About the LEADS Program
A Degree Made for You
Our LEADS* online accelerated bachelor's degree for adult students is a fast-paced, accelerated, online program designed specifically for working adults like you. While there is no such thing as a typical student, this program is perfect for students 24+ years old with two or more years work experience, the ability to do college-level work online, and the motivation to change their lives for the better.
When you're done, you'll have earned a bachelor's degree in integrative studies and a valuable certificate and specific skills in your choice of project management, data analytics, global communications, or leadership. The bachelor's degree requires 120 total credit hours and we'll work with you to transfer and maximize any credits you already have toward your degree.
- Our investment in your success: Try it. Like it. We'll reimburse the cost of your first completed course to apply to a future one. That's how confident we are in the program -- and in you.
- Flexibility that fits your life: With classes offered primarily online, you can complete coursework when and where it's most convenient for you. You can also choose a combination of electives from several disciplines to build skills relevant to your personal and professional goals.
- Personalized support: Before you even start, get a tailored academic and career plan from your advisor. Your advisor will also help connect you to internship opportunities and help you think about how your degree will connect to your career goals. Program staff help you work closely with Career Center to help prepare you for whatever your next step is. Although the majority of classes are online, we're just a phone call away. We also have convenient satellite locations in Traverse City, Detroit, Holland, and Grand Rapids.
- Transfer credit opportunities: You will receive credit for previous coursework and military experience.
- Bachelor's and beyond: Whether it's your master's degree, your next certificate, or a badge, all Grand Valley alumni can take advantage of the Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account. L3 offers important financial resources, alumni networking, and career coaching.
The Skills Employers Want
In addition to the bachelor's degree in integrative studies, you will earn a certificate in one of these in-demand skills:
- Project management - Integrates industry-proven project management practices with Agile principles. Students work in small teams to effectively initiate, plan, execute, control, and bring closure to real-world project(s) using MS Project and other enterprise project management software.
- Applied data analytics - Focuses on understanding how to interpret, use, and apply data and statistics in the workplace. Students learn foundational computing and statistical skills like visualization, predictive analytics tools, and computer coding in Python and R.
- Leadership - Focuses on social change and business communication and includes further exploration into organizational theory, team building, design thinking, and grant writing. Students will develop professional skills that employers are looking for such as team building and ethics.
- Global communication - Prepares you with skills in effective communication within and across diverse international organizations by focusing on intercultural learning and competence in the global workplace.
These certificates are also available on their own. You can find out more on this page.
Financing your degree is one of the greatest concerns adults have in returning to college. That’s why we’ve set one price for all classes within the LEADS program.
- $500 per credit hour.
- Most classes are three credits, so you can generally plan on $1,500 per class.
- After the completion of your first course, we will reimburse you for the cost of a future one.
Some options to help finance your degree:
- Grants and loans: Fill out the FAFSA.
- Scholarships: Several scholarships are specifically targeted to adult students, and our advisors are happy to help you find these.
- Company deferment: This plan allows you to defer the amount your employer will pay in tuition benefits until the end of the semester.
The LEADS program is designed for motivated learners who want to complete their degree or certificate with a virtual community of similarly dedicated individuals. The admissions requirements are;
- a completed application;
- official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended;
- thirty (30) completed college credits;
- a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for those who demonstrate a potential for academic success in other ways); and
- a paid application fee of $30.
SEMESTER START DATES
Session 1: August 31-October 14
Session 2: October 28-December 15
Session 1: January 19-March 4
Session 2: March 15-April 27
May 10-June 23
June 28-August 11
Session 1: August 30-October 13
Session 2: October 27-December 18
Session 1: January 10-February 23
Session 2: March 14-April 30
Access Learning on Your Time
- All classes are accelerated six-week sessions.
- The LEADS program is primarily online with the exception of two in-person meetings during the course of your degree.
- Our online classes enable you to access program content and contribute to class discussions each week when it fits your schedule.
- You do not need to be online on a specific day, and just like a traditional course, you can expect to have a syllabus with a course calendar for due dates.
This quiz assesses your learning style, along with your technology and academic skills. After the quiz, you will receive feedback on your strengths and opportunities to further develop your skills and decide whether online classes are right for you.
Are You Ready to Get Started?
We know you are busy and we are here to help you get started in the LEADS program. Our advisors will;
- review courses you’ve already taken at GVSU or other schools to determine how we can maximize your credits;
- explain the goals and outcomes of the integrative studies degree;
- discuss services and support available throughout the program;
- assist with the admissions and financial aid process; and
- give you a personalized degree plan.
You can get in touch with any one of our advisors by calling (616) 331-7180, emailing, or click below to make a phone or virtual appointment
Would you rather learn face-to-face?
If accelerated, online learning isn't for you, we offer a traditional B.A. or B.S. degree in integrative studies at several Grand Valley locations. This program is taught face-to-face with customizable emphases you can shape to fit your career goals. Visit the Integrative Studies website to find out more about this unique program.
* Lifelong Educational Attainment for Determined Students