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Trinity Western University’s degree completion program helps adults with unfinished business

An artist’s rendering of the new campus, scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.  - courtesy Trinity Western University
An artist’s rendering of the new campus, scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
— image credit: courtesy Trinity Western University

Wasted university credits will become valuable once more and transformed into applicable workplace skills thanks to a new local educational offering by Trinity Western University.

Starting this fall, locals will be able to complete their unfinished post-secondary undergraduate degrees, putting good use to unfinished education that could pay off inside the workplace.

“Leadership is the number one discipline in degree completion,” explained Philip Laird, associate provost at Trinity Western, which will in the fall of 2014 open a new campus in downtown Richmond.

Whether you’ve studied the arts or sciences at college or university, the first couple of years of that education could still translate into a boosted paycheque.

A degree in leadership is something employers value, and this program will arm students with skills that can enable them to advance in their companies.

“It opens doors that wouldn’t be open before,” Laird said.

The university will begin to offer the adult degree completion program in Richmond this fall, after introducing the program in 2008. The program is currently offered in Langley, Bellingham, Wash. and online.

There are many people who for one reason or another—marriage, children, work—were unable to complete their post-secondary degrees, said Laird.

The new program will allow these people to get credit for their first couple of years of university or college education, and then take up to two more years to complete their degree requirements.

What’s more, they can do so while working.

Classes will run on Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Richmond Cultural Centre, with new courses beginning every six weeks, enabling adults to finish their degree in as little as 18 months, depending on the number of course credits that remain outstanding.

Asked why offer this program in Richmond, Laird said: “We see Richmond as really the gateway to Canada in terms of interest internationally.”

There’s a rule of thumb for people seeking to complete their degrees, he said: They won’t drive more than 30 minutes to get to their destination.

So by building their campus in Richmond, and offering a full slate of programs, they’ll be able to reach a greater Vancouver-area audience, thanks in large part to the Canada Line, which is a stone’s throw from where the new campus will be completed by 2014.

Two years of classes will cost about $25,000, and the student will walk away with a bachelor of arts degree in leadership, Laird said.

Those who already have employment will find new opportunities for advancement open to them, either within the organization itself, or outside of it.

For those interested in more information about this program, a pair of information nights have been scheduled for September and October, but space is limited.

To learn more about BA in Leadership, visit the Richmond Cultural Centre on Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., or on Monday, Oct. 1, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. To book a spot at the information night, visit www.trinitywestern.com or contact Sandy Cameron at sandy.cameron@twu.ca.

Classes will be kept small, and are designed for engaging, interactive adult learning.

Plans call for graduate-level post-secondary programming at the Richmond campus in the future.

The new 22,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to open in the fall of 2014, is funded courtesy of the developers of Quintet on Minoru Boulevard, along with a $4 million investment in programming and technology by Trinity Western.

The yet-to-be constructed building that will house the university will also be home to a new community centre for downtown Richmond.

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