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Mornings unPHILtered - Online business program at GSU gains student interest
Ron Shiffler
    Monday on “Mornings unPHILtered,” host Phil Boyum's guest was dean of the College of Business Administration (COBA) at Georgia Southern, Dr. Ron Shiffler. Shiffler spoke about the college's online program in Information Technology. The Web-BSIT program allows one to get a Bachelor of Science degree in Informational Technology.
    Shiffler shared that many people who started college never managed to finish their courses. This program is an effort to reach those in IT that didn't finish their undergraduate degree. Shiffler stated that if they have completed their sophomore classes, they could sign up for this “degree finishing” program.
    If students haven't finished their core classes, they can enroll at virtually any college, and then transfer into the BSIT program. The program is actually delivered through a consortium of Georgia colleges, and would be subject to whatever requirements that particular college would require.
    The colleges participating in the consortium are Clayton State University, Columbus State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, Armstrong Atlantic University, and Georgia Southern. Each college is responsible for teaching an average of two classes with their faculty.
    Shiffler pointed out that anyone taking on-line courses does not have the in-touch and personal contact with the professor, and therefore they must maintain a high level of self-motivation. In the Web-BSIT program, there are 60 hours of classes, which is a lot to absorb.
    “We have a lot of students in the program, but they are graduating slowly,” Shiffler said.
    The program is a bit more expensive, with each course costing about $900, instead of the in-class cost of $450. The tuition covers the cost of all the technology and infrastructure. However, there are no other fees, as there are for in-class students, so the costs may actually be less for some in the Web-BSIT program.
    Shiffler said faculty find teaching on-line courses much more demanding as well, as they have to move fast, stay on target, and not lose their audience's interest. Those who may be reticent to talk in a class have no such qualms about interfacing on-line.
    Therefore, when a professor poses a question on-line, he or she receives not one response but many, all at the same time. This can be somewhat overwhelming for a professor. In addition, the faculty must also be a lot more Web-savvy, something that isn't required for most faculty members. Call 478-4848 for more information from the IT department about the online degree.
    “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at on

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