Jared Leingang, Online Reporter
Starting Jan. 2017 a new Bachelor of Applied Science in teaching will be offered at both the Pierce College Puyallup and Fort Steilacoom campuses.
It’ll be the second four year degree offered in the school’s history, with dental hygiene being the first applied bachelor’s degree made available.
Director of Education Programs Krissy Kim led the effort to create the degree. According to Kim, the course work for the degree was developed collaboratively. Kim and others looked at the outcomes and then created drafts which were sent out to early childhood development professors that were interested in the degree for their input.
First, the college submitted a Statement of Need to show there was a need in the community, then a proposal is drafted and both were submitted to the State Board to be approved.
The degree also had to be passed by the Pierce College Board of Trustees and gain approval from the regional accrediting body which, for Pierce, is the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
“Greg Brazzel, the Director of the Center for Engagement and Learning, and I were sitting at Black bear when we dreamed up this idea of a bachelor’s degree,” Kim said. “It’s just been a train ever since.”
The bachelor’s degree program will only be offered at the Fort Steilacoom campus in a cohort model but some classes in the Associate in Applied Science-Transfer Degree will be at the Puyallup campus. Multiple classes for the general credits like humanities and communications will be offered at the Puyallup campus, but the bachelor’s degree classes that are at the 300 and 400 level are only available at Fort Steilacoom.
Kim mentioned the problem of having the classes at Puyallup was the limited room available.
“The challenge with the Puyallup campus is that it’s at capacity, there’s no classroom space,” Kim said. “For the bachelor’s degree, students will have to come to Fort Steilacoom.”
At Fort Steilacoom, students can either be a part-time or a full-time member of the cohort. If they’re a full-time student then they take four classes, each quarter, for three quarters for their first year then start the residency program in the second year. If they choose the part-time path, the student takes a combination of two or three classes for five quarters then joins the residency program for the last three quarters.
“It’s an exciting opportunity, many students who’ve graduated in the past 15 years have been waiting for something like this and now it’s here,” Kim said. “It’s going to be a game changer in the community and give our graduates a bachelor’s degree and access to higher wage jobs.”
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