Associate Programs Overview

Associate Programs in the College for Adults

Believing that specialized professional education partnered with the liberal arts promotes and reinforces our institutional values, the College for Adults pursues three central learning outcomes for its students: professional preparedness - readiness for entry-level positions or specialized roles; academic preparedness - intellectual and technological capability for educational advancement and lifelong learning; community and societal awareness - social understanding that encourages involvement, service and leadership.

The curriculum in the associate degree and healthcare certificate programs includes course work in the liberal arts and sciences, professional education and practical experiences such as laboratory work, clinical assignments, fieldwork and internships. A strong co-curriculum enhances student learning.  While the arts and sciences and professional education programs have discrete educational objectives, through them the University also addresses commonly held liberal arts goals:

  • Leadership and Collaboration
  • Ethics and Social Justice
  • Diversity and Global Perspectives
  • Critical and Creative Inquiry
  • Discipline-Based Competence
  • Effective Communication in a Variety of Modes
  • Purposeful Life-long Learning

Courses in liberal arts and sciences encourage exploration of important elements that are central to the human experience. Art, literature, psychology, religion, natural science and social science have become vehicles that humans use to understand themselves and their world. Courses in these disciplines further identify personal struggles and accomplishments as related to others and the broader human condition. An enriched perspective prepares students to relate to and work with people who exhibit diverse responses to common problems or illness.

Courses in our professional education programs provide students with the specific knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function competently in their chosen field. The curriculum is presented using a developmental and cumulative framework. That is, in the beginning of the learning experience, emphasis is placed upon laying the foundation that will constitute the base for the student's professional education and work orientation. It is here that students learn fundamental concepts and skills. As students master these concepts and skills, we introduce increasing complex ideas and learning activities.

The laboratory provides students with safe and controlled learning experiences in which professional skills are developed and clinical problems are simulated. These exercises are carefully planned and sequenced so students can master necessary psychomotor skills, apply theoretical principles and integrate skills and principles into appropriate, ethical clinical judgments and actions. As an integral part of developing competence, students are involved in real-life situations in a variety of ways, including clinical laboratory settings, internships and fieldwork assignments. Here both faculty and clinical staff provide expert instruction and supervision as students continue to practice and learn.

The College for Adults benefits from the experience of the range of human diversity among our students and gains an appreciation for those who have a variety of abilities and cultural, socio-economic backgrounds.