GVSU trustees approve new degree program that builds on technical associate degree

Grand Valley's Board of Trustees approved a new degree program designed for students who completed an associate of applied science (AAS) degree and want to strengthen their academic skills to take the next step in their careers.

The new Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree program will be jointly housed in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. Starting in the Fall 2023 semester, students in the BAS program can choose from four majors: leadership and business fundamentals, professional innovation, technology project management, and web design and development. Trustees approved the program during a meeting held at GVSU's Detroit Center.

headshots of, left, Paul Plotkowski and Mark Schaub
Deans Paul Plotkowski, left, and Mark Schaub are pictured. The new BAS degree program will be housed jointly in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and Padnos College of Engineering and Computing.
Image credit - University Communications

Mark Schaub, dean of the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, said the BAS program is distinct from most other GVSU degrees. The BAS program recognizes most of these students’ prior higher education credits, acknowledging their skills-intensive education, and will integrate that prior learning and workplace experience with a GVSU curriculum.  

"People who have an applied associate degree in a more technical or specialized field may not be bringing in all their general education classes like many students with other types of associate degrees do," Schaub said. "We will work with what they bring to us, and then complete their degree with Grand Valley general education requirements, a liberal education-informed set of future-oriented coursework."

Paul Plotkowski, dean of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, said employers value the technical content of an AAS degree, but also desire employees who have the background to grow into leadership positions within their organizations. The four BAS majors will provide that preparation through advanced courses in a specific field complemented by professional preparation through liberal education courses.

"This program will support students to develop high-order thinking and problem-solving skills that are directly relevant to employers today," Plotkowski said.

To enroll in the BAS program, students will need to meet transfer requirements and have completed an applied associate degree, or the equivalent. The program will be offered online, meeting the needs of working adults. Visit gvsu.edu/bas to learn more.


Sign up and receive the latest Grand Valley headlines delivered to your email inbox each morning.