Oakland City University expands to Jasper

By ALLEN LAMAN
alaman@dcherald.com

JASPER — Oakland City University will soon expand its reach to Dubois County.

Beginning in early 2020, the Southwestern Indiana school will host graduate classes at Livewire Coworking. By the fall, undergraduate courses could also be held in the collaborative space on East 13th Street in Jasper.

“A lot of people take online classes, and we offer those options as well,” said Rob Vaughan, assistant coordinator of adult and professional studies at OCU. “But we really feel there’s a big need in Jasper for a face-to-face graduate study program, where they wouldn’t have to travel to Evansville, or travel to Bloomington, places like that. We want to be able to offer something in their hometown, or even reaching up to Ferdinand, Huntingburg, Holland, places like that.”

A connection between the university and coworking space was made at a chamber event in Rockport. Jasper had been on OCU’s radar, and Vaughan said the school believed it was the right time to come to the city.

He estimated that realistically, master of business administration and master of science and strategic management graduate programs will begin being offered in March 2020. Those eight-week courses will be offered in an accelerated format, and are designed to meet the needs of working adults.

Students will meet biweekly at Livewire and work online during the weeks they don’t physically head to class.

“So, it’s kind of like a hybrid format,” Vaughan explained. “It’s an accelerated, hybrid format. So they’re not having to come to class every week, but every other week.”

He added that the school is looking into introducing undergraduate courses at Livewire in the fall of 2020, if all goes well.

OCU is a “Christian faith-based learning community dedicated to the enhancement of intellectual, spiritual, physical and social development for positive leadership,” according to its website.

Working with Livewire marks one of the first steps in a new direction for the university. The school has also signed an office space lease with Innovation Pointe in Evansville, and the school hopes to offer classes there in the future, too.

“We’re kind of going towards this model,” Vaughan said.

Those who want more info can contact him at rvaughan@oak.edu, or by phone at 618-731-5053. Students accepted into the Livewire program will have a membership to the coworking location included in their tuition rate, meaning they will have 24/7 access to the space.

“The big deal is our flexibility,” Vaughan said of how the school is unique. “A lot of our instructors are alumni, so they’ve typically been through the program as well. They’re well-credentialed, and they’re very understanding. But the flexibility part is what really sets us apart from everybody.”




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