Big Bend gets approval to move forward with Bachelor’s Degree

Office of Communications

MOSES LAKE — Big Bend Community College recently received some positive news from the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) who gave BBCC approval to continue moving forward with the development of Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Applied Management. The applied bachelor’s degree will be the first one offered by the college.

The process began during the summer and fall of 2018 when the college sent out an initial survey to local employers seeking input and gauging interest in a variety of BAS degrees. After receiving feedback from the local business community, Big Bend began to recognize a need for management training and education. Feedback from current and former students showed a similar slant.

The college got the approval of its Board of Trustees to pursue the BAS this summer and submitted a Statement of Need to the SBCTC in July and the state board approved the Statement of Need last week.

“I am very pleased that the State Board is supportive of Big Bend’s proposal to offer a Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management,” said BBCC Vice President of Learning and Student Success Bryce Humpherys. “The new bachelor’s degree will meet the needs of local employers for educated job applicants and the needs of our students for a local bachelor’s degree option.”

Humpherys also explained that many people in the Big Bend’s expansive 4,600-mile rural service district do not have the resources to travel out of the area to continue their education. The new BAS will help to remove that barrier for local students interested in earning a 4-year degree and help produce an educated applicant pool of leaders for local business and industry.

“Employers have expressed concerns about their ability to locally recruit and retain qualified supervisors and managers,” Humpherys added. “Many of our students have limited opportunities to travel to other locations to earn a bachelor’s degree due to family and work commitments. Both current and former students showed an interest in pursuing the new degree. This new degree will expand the ability of Big Bend Community College to serve the communities in its service district and better meet the needs of both students and employers.”

Next in the process for the college will be to bring together a group of faculty who will develop a complete program proposal that will be submitted to the SBCTC this summer (2020). If all goes well, the state board would approve the proposal in October of 2020 with the Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management degree launching in the fall of 2021.

“BBCC strives to make lifelong learning possible for everyone who lives within its service district,” said Board of Trustees Chair Stephen McFadden. “The Board of Trustees is motivated to see educational opportunities expanded on our campus. Establishing this Bachelor of Applied Science is an incredible step forward, opening new doors to those who look to BBCC for opportunities to transform their lives.

“We’re grateful for the state board’s initial support of this effort and we look forward to formal approval and the ability to offer this bachelor’s degree to meet the growing demand of business and industry for a highly-skilled workforce.”

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