With grant funding from the Danville Regional Foundation and in response to demands of the marketplace, Averett University is launching four new academic programs through Averett Online and converting to a new student information system (SIS).
The following online degree programs, most of which will begin in 2022, are under development: entrepreneurship and small business operations, healthcare administration, information systems/security, and psychology.
Although online and intended for adult learners, some of these programs will also serve traditional, on-campus Averett students. The new SIS will provide the necessary technological infrastructure to support this expansion in online programs.
“We are deeply grateful to the Danville Regional Foundation for its continued support of Averett,” said Averett University President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks. “We understand that for our region to grow socioeconomically, the educational attainment of our citizens must be raised, and as the only baccalaureate degree-granting institution in the area, Averett is a major factor in making that happen. This significant investment by DRF will make it possible for students to enhance their careers and achieve educational goals for years to come.”
The four academic programs were chosen after listening sessions with local industry leaders, expansive data review and an analysis of the institution’s strengths. They are intended to grow the talent of this region, providing a more diverse and prepared workforce as well as an enhanced quality of life for the area’s residents.
“This gift is yet another example of DRF’s steadfast commitment to its Hometown University. The Foundation has supported Averett generously over the years through funding a number of initiatives critical to our students and this region, including our bachelor’s nursing program; creating simulation and clinical skills labs for those nurse learners; and upgrading chemistry and biology labs, among many other contributions — notably the recent five-year renewal of Averett’s Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness,” said Franks.
The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Operations program will focus on the many diverse elements of the small business enterprise with special attention to entrepreneurialism. Graduates will be equipped to start a new business or prepared to take their current small/medium business enterprise to the next level of growth and transition.
Students will work in tandem with the newly-created Averett Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, led by Averett alumnus, serial entrepreneur and the University’s inaugural chief entrepreneurship and innovation officer, John Vigouroux.
In the Healthcare Administration program, Averett will prepare healthcare administrators with the knowledge and skills to have a career with leading health care organizations such as hospitals, physician offices, care facilities and other health care organizations.
This program will include in-demand areas such as financial accounting; legal and ethical health care issues; health care quality management; health care economics and reimbursement; principles of epidemiology; and health care data analytics. A new program director will be sought in the coming months.
Under the leadership of Dr. John Hoag, a highly experienced academic leader and professor and department chair of Averett’s computer information systems (CIS) department, the Information Systems/Security online program will focus on the increasingly critical and requested areas of information technology, information security and cyber security.
With approximately 100,000 current cybersecurity jobs within 200 miles of Danville and increasing potential for out-of-region companies to recruit IT professionals to work from home, this program prepares graduates with a wonderful general information technology and information security foundation. It will also provide the needed groundwork for future graduate programs in cybersecurity or in other IT/CIS fields.
An undergraduate psychology degree can help a graduate enter into a number of human relations and social service jobs. It can also lay the foundation for those who may pursue further higher education or enter a future graduate program in counseling. The Psychology program will build off of Averett’s distinctive traditional undergraduate program — which offers concentrations in biological psychology, clinical and counseling psychology, and integrative health psychology — and will include at least two areas of concentration that broadly focus on applied psychology, including the growing demand and critical area of addiction.
Both the online programs will be led by Dr. David Rosenberg, a licensed clinical psychologist, a professor and chair in Averett’s Department of Psychology and the chair of the University’s Division of Physical and Psychological Health Sciences.
Since 1859, Averett University has grown and developed into a dynamic institution that serves students of all ages, offering more than 30 undergraduate majors, minors and special programs, along with seven graduate programs with a number of concentrations. Dedicated to preparing students to serve and lead as catalysts for positive change, the University’s historic main campus is embedded in the heart of Southern Virginia with regional campuses throughout Virginia and online. Averett enrolls a diverse student body, and boasts an alumni network that spans the globe. Visit averett.edu for more info.
Averett Online provides a high-quality educational experience for adult students aspiring to invest in their futures, along with the flexibility needed for balancing work and family life. What makes Averett most attractive to adults are the convenience and flexibility of the online coursework, combined with accessibility to the brick-and-mortar University support services and student life.