Adult Education Celebrates 25 Years

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Excellence in education has always been at the heart of the MVNC experience. With the start of MVNC's Executive Center for Lifelong Learning (EXCELL) in 1993, the BBA program was specifically designed for working adults, 25 or older, who had at least 60 accredited transfer hours. Students were able to take one course at a time and complete the entire program in less than 20 months.

“The courses give students the opportunity to apply what they have learned to their particular job setting,” said Wayne Yerxa, then assistant professor of business administration and program coordinator. “The entire program takes a different approach in that the students learn from their experience and from each other.”

According to Yerxa, the idea for the degree completion program was under discussion since the 1989-90 school year.

The first graduating class of the EXCELL BBA program consisted of 38 students over 22 months of classes. With the demand for adult higher education, a Master of Arts in Education program was added in 1995 and the first cohort of 15 students graduated in 1997.

Since the early days of EXCELL, programs and off-site campuses have expanded and morphed into online spaces, and names have changed, but the mission and purpose of the non-traditional education for adult learners has remained — To Seek to Learn is to Seek to Serve.

Looking forward from where the School of Graduate and Professional Studies is now and to where it’s headed, the future is bright!

“For MVNU, a commitment to growth in adult education means a commitment to more changed lives. We truly believe MVNU has a unique value proposition that is distinctively Christian and can impact the lives of those committed to lifelong learning,” said Eric Stetler, Vice President and Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

“With new program additions, such as the new MBA concentration in Human and Social Services Leadership, GPS is seeking to capitalize on the market demand for online graduate programs. We are expecting growth in existing and new programs through targeted advertising strategies and newly formed business relationships. We see great days for GPS that include a commitment to our unique mission, new program offerings and outstanding instructional quality and customer service,” said Stetler.

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