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Continuing and Professional Education

Degree: Bachelor of General Studies

Contact: Information Desk
Office: 100 Venture Way, Suite 201
Hadley, MA 01035-9430
Phone: (413) 545-2414

Classes and programming offered through Continuing & Professional Education meet the educational needs of more than 20,000 students each year with a variety of programs that include credit courses, both on campus and online; online degree completion programs; online certificate programs; access to specialized on-campus and off-campus undergraduate and graduate degree programs; professional development programs and workshops; independent study courses and internships; non-credit workshops in personal enrichment, career, and personal development. Any person who has graduated from high school or has a certificate of General Educational Development (G.E.D.) may enroll in undergraduate courses. Admission to a degree program (matriculation) follows general university admissions guidelines.

On-Campus Degree Programs

The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) Degree Program is a University of Massachusetts Amherst degree awarded to students matriculated through Continuing & Professional Education. Flexible and responsive to special needs that cannot be met in traditional full-time degree programs, the BGS program is specifically designed for people whose other responsibilities—family, work, or other life circumstances—make full-time work toward a bachelor’s degree difficult. The program of study is built around individual goals and interests. Every BGS student receives personalized academic advising from Continuing & Professional Education’s academic advisers. Two areas of concentration are available: BGS with Fire Science Concentration and BGS with Individual Concentration.

The Second Bachelor’s Track in Nursing is a course of study offered through Continuing & Professional Education under the auspices of the School of Nursing for individuals with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree who are interested in pursuing professional nursing. This full-time, fast-paced program requires significant dedication and commitment. Students spend three to five days per week in the classroom and at clinical sites. Completion of the program prepares the graduate for entry-level professional practice, to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) licensure exam, and to gain the academic foundation for graduate study in nursing.

University Without Walls (UWW) is a University of Massachusetts Amherst adult undergraduate degree completion program. In UWW, students earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree with an individually designed area of concentration; earn credit for what they have learned from experience through a course that develops writing and thinking skills; and work closely with an academic adviser and their peers in a supportive, adult-centered atmosphere that includes a choice of live, online or partially online courses. For further information, see under “University Without Walls” elsewhere in this Guide.

Online Bachelor Degree Completion Programs

The Online Bachelor of Business Administration is an Isenberg School of Management Online Bachelor of Business Administration degree program offered through Continuing & Professional Education. The B.B.A. degree program is a part-time program designed for working adults who have already completed 60 credits of college-level work. The Isenberg School of Management and its programs are fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, the premier accrediting agency for business programs around the world.

The Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management Online is an Isenberg School of Management degree program offered through Continuing & Professional Education. Designed for working adults, both international and domestic, who are unable to pursue a residential degree program on the Amherst campus, the program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).

The RN to BS Mobility Online Track is a course of study offered through Continuing & Professional Education under the auspices of the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Nursing. It is an intensive curriculum for the Registered Nurses returning to school to complete their baccalaureate degree. This learner-centered program combines internet/web-based instruction and student-tailored practice to meet the needs of registered nurses with other life responsibilities. It calls for substantial student autonomy in meeting established objectives. Computer skills and knowledge of the Internet and World Wide Web are required.

Online Certificate Programs

The Arts Management Online Certificate Program teaches problem-solving techniques, management skills, and principles for the workplace. Successful completion of four of the eight online courses is required to earn the certificate. An advanced track certificate may be earned by taking all eight courses. The courses may also be taken for undergraduate credit, or applied to a degree with a concentration in Arts Management through the University Without Walls.

The Online Criminal Justice Studies Certificate, in close association with the nationally ranked Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is offered by Continuing & Professional Education to online students worldwide. The program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the area of American criminal justice and is designed for individuals planning or in the midst of careers in law enforcement, probation, the courts, and corrections.

The Certificate of Journalism (offered online) provides a solid foundation in the new field of online journalism. Designed to equip students with skills in reporting, writing, research, and analysis, the program assesses the state of online journalism today and the specific skills needed to work in this arena. The program welcomes students from any discipline who wish to gain an understanding of this new form of journalism.

Division of Outreach

The Arts Extension Service (AES) is a national arts service organization that is part of the university’s Outreach Division. Founded in 1973, AES develops the arts at the community level through professional education for arts managers, artists, and civic leaders.

The Family Business Center is a membership program for family-owned companies to upgrade skills and consciousness through forums, special workshops for particular member needs and interests, roundtable discussions, and a free quarterly, educational newsletter, Related Matters. The Center also offers a supportive environment for members to confer with intimacy and confidentiality, and to recognize their common problems and solutions to the unique challenges confronting them.