Iowa Wesleyan University has had continued growth in traditional enrollment for the last four years while the higher education market nationally has seen a decline. According to Eduventures, 71% of the addressable market in higher education is the adult online learner and that market is continuing to grow.
In fact, last year 47% of all Iowa Wesleyan students engaged in online classes through the university.
The office of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) at Iowa Wesleyan University offers nationally recognized online programs for adult learners who are interested in completing a bachelor or master’s program. Typically, online students are working adults, averaging in age from their early to mid-30’s, have full-time jobs they are looking to advance in, or are thinking about changing careers. They have full-time family responsibilities, and are possibly returning to college after many years of professional and social engagement in the world at large.
This year, IW Online enrollment is already up 24% from fall 2017. GPS expects this trend to continue as learning opportunities in the adult market expand. Iowa Wesleyan
has created IW Online as a signature focus to enhance IW’s online presence nationwide.
IW Online has partners who help market our online curriculum and programs. Through our partnerships, our programs create robust outcome assessment plans, detailed course mapping, respect for accreditation standards, and policies that align with educational regulatory requirements. In essence, these partnerships add innovation to an online world to provide amazing experiential results for students and the university.
In January 2018, IW launched the new master of arts in management leadership (MAML) degree with an emphasis in strategic leadership or athletic administration. This innovative program imparts the knowledge necessary to provide transformational leadership in the organizations and communities in which students work and live. It helps students develop a skill set that will empower them to lead meaningful lives and careers.
“Six eight-week terms are currently available each year and uses an asynchronous model which allows students to attend class anytime during the day that fits their schedule,” said Barb Schultz, assistant dean of adult and graduate studies. “All course requirements are completed in a virtual environment with students from many different occupations. Online classes provide an engaging, flexible and interactive environment for the student who is self-motivated, disciplined, and can communicate effectively through reading and writing.”
Carla McNamee ’95, the director of finance with Hearth & Home in Mount Pleasant is obtaining her master of arts in management leadership at IW. Carla also received her bachelor degree from IW in accounting. Carla shared “I decided to get my masters at Iowa Wesleyan because of the program and the convenience. I am an alumni of IW and bleed purple. I had looked into my master’s previously; however having a career and four children, it was not feasible to travel.” She went on to say, “My master of arts will give me new opportunities. I look forward to using this program to reflect on my previous experiences and put it towards new leadership opportunities. Online graduate and undergraduate courses are important to help attract, or more importantly, retain people in Southeast Iowa. The region has a lot to offer. This will help with growing businesses in the area and allow them to compete for talent.”
In addition to the master of arts in management leadership; launching in 2019, the master of education in curriculum and instruction (MECI) will be available to serve those seeking to continue their graduate education. The master of education in curriculum and instruction program is built upon a strong core of foundational courses which will support a career in the education field. Effective teaching and instruction is the first track offered. The track will begin 2019 with additional tracks to follow.
Undergraduate degrees are available online in Criminal Justice, Human Services, and RN to BSN. Degrees are also available in Business Administration with multiple market-driven concentrations. Several new majors and concentrations in both undergraduate and graduate programs will be added in the near future.
Adding new graduate programs impacts our graduating seniors immediately wanting to strengthen their marketable success in the world. Matt Klundt ’17 is one of those students. Matt holds a job in student development at Iowa Wesleyan and is also a personal trainer. He said of the new graduate programs, “I am very blessed to get my masters at IW. I am building more relationships with instructors outside of my undergrad field as mentors. Continuing my education here means that through and through, I am a Tiger!”
Iowa Wesleyan’s online program has gained recognition as a Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News and World Report, AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org, AffordableColleges.com and College Choice.