May 012003
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

The Collegian

A new online certification program will offer more schedule flexibility for students.

The Department of Design and Merchandising will offer nine courses exclusively online beginning this summer.

The courses are basically like any other class, said Marianne Bickle, coordinator of educational outreach for the Department of Design and Merchandising.

“They count on the transcript as regular courses,” Bickle said. “They can be for the apparel and merchandising major or electives.”

Students, whether studying at CSU or a professional looking for an extra edge in a career, will be able to take the courses anywhere.

“You don’t have to be accepted to CSU. Students can take (the courses) anywhere in the world,” Bickle said.

The course access will be run through WebCT, a program already used by some professors in their regular courses.

Bickle also said after a student completes three of the courses, they could apply for an apparel and merchandising certificate.

Three courses were offered online beginning in fall of 2000, but have been so popular, more courses are being added.

The flexibility of the program is something that Bickle thinks attracts students.

“A lot of students don’t want to take a class at 8 a.m.,” she said. “You don’t have to step on campus. You just have to have Internet capabilities.”

Christi Blottiaux, a senior studying international studies, said she was traveling this summer, but also taking classes. Online courses would offer her more flexibility.

“(Online courses) make it more convenient,” Blottiaux said.

Chris Rogers, a senior art student, said he would also like the flexibility of online courses, especially in the summer.

Flexible schedules don’t only appeal to students.

Eulanda Sanders, an assistant professor in the department, will be teaching two of the online courses this summer and one next fall. This summer, she plans on travel.

“I’ll travel with a laptop,” Sanders said. “I’ll still be able to connect with students while I’m gone.”

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