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December 10, 2002

VITERBO UNIVERSITY TO OFFER ONLINE PROGRAM

LA CROSSE, Wis.—Viterbo University plans to launch its first program to be offered exclusively online; classes for the initial group of enrolled students will begin next month.

Called the Leadership Program, the course of study, which will lead to a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, is targeted to adults who have earned an associate degree in marketing, accounting, supervisory management, or other business areas.

The program will be  available to online learners from throughout Wisconsin who have access to a computer and an Internet connection.

Because of Leadership Program’s unique value to students with associate degrees, Viterbo is in the process of signing articulation agreements with Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges. Two institutions, including Western Wisconsin Technical College, have already signed formal accords, and at least six other schools are expected to shortly follow suit.

In the past, Viterbo has offered several "blended" courses which provide for a combination of classroom and online learning. The Leadership Program will be the university’s first foray into an exclusive online format. "We are very excited to offer this 100 percent online program," said Darcie Brezany, outreach coordinator for the Extended Learning Program. "Online programs really work for adults who are organized and motivated. Viterbo continues to offer an array of campus-based programs, but with the changes that are occurring in education and technology, it’s important to have online opportunities available to those who prefer that learning style.

Each online course will be offered in seven-week blocks.  The first two courses, "Theatre Appreciation" and "Group and Organizational Behavior,"  are set to begin Jan. 17.

Brezany indicated that any initial jitters students have in dealing with the technology of online learning is quickly overcome. "The students will be surprised at how easy the process can be from a technology standpoint. We’ll invite students in for an orientation and social the first week of classes. This will give those who enroll the chance to try out technology and to meet faculty, administrators, and fellow students in the program. The orientation portion of the event will also be available online for students who are unable to attend or for those who live outside the La Crosse area."

The cost of the program is $280 per credit for the 2002-03 academic year. Additional information is available at www.viterbo.eduunder the category of adult learning or by email at online@viterbo.edu.

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