’s Best Colleges and a “Best Midwestern College” respectively. The 180-acre main campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Indiana.