The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has approved the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree program for five Indiana University regional campuses, including IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend and IU Southeast. The joint degree program, the first of its kind in the state of Indiana, will allow thousands of Hoosiers with an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree to pursue a four-year degree without losing hard-earned credits. Furthermore, the regional accrediting body for these campuses has approved the delivery of the program online through a consortium of four of the campuses—IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest and IU Southeast.
At IU East, the B.A.S. will initially be offered through the School of Business and Economics. Dean David Frantz said, “We are excited to have another baccalaureate degree option in the region that supports students who wish to develop further a mix of practical skills, personal communication skills and basic organizational management skills, beyond the technical and specialized skills they acquired in their associate degree programs.”
The new program will build on the university’s relationship with Ivy Tech Community College. In particular, the program guarantees A.A.S. graduates from Ivy Tech Community College that they can complete a bachelor’s degree with 60 credit hours or less of additional bachelor’s level course work. About 5,000 A.A.S. students graduate each year from Ivy Tech Community College, many of whom wish also to earn a bachelor’s degree that will support their advancement to managerial or supervisory positions, many of which require or prefer a bachelor’s degree. The new degree opportunity could benefit many students who earn their A.A.S. at Ivy Tech’s Richmond campus each year.
The B.A.S. degree aligns with the mission of regional campuses—namely, to promote educational attainment and economic development by providing a pathway to high-quality bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Students completing the B.A.S. will earn 120 credit hours of which up to 64 credit hours can be transferred from an accredited associate of applied science program. In addition to general education classes, students will choose a program track, in either health care management or a personalized track; the personalized track will allow students to develop an area of career interest, like entrepreneurship, marketing, communications or human resources. Graduates of the two year program will be able to apply their B.A.S. degree to a variety of career paths, including hospital administration, general supervision or entry-level management, as well as some human resources, marketing and related functions.
Though the B.A.S. is a new degree for the state of Indiana, it is a nationally-recognized degree which is currently available at public universities in Minnesota, Arizona, Missouri, and Texas, among others.
IU East Executive Vice Chancellor Larry Richards explained, “The regional campuses of Indiana University engaged in an unprecedented collaboration to make possible an educational opportunity not previously available in Indiana. The tens of thousands of Ivy Tech graduates state-wide with associate of applied science degrees now have an avenue to a bachelor’s degree they can earn with no more than 60 credits of additional course work.”
For more information about the Bachelor of Applied Science degree at IU East, contact School of Business and Economics Dean David Frantz at (765) 973-8337 or the IU East Office of Admissions at (765) 973-8208.