UMO Expands Offerings for Adult Students

UMO Expands Offerings for Adult Students

July 6, 2021
Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

MOUNT OLIVE – With more and more adult students seeking to expand their workplace versatility and earning potential, the University of Mount Olive has recently added a new degree to its arsenal of online degree programs.  The new bachelor of arts degree in English has been tailored specifically for adult, online learners.  Focused on developing the soft skills that employers’ desire, the degree includes a wide variety of English classes, including creative writing, literary studies, as well as technical and professional communication.

“We are really hoping that adult students in NC and across the country, who have perhaps felt limited in the types of degrees offered to working adults, will find this latest program unique and refreshing,” said Dr. Keely Byars-Nichols, Chair of the English Department.

According to Byars-Nichols, the program has been designed to develop students’ critical thinking, writing, and reading skills, as well as foster deeper cultural, professional, aesthetic and technological literacies.  “We prepare students to work both independently as well as in teams to develop their project management skills,” Byars-Nichols said.

Students are able to transfer in up to 90 semester hours (SH) from a four-year institution or about 60 SH from a two-year college into the 120 SH program.  “This makes the degree appealing to individuals who may have begun a college degree earlier in their lives, and are now prepared to finish what they started,” Byars-Nichols said.

An added Technical and Professional Communication (TPC) certificate earned at the completion of the degree, provides students with educational experiences that develop critical thinking, communication, and project management skills through coursework and internships.  Byars-Nichols indicated that graduates will be prepared for careers in publishing, media and communications, education, business operations, legal support, social services, and human resources.

“Employers desperately need articulate, well-read graduates who are great at collaboration and thinking for themselves, and that’s the type of student we will foster with this degree,” Byars-Nichols concluded.

The new BA in English will be available starting in the fall of 2021.  Individuals interested in learning more can contact 844-UMO-GOAL and

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists.  For more information, visit

Pictured:  Jess De La Rosa earned her degree in English with a creative writing minor from UMO. She is currently a freelance writer/blogger. De La Rosa took her classes in a seated format, however UMO’s new offering would have enabled her to choose either seated or online.