Error processing SSI file

August 16, 2002

 Insurance, business administration
distance programs growing

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. Individuals who have commitments to work and family and are unable to attend classes on the campus of Indiana State University may conveniently complete their insurance or business administration degrees through ISU’s DegreeLink using the Internet.

“The distance education program serves people who are place and time bound,” said Sandra J. Nelson, assistant dean and distance education coordinator for the School of Business. DegreeLink, implemented in spring 1998, enables individuals to transfer credit from Ivy Tech State College, Vincennes University and other accredited institutions and then complete their bachelor’s degree. The online program is a degree-completion program where students take the junior/senior level courses to complete degree requirements.

Students who are on campus may also take web-based distance education courses. Mary Ann Boose, associate professor and coordinator of the insurance and risk management program is pleased with the reactions to distance education. “Experiences with the program have been extremely positive,” she said.

Currently, the School of Business offers two degree completion programs: business administration and insurance.

The business administration degree completion program offers a broad range of business subjects. “The business administration degree is a generalist degree, it’s flexible. You tailor your own program to fit your needs,” Nelson said. This program prepares students to have specialized knowledge in one of three areas – management, insurance and marketing. Some of the entry-level positions graduates take after completing this major are – sales associate, supervisor, restaurant or hotel management and general manager.

ISU is one of four universities to offer 11 or more undergraduate courses in insurance or risk management. The insurance degree completion program covers diverse topics such as life and health insurance, employee benefits, investments and business planning.

“Having a minor or major in insurance helps to be prepared for this industry or to be an informed consumer,” Boose said. According to a 1999 Purdue University study, “employees working for a carrier [insurance company] make an average salary of $38,205 compared to the state average annual wage of $22,107.” 

Distance education is not for everyone, but it is convenient for some. “Distance education requires an independent learner who is willing to experiment,” Nelson said. “The successful distance education student is inquisitive, independent and disciplined.”

Lora DeVault, a senior management and insurance and risk management double major says the distance courses have been valuable to her. “It was easy to manage the class around my other activities because it was web-based,” she said. “I was able to work at my convenience and it was easy to communicate with other people in the class through the website.”

The distance education classes for business administration and insurance are usually not offered in summer sessions, though that may change in the future. 

“Distance education enrollment is generally increasing,” Nelson said. Student needs and resources will determine future distance education classes offered by the school of business.

“Distance education is a tremendous program, it is truly sensitive to our students and it allows them to complete their degrees in a different way then we did before,” Boose said.

For more information on DegreeLink, visit  Contact Sandra J. Nelson for general School of Business distance education information at (812) 237-2000.


Sandra Nelson, assistant dean and distance education coordinator
for the School of Business, (812) 237-2000 or

Adriane Shaw, Public Affairs student intern, (812) 237-3773

ISU Public Affairs:
(812) 237-3773 or