NACOGDOCHES, Texas — All online degree programs in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Rusche College of Business will be converted to an eight-week format by spring 2021. The college has already started the process of moving classes to the new model, which will replace the traditional 16-week schedule.  

“The advantage with the eight-week course format is that it offers our online students more flexibility within their academic schedules,” said Dr. Tim Bisping, dean of the Rusche College of Business. “They can focus on a couple of classes at a time and still be full-time students. It also provides options for students who may need to temporarily stop and restart their program of study due to unforeseen circumstances. Many college students today balance work, family and other issues while pursuing their degree. We want to make sure that our course offering structure is not an obstacle, but an asset to students as they seek flexible ways to complete their degree.”

By spring, the college will host three undergraduate degree programs in this format – General Business, Sports Business, and Business Communication and Corporate Education. While flexible options are the goal, research also indicates that shorter course delivery may improve student outcomes.

“Studies show that students have a higher rate of success with the eight-week courses versus extended weeks, said Dr. Steve Bullard, SFA provost and VP of academic affairs. “Our ability to meet students where they are is essential to student success. With the flexibility, potential cost savings, and favorable outcomes, it makes so much sense for our online programs to offer the 8 week schedule.”

Dr. Scott Gordon, SFA president, said the pro-active steps being taken by the college provide an outstanding example of educational leadership.

“Providing ultimate flexibility to our students through the innovative use of technologies and flexible course design and delivery is a foundational component of the new model for higher education,” Gordon said.  
For more information about the eight-week online class format, contact Dr. Tim Bisping at or 936.468.3101.