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Clarke Announces New Degree Designed to Address Workforce Development Needs

posted on February 24, 2009

Clarke College is pleased to announce the addition of a new degree program designed to address the ever-growing workforce development needs of the Dubuque area.

With some courses available this summer and the full curriculum beginning in the fall, Clarke will launch a new degree program leading to a bachelor of applied studies (BAS) degree in supervision and leadership through the college’s TimeSaver Adult Degree Program. This program is designed to provide enhanced access to baccalaureate studies to individuals who have completed an associate of applied science (AAS) degree. Clarke will be the only area college to offer the degree.

“Many area business leaders have expressed that their employees with AAS degrees would be ideal candidates for promotion into leadership positions, but first need the enhanced skills that accompany a baccalaureate-level degree,” said Clarke President Joanne M. Burrows, SC, Ph.D.  “Clarke recognizes this need and, as the area leader in adult education, designed the bachelor of applied studies to provide these individuals with powerful new skills and increased opportunities for advancement.”

While most businesses require a bachelor’s degree for leadership and supervisory positions, individuals with an AAS degree often have difficulty moving into baccalaureate-level programs because most of their credits do not transfer – essentially requiring them to start over.

Clarke’s new bachelor of applied studies degree will recognize the coursework and technical skills from an AAS degree, accepting up to 64 transfer credits, as opposed to the 16 credits that would normally transfer into a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science program. Courses will be offered in the TimeSaver Program’s signature evening course format, meeting once or twice each week. An AAS degree will be required to enter the program, which will consist of 60 additional credits of coursework and can be completed in as little as two years.

“We are excited that Clarke’s new program will allow our non-traditional students to build on their technical knowledge to earn their bachelor’s degree that will provide additional career opportunities,” said Penny Wills, president of Northeast Iowa Community College. “It is a win-win situation for students and businesses alike.”

The curriculum of the bachelor of applied studies degree was developed based on conversations with and input from area business leaders on the types of skills that would best serve their workforce needs.
“Clarke's bachelor of applied studies allows our employees to complete a functionally focused four-year degree that provides enhanced opportunities for career, community and individual pursuits,” said Sandra Lynn, manager of industrial relations at John Deere Dubuque Works.

Based on the feedback from area employers, the program curriculum will consist of coursework in public speaking, business management, economics, computer skills, personnel management, critical thinking, human behavior, accounting, business communication, conflict resolution, organizational problem solving and more. This major coursework will then be supplemented with general education coursework designed to foster critical-thinking skills and broaden perspectives.

“It’s not a mistake that this new opportunity comes at a time when economic conditions are creating significant worry in the minds of many,” said Scott Schneider, Clarke’s director of adult and TimeSaver programs.  “For those finding a need to re-tool or expand their marketability, the bachelor of applied studies could be the ‘stimulus’ that some need. More and more, we are seeing the bachelor’s degree become the level playing field that the high school degree was for our grandparents and the associate’s degree was for our parents.”
 
For more information, contact the Clarke College Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6318.

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