Schools in the University of Louisiana system will begin accepting applications Monday for their Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational leadership, an accelerated online degree program designed for adults who didn’t finish college.

The UL system estimates there are more than 600,000 adults in Louisiana who completed some college credits but didn’t earn a degree.

“Having been a nontraditional undergraduate student, I know first-hand that life can get in the way college completion goals, UL system President Sandra Woodley said in a prepared statement. “With the flexibility of this degree and the wide variety of specialization options, we have tried to remove all barriers to earning that diploma.”

Students pursuing the degree have a choice of nine distinct programs offered collaboratively across institutions including the University of New Orleans, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond and Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.

The degree will consist of 30 credit hours of core classes taught jointly by faculty at all nine universities in the UL system. The remaining 30 credit hours of concentration courses and elective courses will be offered by each institution.

Courses will be offered in five, eight-week terms each year with a flat $325 per credit hour fee totaling $19,500 over two years. In a prepared statement, UL system spokeswoman Jackie Tisdell said the first classes will begin at the end of May.

Beatrice Baldwin, the UL System’s vice president of research and performance assessment, has called the program costs “competitive” as similar programs charge as much as $500 per credit hour. Students will be eligible for financial aid, she said.

Students ages 25 and up who have completed 60 hours of college credit including general education courses will be eligible to participate in the degree program. Students who fall short on credits will have the opportunity to earn credits online or through learning assessments that gauge skills learned on the job.

Students who enroll in the degree program can choose from the following concentrations:

  • Cultural and Arts Institutions at the University of New Orleans.
  • Disaster Relief Management at Southeastern Louisiana University.
  • Financial Services at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
  • Foodservice Strategies and Operations at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.
  • Health and Wellness at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
  • Human Relations at Grambling State University.
  • Project Team Leadership at Louisiana Tech University.
  • Public Safety Administration at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.
  • Strategic Global Communication at McNeese State University in Lake Charles.