Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) awarded associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to the largest-ever graduating class at the Fall 2011 commencement ceremony on Dec. 17. Held at the university’s campus in Melbourne, Fla., students travelled from across the country to attend the ceremony. Of the 1,345 students who graduated, 530 earned their degrees through online programs. The students who earned their degrees online received the same diplomas that were awarded to main-campus students.
“We are seeing more students than ever make the decision to earn their degree online,” said Mary Bonhomme, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, Online Learning, Florida Institute of Technology. “Online learning gives students the ability to earn their degree without quitting their job or disrupting their lives. Many students who enroll in our degree programs are professionals seeking new skills and knowledge to advance their careers and compete in today’s competitive job market.”
Florida Tech’s online graduates represent the face of non-traditional students— working moms and dads, military service members, career enhancers, and career launchers. Janet Burkhalter, a mother-of-four from Central Indiana, earned her MSIT online while three of her children were in college. “My career aspirations to work as Project Manager in a healthcare setting required that I go back to school,” Janet said. “Financially, I was unable to leave my job to pursue a degree on a full time basis. Being in management, even having a set class schedule once or twice a week was not practical. Online classes allowed me to study around my work schedule.”
Graduate Tara Boyer from Seminole, FL earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting with a minor in Human Resources while balancing a full-time job and family. “It was a challenge, but I wanted to go back to school to show my son the importance of earning your degree and the joy of accomplishment when you have completed it. Every night I did homework as my son was doing his, so I still was still able to have family time on the weekends.”
Kimbal Fatica, father-of-two and established media professional in television broadcasting, said that mobile access was the key to being able to earn his MBA with his busy schedule. “I took my lectures on the road and squeezed in studying whenever possible. Two summers in a row I found ways to submit coursework from Boy Scout summer camp!”
“I knew if my career was to advance, formal education had to be included in the equation,” said 47-year old Glenn Livingston, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. “What surprised me the most about online classes was the lasting friendships I’ve developed with classmates. We continue to correspond and I affectionately refer to them as my “college buddies”. The past four years have been an experience of which I am not only extremely proud, but now I also have a school of which I can state with great pride is my Alma Mater.”
“We are proud of each student in this group of graduates,” Bonhomme said. “The increasing number of individuals making the decision to go back to school to improve their lives and achieve their educational goals is inspiring.”
Florida Tech’s dynamic video-based e-learning platform is powered by University Alliance. Providing an enhanced learning experience featuring downloadable, streaming video lectures that can be accessed conveniently at home, at work or on a smartphone, earning a degree is now more accessible than ever.
For more information about Florida Tech’s online degree programs, visit www.floridatechonline.com.
About Florida Tech
Florida Tech is a regionally accredited university that is world renowned for its distinguished faculty, comprehensive curriculum and unyielding innovation. Florida Tech is ranked a Tier 1 Best National University by U.S. News & World Report. It is also rated by the Fiske Guide to Colleges and named in Barron’s Best Buys in College Education. Founded in 1958, Florida Tech has more than 50,000 alumni. Its main campus is located on 130 subtropical acres in Melbourne, Florida, on the state’s famous Space Coast.
About University Alliance
The University Alliance (UA) facilitates the promotion and online delivery of associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as professional certificate programs from the nation’s leading traditional universities and institutions. Powered by UA’s technology and support services, its university partners have surpassed 450,000 online enrollments – making UA the largest facilitator of e-learning in the country. University partners include Villanova University, the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, Michigan State University, Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, the University of San Francisco, the University of Vermont, Florida Institute of Technology, The University of Scranton, Jacksonville University and Dominican University.