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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500
1-800-654-4877

Motlow Smyrna Center Offers One-Year
Accelerated AAS Degree in Business Technology

March 25, 2013
Jeremy Mills, an academic advisor at Motlow College Smyrna Center, talks with a student on her way to class. Mills is liaison for Motlow's accelerated business program through which students can earn - in just one year - an associate of applied science degree in business technology with a business management concentration.
Motlow College is offering students like Michelle Stovall the option of completing an associate of applied science degree in business technology with a business management concentration in just one year, according to Dr. Jay May, an assistant professor of business and coordinator of the accelerated program.

Courses are delivered in a hybrid format, with classes meeting one night a week at Motlow's Smyrna Center and online for the fall, spring and summer terms.

"Being able to complete a degree in a year is an incredible opportunity," said Stovall, a member of the inaugural class who is now in her second semester of study. "I am the mother of two and had wanted for some time to go back to school, but the thought of juggling the kids' schedules, my schedule, church and other responsibilities was overwhelming."

Stovall said the hybrid format makes it possible for her to juggle everyone's schedule, handle other responsibilities, and work toward a college degree.

"I am so excited to be part of this program," she said. "In today's job market, a degree is a must. This degree opens the door to so many career options without limiting you to a specific field."

May said the accelerated program includes three semesters of work, with the fall and spring semesters each consisting of three five-week sessions. During each session, students take two hybrid classes that meet on the same day each week. They also complete an online class each semester.

The summer term consists of two five-week sessions, with two hybrid classes and two fully online courses over the 10-week semester. Hybrid classes in all semesters meet one day a week, with the first class from 5:50 to 7:40 p.m., followed by the second class from 7:50 to 9:35 p.m.

"Students in the program must be highly motivated, independent, and self-directed learners because of the fast pace of study and the tremendous body of knowledge covered in each class," May said. "It also helps if they have the support of family members and friends."

May said the class format also helps students succeed because the program is built around a "cohort" system in which students are with the same group for all three semesters.

"They support each other, share notes, study together, and oftentimes form friendships that can last a lifetime," he explained. "Even though they are together less than students in a traditional class format, they rely on each other more because of the team-learning environment."

Jeremy Mills, an academic advisor at Smyrna Center and program liaison, said the hybrid classes provide students with more opportunities for interaction with other students and instructors.

"Online discussion and postings give students more contact with more people than is possible in the traditional classroom setting," Mills said. "Also, because learning is more self-directed, hybrid courses by their very nature enhance critical-thinking and problem-solving skills."

For more information about Motlow's accelerated business degree at Smyrna, call Mills at 615-220-7827 or email jmills@mscc.edu.