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U.Va. Bachelor's Degree-Completion Program Coming To Richmond

January 11, 2011 — The University of Virginia's Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree-completion program, which features part-time evening classes tailored to working adults, will be offered in the Richmond area starting in fall 2012 through new partnerships with John Tyler and J. Sargeant Reynolds community colleges.

The new partnerships will be announced this morning at the Richmond Center of U.Va.'s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, located at 2810 North Parham Road.

This expansion of the BIS program, Billy Cannaday, dean of U.Va.'s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, said, is part of U.Va.'s efforts to contribute to the "ambitious but critically important" goal of the Virginia Business Higher Education Council's Grow By Degrees campaign [link: http://www.growbydegrees.org/] – to see the state's colleges and universities award 100,000 additional associate's, bachelor's and graduate degrees by 2025.

Offered in Charlottesville since its inception in 1999, the BIS program has expanded to Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads through partnerships with Northern Virginia and Tidewater community colleges. Those expansions have roughly doubled the program's annual enrollment, and over the past decade nearly 300 students have earned BIS degrees.

The program, Cannaday said, "replicates the U.Va. undergraduate experience, but with part-time classes. The BIS offers the same rigor, quality, small faculty-student ratios, opportunities for student participation, and builds the same writing and critical thinking skills."

The new partnership with John Tyler and J. Sargeant Reynolds community colleges provides a path for Richmond-area adults to earn a U.Va. undergraduate degree on a part-time basis, U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan said.

Along with Cannaday and Sullivan, the announcement of the new partnership will feature remarks from Gerard Robinson, Virginia secretary of education; Gary Rhodes, president of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College; and Marshall Smith, president of John Tyler Community College.

BIS tuition is adjusted annually. For the current academic year (through summer 2011), in-state tuition is $300 per credit hour, plus a required fee of $188 per term; out-of-state tuition is $1,043 per credit hour, plus a required fee of $246 per term.

For information, contact Jane Paluda, assistant dean for marketing at the
School of Continuing and Professional Studies, at 434-243-2449 or
janepaluda@virginia.edu.

— By Brevy Cannon

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