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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Launches a Weekend University To Help Working Adults Return to College

It’s hard for working adults to find time to take college courses. But New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) Program for Professional Advancement: The Weekend University, makes it convenient for adults to earn either an undergraduate certificate or a bachelor’s degree. 

“Frequently when NJIT speaks with our industry colleagues, we hear about their personnel needs, including the numbers of their employees who have yet to complete their undergraduate degrees or who lack the additional education to help the employee, as well as the company, progress to the next level,” said Joel Bloom, vice president of academic affairs at NJIT. “This new program is our response to industry needs.  It’s innovative, it’s convenient and it’s customized to educate the working adults to the actual jobs that will be in demand in New Jersey in the coming years.” 

The program, (http://adultlearner.njit.edu/weekendu) which will begin in the fall of 2005, is a perfect match for high-tech professionals who want to first earn a certificate either in Information Systems Management or in Network Applications, and then continue to earn a bachelor’s degree in information technology (IT).  Students who earn the certificate and the bachelor IT will be well positioned to find high-demand jobs, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Top 50 Occupations report. 

To accommodate the schedules of working adults, Weekend University classes will be offered on Friday evenings starting at 6 p.m. and on Saturdays starting at 9 a.m. The hour and a half classes meet on the NJIT campus, either once a week or once every other week, while students also study online throughout the typical NJIT 15-week semester.     

Students can earn the 24-credit undergraduate certificate first and then use that as a springboard to pursue the bachelor’s degree in IT. In this way, working adults earn two credentials for the price of one, says Gale Tenen Spak, PhD, associate vice president of Continuing and Distance Learning Education at NJIT.   

“Combined face-to-face teaching with online learning offers flexibility to the busy adult, allowing them to take additional classes each semester and earn a degree faster,” added Spak. “We have highly trained professors in online educating methods and affordable state university tuition rates.” 

Undergraduate certificates will be offered in two IT areas: the essentials of network applications and the essentials of information systems management. Students choosing to specialize in network applications will be offered classes such as Information Design Techniques, Internet and Applications, and Computer Systems and Networks. And students who concentrate in information systems management can take classes such as Database System Design and Management, Systems for Analysis and Design for Managers, and Decision Support Systems. 

After completing 24 credits, students will have the chance to have their work experience count toward the bachelor IT degree.

That degree program, said Spak, offers students a multidisciplinary approach, allowing them to choose a specific area to apply computing and telecommunications technologies. The program balances emphasis on software and hardware applications with an array of concentrations in many fields. The program prepares students to integrate, design and manage computing and telecommunication resources. Through core courses that provide knowledge of information technology functions, system development, and applications, the program helps students develop a marketable expertise in the IT area of network applications and information-systems management.

 “As the convergence of telecommunications and computing, information technology is the foundation of the 21st- century economy,” said Spak. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, she added, ranks IT as the profession expected to grow fastest over the next ten years, while the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development says that these jobs are among the top 50 occupations in demand in the state. 

“NJIT’s Weekend University,” Spak added, “is tailored for adults who want to be lifelong learners and stay on top of their professions. Researchers who study adult learners note that most of them need to remain at their jobs, but they also want to earn the qualifications to get promotions. They want to earn certifications that prove that they have attained a certain level of education, and they want to be perceived by their superiors and their peers in a way that enhance their careers. This new program is NJIT’s way to help New Jersey’s working adults accomplish just these kinds of ‘jobs.’” 

For more information on the program, call NJIT’s Division of Continuing Professional Education at 800-624-9850. 

NJIT, through that division, develops and delivers education and training programs to students and professionals around the world through instructor-led online programs, real-time learning and blended delivery. 

Using an extensive IT infrastructure, an array of experts and full video production studios, the division offers a proven end-to-end education and training solution ranging from content design and development to hosting and delivery. In the past decade, NJIT has trained over 45,000 professionals associated with over 500 companies and each year educates roughly 9,000 students in degree programs and another 7,000 professionals, many of them through online non-credit courses. NJIT is now second in the nation for online enrollments in engineering programs according to a U.S. News and World Report survey of America’s Best Online Graduate Degree Programs.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.