Alderson Broaddus Graduates First Extended Learning Students

Alderson Broaddus University’s first three extended learning graduates received their bachelor’s degrees during the school’s virtual commencement held on May 30.

Brittney J. Thompson of Elkins was awarded a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies with a science emphasis, while both Brandon C. Riggs of Fairmont and Mariah B. Cecil of Bridgeport earned Bachelor of Science degrees in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in leadership.

AB’s extended learning program began in June 2019 to provide degree completion pathways for adults who have never completed a bachelor’s degree. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 26.7 percent of West Virginians have some college but have never completed a four-year degree.

“The program bridged the gap in my education, and it was a seamless transition,” said Mariah Cecil. “Thank you to the wonderful staff for such a quality education – I am extremely proud to be a Battler graduate!”

Classes are offered online or in a hybrid format to allow working adults to complete their programs without disrupting their busy schedules. “The fact this course was offered off-campus and near my home, made enrolling a huge selling point,” said Brandon Riggs. “The ease of attending once a week in-person and completing other assignments online was great, as I work fulltime as the director of safety for a transportation and construction company with long hours.”

In addition to the interdisciplinary studies program, Alderson Broaddus offers degree completion opportunities in professional leadership, criminal justice, healthcare management, integrated marketing communication, business administration, and legal studies. AB’s partnerships with Pierpont, New River, and BridgeValley Community and Technical Colleges ease the transition from an associate degree program to a bachelor’s degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, adults with a baccalaureate degree earn, on average, over $450 more a week than those with only a high school diploma, and it also provides more employment stability. “A bachelor’s degree creates a sense of identity and accomplishment,” said Dr. Jim Owston, AB’s assistant provost for extended learning. “We will advise you on the quickest path towards graduation and provide financial aid counseling.”

“I had a wonderful experience with Alderson Broaddus,” said Brandon Riggs. “I cannot express my gratitude enough for help in continuing my education.”

For information concerning Alderson Broaddus University’s degree completion options, contact Dr. Jim  Owston at 304.475.6222 or finishyourdegree@ab.edu.

About Alderson Broaddus University

Alderson Broaddus University is an independent institution of higher learning, committed to serving the region as an academic, cultural, and religious resource, with programs based on a liberal arts foundation.

The mission of AB is to provide students with the highest quality education, striving to prepare students to succeed in their chosen disciplines and to fulfill their roles in a diverse society as well-rounded and responsible citizens.

Since its founding in 1871, AB has been a leader and innovator in higher education, with accolades in the health and natural sciences. Alderson Broaddus University stands out as one of the most innovative health education providers in Appalachia, pioneering the nation’s first baccalaureate physician assistant program of its kind in 1968, a post-baccalaureate physician assistant master’s degree program in 1993, and West Virginia’s first baccalaureate nursing program in 1945.

AB is located on a historic hilltop in Barbour County in Philippi, West Virginia. The University is rooted in historic and continuing relationships with the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and the West Virginia Baptist Convention.

For more information about AB, visit www.ab.edu.

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