Jeremy Vickers has moved his educational expertise south from the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson to Dallas Baptist University, where he has been named dean of the College of Professional Studies.
At UT Dallas, Vickers served as executive director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, leading a team that focused on startup activity at the university and in developing entrepreneurship curriculum.
The College of Professional Studies at DBU is aimed at students over the age of 25 who might be working full time, returning veterans, or have families, and want to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
“It’s really a degree completion model,” Vickers said.
PROFESSIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM OFFERS FLEXIBILITY
The program offers flexible schedules for students to complete their degrees, which require 120 hours of course work to achieve. It allows them to transfer hours from other institutions.
“Thirty of the last 36 hours must be taken on our campus,” Vickers said. DBU’s campus is on Mountain Creek Parkway in far southern Dallas.
Classes are offered in a flexible way — on campus, online, and in hybrid form.
DBU created the College of Professional Studies more than 30 years ago to meet the demands of adult learners by offering them flexible schedules.
Roughly 20 percent of the program’s 800 students are veterans, Vickers said. Forty percent are from institutions such as the Christ for the Nations Institute in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, and the remainder of students are transferring hours from other colleges.
“We see people with 60 to 70 hours coming in all the time,” Vickers said.
Dallas Baptist and Christ for the Nations Institute allows students to take classes concurrently at each of their campuses.
Founded in 1898, Dallas Baptist University offers a Christ-centered education that combines academic learning with biblical faith. It has more than 5,300 students enrolled. In comparison, UT Dallas’ Business Management school has roughly 9,000 students out the university’s total enrollment of about 27,000.
“It was a big transition, but more me, personally, it was a reason I got into education.”
Moving from a large state university to a small faith-based institution was a major change for Vickers, but one he had been looking to make.
“It was a big transition, but more me, personally, it was a reason I got into education,” Vickers said of his move into faith-based instruction. “There are a lot of differences.”
Vickers said three differences are most apparent in a state university such as UT Dallas and a small private one like Dallas Baptist.
“The feel is different in the way faculty interacts with students,” Vickers said. Because enrollment drives budgets and other aspects of a small school more directly, it “leads to an emphasis in the relationship with, and the customer service with, the student.”
Secondly, Vickers said that DBU is a comprehensive liberal arts university with an emphasis on teaching, while UTD is a comprehensive research university with an emphasis on business and engineering.
Lastly, he said, DBU attracts a different type of student to its campus than those who chose a larger setting such as UT Dallas.
At UT Dallas, Vickers led a team that focused on startup activity at the university and in developing entrepreneurship curriculum.
Previous to UT Dallas, Vickers was at the Dallas Regional Chamber from 2011 to 2015 as its Vice President of Innovation. He is a co-founder of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center and helped found the Texas Research Alliance.
He has a master’s degree from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University and received his bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in Waco.
Vickers is working on his Ph.D. at UT Dallas.
Delivering what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth innovation, every day. Get the Dallas Innovates e-newsletter.