Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fairmont State's Gaston Caperton Center in Clarksburg will begin offering an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paralegal Studies starting this fall as part of the Weekend College program.

"The addition of the Paralegal Studies degree at the Caperton Center furthers our efforts to meet the needs of students and employers in the Harrison County area," said Timothy Oxley, Assistant Vice President for Academic Services. "This degree program will complement the other degree programs currently offered. Interested students should give strong consideration to starting the program this fall to begin with the first sequence of classes that will be offered."

Jennifer Weist, Director of Summer and Weekend Programs, said Fairmont State staff consulted several practicing lawyers in developing the curriculum for the new program. The core curriculum for the two-year degree includes three writing courses as well as a science and a math class and elective course offerings that include business law, criminal law and procedure and domestic, property and probate and bankruptcy law. The program is currently offered in the evenings at the Lewis County Center.

"We received a lot of good input from the legal professionals we consulted," Weist said. "Paralegals do a lot of correspondence work, research and preparation work for lawyers. Paralegals need to have a basic understanding of law and to know how law offices work."

The Weekend College program allows adult students to earn degrees by attending classes on Saturdays on the main campus in Fairmont and at the Gaston Caperton Center in Clarksburg. Accelerated eight-week sessions allow students to concentrate on fewer courses at one time but still maintain full-time student status.

The following programs are available through the Weekend College program: Associate of Arts in General Studies, Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice, Associate of Applied Science in Business Technology with specializations in Accounting and General Business, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in General Business.

For more information on Weekend College, call Jennifer Weist at (304) 367-4503.