Meet the Director of the Bachelor’s in Professional Studies: Brittany Arthur

Staying at the forefront of online higher education is a challenging task as more students are beginning to enroll in college online! The National Center for Education Statistics reports that more than half of students are participating in some online learning today and that the number of students fully online rose by 13% from 2016 to 2020 alone, and that number is still rising!  This is why the University of Cincinnati prides itself on its world-class faculty to meet the needs of students, especially those enrolled online. Students enrolled completely online have different needs than those enrolled in person, and meeting those needs is both a priority and a challenge. High-quality faculty are essential for student success, particularly where students come from varied professional backgrounds and have diverse motivations for enrolling.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Studies (BAPS) program through the University of Cincinnati Online. Students can fast-track completing this program by using life experience credits that are calculated during the first semester. Regardless of what kind of experience a student has outside of college, this degree is designed to help students find a new career path or advance in their current path to accomplish their long-term goals!

Meet the Bachelor’s in Professional Studies Program Director: Brittany Arthur

This innovative program is led by Brittany Arthur, PhD from the College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies. With her extensive background in higher education and professional development, Dr. Arthur is perfectly suited to guide this program and support students in advancing in their careers and achieving their goals. She has been recognized by organizations like the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) for her skills in presenting the experiences of undergraduate women in engineering to help create a positive change in that field. We spoke with Dr. Arthur to learn more about her journey and what she wants students to know about the University of Cincinnati online and the Bachelor’s in Professional Studies program.

What was your college experience like? How would it compare to an online student at UC’s experience?

As a first-generation college student, I started my undergraduate degree with a lot of anxiety and excitement about how I would navigate the experience. Luckily, while attending a small institution, I had the benefit of caring advisors and mentors who were committed to my success. The combination of experiential learning (participating in a co-op) and amazing mentors and advisors helped my undergraduate degree completely change my life and my career trajectory.

Although this wasn’t an online experience, I do believe that what BAPS and my experience have in common is a group of faculty and staff committed to supporting students and their success. I know the difference that having individuals in your corner can make and I’m thankful that within BAPS we have a team of individuals here to support students who are deeply committed to helping them succeed.

What drove you to become an educator in this field at the University of Cincinnati?

I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Communications. During my undergraduate experience, I was introduced to the field of higher education and I was quickly hooked! After completing a co-op at a Fortune 500 company, I quickly realized that a career in higher education was the right fit for me. I’m forever grateful to my mentors who introduced me to this amazing career path! After my undergraduate experience, I went right to graduate school at the University of Dayton. After graduating, I went back to my undergraduate institution, Mount St. Joseph University, three years before coming to UC – and I’ve been here ever since!

How would you explain the subject you teach to someone hearing about it for the first time?

When I’m asked, “What do you do?”, I often smile and respond with, “I teach professional development.” Without fail, people always look at me with an odd stare and ask, “What is that?”

Professional development is a unique space to teach as it is always changing and evolving. I teach more than just resumes, interviewing, and networking. I teach students how to create a professional future for themselves. I support students in developing emotional intelligence in the workplace. I help students learn the skills to get hired and promoted. I support students in discovering their calling in the field or industry that will allow them to feel fulfilled.

What makes the BAPS program at UC stand out? Why would someone want to take it?

BAPS is a unique program for many reasons, but my favorite is that it has truly been designed with students in mind. Their goals, their unique skills, and their unique timeline. The flexibility of this program allows students to progress at their own pace. We also support students in gaining credit from previous life experience, which is an amazing advantage exclusive to our program!

The Foundations Course is something that everyone has to take in this program. How do students build their path from this course?

The BAPS foundations course was thoughtfully created to do just what it implies, provide BAPS students with a solid foundation in the program. Within that course, we help students become acclimated to the program, but also develop a plan for themselves and their own professional journey. We support students through an assessment process that allows them to gain credit for previous life experiences. At the end of the course, students should have a solid understanding of where they are going next.

Are transfer credits accepted? How does the online setup help learning in this program?

We accept transfer credits, regardless of where they come from. Often a student comes in with so many transfer credits they can waive many of their general education and elective requirements. BAPS was designed to support online learners to complete college from where they are in life. We recognize that our students have work, family, and a life outside college, and therefore an online format makes the most sense. We are here to support every student’s unique goals and the format of the program was completely designed with this goal in mind.

What are common reasons you hear from students about why they come back to school?

We are here to support students regardless of the path traveled before enrolling in the BAPS. Many students come with lots of transfer credits from other programs and institutions but were never able to complete their degrees. Our program welcomes students with open arms and provides a path to completion that is quicker than most programs.

Start Changing Your Life in the Bachelor’s in Professional Studies Program!

With educators like Brittany leading the way, the Bachelor’s in Professional Studies program is ready to accept students from all walks of life! Whether you need to advance in your current field, change your career trajectory entirely, or are just seeking a degree to fulfill the life goal of graduating from college, this program is built to get you there in as little time and money as possible.

If you still have concerns about online learning, fear not! Our dedicated support team is here to help make sure that your online degree path is the best fit for your situation. You can request more information from our team online by filling out a form, sending an email, or calling directly!

University to Business Scholarship Opportunities

Do you or one of your dependents belong to one of the University of Cincinnati’s partner business or organization partners? If so, you can qualify for exclusive scholarship opportunities when you enroll! Be sure to provide this information when you apply to the program so that you can receive the full benefit!

To take the next steps to change your career path, start the application at the Bachelor’s in Professional Studies webpage or contact one of our Enrollment Services Advisors directly, or by calling (513) 556-6459 if you have questions!

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