KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Board of Trustees today, Feb. 17, approved the “first of its kind for Indiana” Bachelor of Applied Science degree program for IU Kokomo and IU East. This will allow thousands of Hoosiers with an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) to pursue a four-year degree without losing hard-earned credits.
IU Kokomo Chancellor Michael Harris saw the need throughout the state for this type of degree program, and initiated the plans to make it a reality.
“I believe this degree will have a significant impact on the economic well being of the state of Indiana,” Chancellor Harris said. “I’m delighted and proud to have had the opportunity to work with colleagues to be able to offer a degree that is so valuable and needed. Once again, this demonstrates our commitment to be collaborative in order to meet the higher education needs of the state.”
Offering this degree through two IU regional campuses fits the vision of IU President Michael McRobbie as innovators and leaders within their regions, Harris said.
The program allows A.A.S. graduates from Ivy Tech Community College to complete a bachelor’s degree without losing credits. Other states that offer a B.A.S. are Iowa and Minnesota.
"Indiana University continues to partner with us to ensure that together we provide a seamless higher education system here in Indiana,” said Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder. “This new degree option is going to give thousands of community college students an opportunity to continue their education without losing the credits they worked hard to obtain at Ivy Tech."
IU East Chancellor Nasser Paydar said the new program will build on the university’s special relationship with Ivy Tech.
“We are excited to partner with IU Kokomo in developing this new degree type for Indiana University,” Paydar said. “With the close partnership we have with Ivy Tech, this program will be a benefit to both the university and the community college.”
Approximately 40,000 Indiana residents have earned A.A.S. degrees in programs such as construction technology, windmill repair, refrigerator repair and other hands-on programs, and few of their credits would transfer to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science program. That meant more time and expense to complete a bachelor’s degree.
The B.A.S. program is an “upside down” degree, because students will have taken specialized classes at Ivy Tech, followed by general education requirements at IU Kokomo. Up to 64 credit hours can be transferred from Ivy Tech.
“In most cases, people want to enroll in this program because they’ve been told they can’t go any further in their careers without a bachelor’s degree,” said Kathy Parkison, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs. “With our degree program, they will take their general education classes and leadership and supervision classes to help them become effective managers.”
In addition to general education classes, students will choose a track program in health management, new media, communications, sustainability or interdisciplinary.
IU Kokomo and IU East will next submit the baccalaureate program to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education for approval.
“I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to academic affairs and faculty who worked so hard to make this possible,” Chancellor Harris said. “This is a prime example in which the invisible can become reality if we dream.”
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.