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New GVSU degree program helps students step quickly into jobs they want

A unique degree program at Grand Valley was designed to get people who have technical training into the jobs they want – and quickly.

The Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree program will begin in the Fall 2023 semester. Enrollment is now underway. It was created for students who earned associate of applied science degrees (AAS) and want to advance their careers.

Melanie Shell-Weiss, associate dean for Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, called it a program designed for people who may have met "the glass ceiling" in their current roles. 

"There is a population of people who were very tempted to join vocational programs right out of high school, maybe because they had to be the breadwinners in their families," Shell-Weiss said. "Then they work for a number of years and find that it becomes harder and harder to transfer into a traditional bachelor's degree program."

image of graduation cap with phrase: Add your choice of specialized skills to meet your career goals
The BAS program will work with a student's life skills and prior credits from an associate of applied science degree.
graphic with phrase Apply up to 80 previously earned credits and earn credit for previous work experience
The majors are mostly offered online and get students to the finish line faster by accepting up to 80 credits of an associate degree plus life experience.
  • Technology Project Management: This program, presented in a semester-long format, builds on a technology-based degree like robotics or welding. Students will learn skills in CAD, programming, drafting, safety and management.
  • Web Design and Development: This program, presented in a semester-long format, builds on technical skills and adds computing language for front-end web development and programming. Classes in writing for web and graphic design will help with the artistic side of web design. 
  • Leadership and Business Fundamentals: Students will gain skills in accounting, finance, management, marketing, organizational dynamics, leadership and team-building. Classes are offered in an accelerated, six-week format.
  • Professional Innovation: Students in this program can choose from stackable credentials in a variety of specialized areas: health care, hospitality, leadership and more. Classes are offered in an accelerated, six-week format.

Each major requires an internship, giving students practical experiences. Lindsay Corneal, associate professor of engineering, said an internship could be completed at a student's current employer. 

"Students in the BAS program will have real-world experience from an internship plus take classes from which they will develop problem-solving and design thinking skills," Corneal said. "These are the skills employers want in their leaders today."

The BAS program will enroll students six times a year, meeting the flexibility of adult learners.


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