Pierce College Business Degree Pathways


Hello I’m Professor Bustillo-Booth thank you for joining me in this video session I will go over the different business degree pathways you may choose from as you move forward with your education plan here at Pierce College while this session will be generally for those who are pursuing business you may also find that if you are still exploring which pathway to choose there will be elements here that will be useful to you if you do not already have a pen and notepad I invite you to go find some now so that you can take some notes and that you will be ready with questions to sit down and ask your advisor so that you can make an informed decision let’s go ahead and get started we will begin this discussion with the end in mind where I will go over the purpose of this session and then go into some disclaimers and just some reminders on some things that are just good for you to do I will then go into some definitions so that we can clarify the differences among the various business degree pathways as well as for you to have the language you need in order to be a partner in crafting an education plan with your advisor I will then end with some considerations on how you go forward with a decision making process by the end of this session you will be able to distinguish the differences among the various business pathways understand the intent of each pathway conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine the best pathway for you and become a partner in crafting an education plan with your advisor by being informed about your journey the goal is to minimize surprises and facilitate an efficient completion of your desired degree although this session will go through quite a bit of information it is not intended to take the place of researching program requirements which you will have to do yourself or meeting with your advisor a program navigator to explore options and craft an education plan or updating your advisor or program navigator should your interests or plans change please be sure to partner with your advisor or program navigatro throughout your journey at the college we want to help you succeed also I want to be clear that this session does not go into program specifics that will be something you will need to do as part of your research now one of the good things to do is to reflect on your goals in a context of industry trends so you can make an informed decision one of these sites is called BLS gov or the Bureau of Labor Statistics and it houses a lot of good information that will help you learn about the occupations that you may be interested in and whether or not these jobs are in demand or in decline and what to expect in terms of pay or even the kind of education that it requires for example in the fourth tab called publication is an area called Occupational Outlook Handbook and when you go there you can start researching particular occupations for example I click human resource specialist and it gives me a summary of pay you know the number of jobs expected in a certain time it also will give me information about what they do in the work environment how to become one and so on so there’s a lot of good information at BLS gov another site is called O Net Online.org it also gives you a lot of information about occupations and what to expect on a day to day basis the kinds of skills and knowledge are required for a particular kind of job another side is wo is org it will give you similar information and also other information that you may find at BLS or at ONet Online now at WOIS.org you can dive into the site up to a degree in order to go deeper into the site you will need to get a passcode that’s available to you through a college success instructor or through your advisor as you learn more about your occupations industry trends as well as the degrees you may be considering please be sure to consider some of the questions that I had placed here there are others of course and these will become irrelevant later on when we conduct a cost-benefit analysis another good to do is to explore and become knowledgeable about program specifics very early on you don’t want to be surprised about the kinds of courses you need to take and the kinds of requirements that are being asked of you in order to fulfill your degree it’s also important to discuss or update your education plan with your advisor and not to do this yourself that is because you may not be aware of some programmatic changes and or aware of the most efficient way to move forward so please be sure that you connect with your advisor from time to time to make sure that you are still on the best path forward now let’s go over some definitions and if these are already familiar to you please go ahead and skip this section and go to about halfway into this video where I go over the different business degree pathways the first of these terms is pathway and just like it sounds it’s a way to achieve a specific or desired result or a course of action and a pathway can lead you towards earning an associate or a bachelor’s degree and for each of these pathways they’ll have program or programs and this is a specific area of study with a set of plan courses to complete so for example in a degree plan there will be a set of planned courses and their requirements to earn a degree and the requirements can be something like you’ll have to earn a 2.0 grade minimum in order for a class to count towards your degree and then this degree plans can be like an associate degree and that is an academic degree that is usually fulfilled in the first two years of college and they usually represent classes that begin with 100 or 200 so for example English 101 or Math 207 and each of these associate degrees will have different kinds of credits and one of the credits is a ger or a general education requirement and those are foundational courses in say for example communications humanities Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and they’re meant to prepare students to have transferable well-rounded and basic skills the balance of those credits then are going to be GTEs or general transfer electives that can satisfy degree requirements or will be able to transfer to another institution but may or may not necessarily satisfy specific bachelor degree requirements now some of these associate degrees will end with the letters DTA which stands for direct transfer agreement and sometimes also with the letters MRP which stands for major related program which I’ll discuss here in a moment these are inter institutional agreement between a community college and a university which outlines the specific courses a student must take in order to be eligible for transfer it does not actually guarantee admission but it allows you to be competitive in the transfer process now an MRP is based on the DTA and this helps student is prepared to transfer into high demand bachelor’s degree programs and again it has specific courses for you to take in order to have to be eligible for transfer let me now go over the different kinds of bachelor’s degrees you will likely encounter as a business major one of which is the Bachelor of Arts which is generally awarded for an undergraduate program in the liberal arts or sciences and a Bachelor of Arts and Business Administration will fall under this category another degree is that at the Bachelor of Science and like its cousin Bachelor of Arts it is also an undergraduate program and in this case in a specialized field of study which requires more math and science so for example if you can get a Bachelor of Science in supply chain management because it may require more math and science than a general Bachelor of Arts another degree is that at the Bachelor of Applied Science this is also an undergraduate award given to those studying in a professional or technical fields and it focuses on practical application of theories and knowledge to solve problems it is designed to bridge non DTA associate degrees towards a bachelor’s degree so that students who have this kind of an associate degree do not necessarily have to start all over again to gain their baccalaureate and students will typically take their two academic years of upper level coursework those are courses that begin with 300 and 400 at the community or technical colleges that have been authorized to issue this degree there are other universities like Central Washington University who also have been authorized to issue the BAS now that we have the definitions out of the way we can start talking about the different pathways and your journey to making a decision on which pathway to choose when you first enter Pierce College as a person interested in business you will declare a business intent and your first three to six classes you will start with foundational courses in English math college success on perhaps an elective like business 101 ideally by the first quarter and no later than the second quarter you will either affirm your business intent that you started with or clarify your path given the three different pathways that are before you these pathways are an aadt a MRP which intends to transfer directly to a specific University or an AAS which intends to prepare students to have competitive workforce skills or an AAS-T which also prepares students to have workforce skills have enough credits to transfer to select universities and colleges to a particular kind of baccalaureate because each of these pathways has a different intent each will then have a different mix of ger and GTE courses regardless of the program all of them will have a minimum of 90 credits some will have more you may also graduate with more credits than the program requires and why it’s so important for you to have your business intent clarified in the first two quarters so that you don’t have excess credits for those of you who intend to get a baccalaureate degree it’s important to note that you will need about 60 gr credits to gain a bachelor’s degree and that most if not all are expected to be gained at the AAA level now let’s look at these associate degrees more closely so that we can see the mix of how ger and GT credits are constructed to serve their intent well call pathway a the a a and D ta MRP which is designed to transfer to four-year universities pathway be the AAS which is designed to develop skills now for median employment and pathway C which is also designed for immediate employment as well as to transfer to select colleges and universities you can see here that the distribution of ger and GTE credits are designed to serve each or the pathway intense for example in Lane A you’ll see that most of the GER credits will have been fulfilled by the time one gets that AA DTA that is because business courses will then be taken at the University the AAS is not intended to transfer but instead prepares for needed employment after receiving the degree therefore most of its credits focus on developing relevant industry skills and positioning its graduates to be competitive in the marketplace in Lane C you can see splits the difference between A and B it is a significant number of skills based courses to prepare graduates for employment after two years while having enough GER credits to transfer to select colleges and universities please keep in mind that the number of credits you see here may vary depending on your education plan on our subject to change however the distribution are generally representative of what to expect let me go ahead and pan out to the bigger picture so we can see the pathways and their full lengths as you can see here Lane A leads toward a BA or BS in business and to middle wage and higher paying jobs Lane B leads toward immediate employment to positions requiring at least an associate degree Lane C prepares for work after two years and proceeds towards a BAS in a specialized field of business and helps graduates transition into higher paying jobs please keep in mind that each of the bachelor’s degrees have specific program requirements and that it would be good for you to learn about them before proceeding I also want to make sure that this is clear that if you are on Lane B it does not mean you cannot pursue a bachelor’s degree it does mean that you will have to make up for classes required in the BA BS or BAS to transfer to those programs now let’s take a look at what a Bachelor of Applied Science in a specialized field a business might look like here you can see a select set for example CWU offers the BAS and information technology and administrative management this is in contrast to say a BA in Business Administration which is a broad field of study in business other ones are like the BAS and applied management operations management applied accounting data analytics organizational management international business marketing and entrepreneurship and there are many others if you’re wondering which of these is more broad than others it would be arguably the BAS in Applied Management which is offered across several colleges in the state now since all baccalaureate degrees are different it is important for you to carefully research the requirements of the program you wish to enter and to speak directly with an adviser from your program of interest just because you have an AAS -T does not mean that all courses within that particular AAS-T will transfer to all BAS programs just be sure to work with your adviser or program navigator and account for programmatic requirements early this will minimize frustration later and facilitate an efficient degree completion towards your intended pathway now that you have a good sense of what each pathway entails let’s talk about how to make a good decision ideally you will have made your decision by the first or second quarter so that you can immediately fulfill a program requirement and graduate efficiently and in order to do that you will have had to consider certain factors and you can answer some of these questions that you see here or other questions that may come up but I want to focus now on is how to conduct a general cost-benefit analysis so that you can weigh your options and how they may serve you best in order to proceed with your analysis you are going to need some information particularly around the costs and those are the things that you give up and the benefits and those are the things you hope to gain gained like salary over time and your ability to enter a profession or progress within that profession and the kinds of other choices you may be able to gain and then you will organize the information according to each pathway so for example in Lane A you will put all the costs on one side and the benefits on the others you see here and you don’t do the same for choice B and choice C as you can see here some of these elements will have actual numbers in them and I’ll just plug them in right and other things are going to be more subjective and go ahead and just write them down for you and it can be a sentence or a phrase and this is an iterative process meaning the first time you put this on maybe a little bit more you know messy say for example but then you will organize them and order them according to how you value each once you have organized your important decision factors and only the most important would need to be in underneath each of these columns you will then need to evaluate them across in a meaningful way and one way to do that is to assign them a scale so for example in choice a you would from a scale of 1 to 10 evaluate each of these factors and how meaningful they are to you so for example the cost parts might be a little bit more objective because you might be able to find that information a little bit more easily so in terms of time how much something would cost over the length of the program all the way say for example from an associate degree all the way to bachelor’s degree don’t want to make sure you add that all up and the rest of it right and then in the benefit some of these are going to be a lot you know more objective in so for example you can find out what an annual salary might be and you know how meaningful that is to you to scale of 1 to 10 and then politics the idea there is to be in a position of responsibility it’s like a manager and to what degree the credential will allow you to be in that position and then you’ll just add them all up and you’ll do the same for choice B and choice C and this process should yield you some numbers and then you lease it back and say you know what are you willing to give up for the benefits now this process is imperfect but it is far better than going by the seat of your pants or by your gut this is an informed decision-making process and it can be further informed by talking with your advisors and others who may have already gone through this journey let’s go ahead and summarize in order to make a good decision about which pathway to choose you will need to learn about each of these pathways and also reflect on your goals particularly in the context of industry trends you will then conduct a cost-benefit analysis that will help determine to you which of this pathways best serves your needs and that you do this in concert and in partnership with your advisor this brings us at the end of this video session thank you so much for listening I hope you found some good information here as you move forward on your education pathway to success thank you again and good luck.

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