LEAP forward for success: An online bachelor’s degree tailored for adult learners
Abstract: Adult learners who are bound by time, geography, and life responsibilities are often unable to access a bachelor’s degree that meets their learning needs. Over the past 3 decades (1990s to present), a number of universities have added quality online degrees, however, in many cases, there are still roadblocks and obstacles that make it difficult for adult learners to earn a degree. In addition, adult learners need a degree that is applicable to their lives, work, and professional practice, and many online degrees have been designed with the same curricular focus used for the traditional 18-22 year old learner. With this in mind, and following a state initiative to ensure 55% of adults earn a credential by 2025, we researched, designed, and implemented a fully online adult degree completion program that utilizes 7-week parts-of-term, asynchronous delivery, and a focus on application of leadership. The Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Leadership (BAS: AL) provides an online, flexible program for adult learners seeking employment or advancement in the workforce that requires a bachelor's degree. Our online BAS: AL program prepares students for a wide variety of careers by focusing on innovative and effective applied leadership. Specifically, the coursework and experiences help students develop the skills and knowledge they need to solve problems, communicate effectively, resolve conflict, and assess effectiveness in diverse environments.