College of Continuing and Professional Studies

Drury’s online paralegal program ranked No. 2 in the nation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 4, 2015 — The Open Education Database (OEDB) has ranked the Drury University College of Continuing Professional Studies’ paralegal program second in its listing of the top online paralegal programs in the nation. View a complete listing of the top online paralegal programs in the country at

“Drury is pleased that its robust online educational offerings are being recognized by an independent third party,” said Steve Hynds, Drury’s director of online education. “Paralegal is one of the 18 Drury degrees that can be completed entirely online, and Drury works to ensure that our online offerings match the rigor and value expected of a Drury education.”


Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies offers an associate of science in paralegal studies. The program provides a solid foundation in areas such as civil litigation, business law, real estate law, family law and more. The degree offers opportunities for career advancement in legal environments such as private law firms, corporate legal departments and governmental agencies.

The program is currently accepting students. Newly enrolled students could begin classes as early as March 23. For more information, call 873-7727 or visit

The Open Education Database recognizes the top U.S. colleges that offer online learning for undergraduate degree programs in a variety of fields, including paralegal. It was the first organization to release online college rankings in 2007, and uses the most recently available school-specific data such as graduation rates and tuition to compile its lists.

For more information on OEDB, contact Brooke Watson at


Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies unveils new degree offerings for the fall of 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 26, 2013 — Beginning in the fall of 2013, Drury students in the College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) will have the opportunity to pursue degrees in emergency management and public administration.

Aaron Jones, Dean of Drury's CCPS

“These two areas of study are applicable to many different professions. Whether a person desires a position in local government, with a non-profit, or furthering his or her career with their current employer, these degree offerings can give them tools necessary to reach their goals,” said Aaron Jones, dean of the College of Continuing Professional Studies.

The U.S. Department of Labor classifies emergency management as a “bright outlook occupation.” Emergency management experts teach the classes, and the curriculum was designed by working professionals with years of experience in the field. Students can choose from either a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree. The first two courses in the degree program, “Introduction to Emergency Management Principles” and “Practice and Hazard Identification,” will be offered online in the fall of 2013.

For students interested in a career in government or with a non-profit or non-governmental organization, Drury will begin bachelor’s and associate degree programs in public administration this fall. Coursework in this degree program addresses everything from grant writing and Constitutional law to economics and writing.

For more information about these new degree offerings, go to or call 417-873-7373.


A real Drury education in a virtual world

Have you ever dreamed of owning an island? Drury University is living the dream and using it to deliver education to its students. Since 2009, Drury has operated a Drury Island in Second Life, a 3D virtual world that is free for users.

Steve Hynds, director of online education at Drury, has been teaching online since 2000. In 2009, he was at a conference exploring ways to more efficiently train faculty for online teaching. He discovered Second Life and became interested in its potential with college students because of the immersive qualities of virtual worlds.

Drury's Shewmaker Gates on its island in Second Life

Drury offers five courses in Second Life each semester. Student’s avatars attend class on Drury Island . The entire course is conducted in Second Life in virtual classroom space that may or may not look like traditional classroom space. Professors and students talk with each other through headsets, and, while they share the same virtual space, the students and professors may be hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

Second Life courses can include lectures, presentations, and virtual field trips. In the social psychology course she teaches, Jackie Welborn has the students conduct social research. She tells them to change their avatar’s gender, race or appearance and then socialize on the mainland to see if non-Drury avatars in Second Life treat them differently.

“Everything in Second Life has been created by it residents. You’re only limited by your imagination,” said Hynds.

Hynds teaches the introductory course students take to become familiar with Second Life. The technology removes some education barriers, such as distance, for non-campus based learners. Drury has found that younger students – digital natives, so to speak – are quick to embrace Second Life.

The medium could allow a student in California to take a class on the civil rights movement from a professor in Alabama as they re-create the walk across the bridge in Selma.


Story originally written by Michelle Apuzzio for the New American Colleges & Universities’ Newsletter