WILSON, N.C. – In response to President Barack Obama’s challenge to all Americans to invest in education, Barton College has initiated a special opportunity for its full-time students’ parents, guardians, or grandparents through “Weekend College at Barton.”  Two courses will be offered free of charge to a parent, guardian, or grandparent of all full-time Barton students enrolled during fall semester 2009.  These course offerings will be made available during Barton’s Weekend College fall and winter trimesters, one each trimester.

In President Obama’s Feb. 24 address to the joint session of Congress, he shared, “It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work.  But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it.  And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training.”

This new initiative by Barton, developed in light of our nation’s ongoing economic crisis, provides an opportunity for these family members of Barton students to also have a chance to return to college.  They can begin a new degree, work toward completing a degree, or advance their careers with additional study.

“In the midst of the nation’s most serious economic downturn in many years, Barton College is aware of the impact this is having on students and their families,” said Dr. Norval C. Kneten, president of Barton College.  “We also know that this means sacrifices are being made to continue to invest in quality education.  However, and, especially during a time when many investments are losing their value, investing in oneself remains a wise strategy.  Barton College is committed to providing every possible avenue for our students and their families to make the most of their educational investment.”

Barton College, an independent, coeducational, four-year college located in Wilson, N.C., blends academic disciplines in the liberal arts and professional programs with a focus on encouraging lifelong learning.

“Weekend College at Barton,” offered through the College’s Office of Lifelong Education and Extended Programs, provides an educational alternative to men and women 22 years of age or older who work or have other commitments and who are unable to attend academic courses that are offered at traditional times during the week. This format is a means by which these students may earn a baccalaureate degree, update or gain skills for professional advancement, prepare for career change, or pursue personal interests in one or more of the liberal arts and/or professional programs. Weekend College offers working adults an opportunity to study with other adults who have similar interests and lifestyles and who are equally motivated to pursue their education.

Convenience is an added advantage.  Classes through Barton’s Weekend College usually meet on alternating weekends on Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, or Sunday afternoon. These courses are taught on campus, predominantly by Barton College faculty.  And, unless otherwise indicated, all classes necessary for graduation are taught on the weekend. (Practicum courses and student teaching for elementary education majors and field placements for social work, criminal justice and criminology, and gerontology majors will eventually require weekday involvement).

Degrees and majors offered through the Weekend College at Barton program include
Bachelor of Science degrees in accounting, business management, management of human resources, birth-kindergarten education, elementary education (K-6), special education: general curriculum (K-12), criminal justice and criminology, and gerontology.  Also offered is a Bachelor of Social Work degree and a special R.N. to B.S.N. degree program for licensed registered nurses.

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Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.

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