Back to Blog Bachelor’s in Professional Studies Director Spotlight | Brodie Theis BlogFaculty Spotlight Share Share on FacebookFollow us on LinkedInShare on PinterestShare via Email The world of online education has changed considerably over the last 20 years. The University of Cincinnati Online is striving to remain at the front of this changing landscape by providing an education experience that can be balanced with work and personal commitments. This is especially true for students who are deciding to enroll in college after being in the workforce for some time already. It is often very difficult for these students to commit to school while continuing to work to support their families, but a new program launched by UC Online this year could change that entirely. Meet the Program Director for the Bachelor’s in Professional Studies: Brodie Theis The Bachelor of Arts in Professional Studies (BAPS) program is designed specifically for students in this situation. Offered through the University of Cincinnati’s College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies, this program is designed so that each student’s life experience works for them and helps them customize and fast-track their path to graduation. The director of this program, Brodie Theis, shares his personal philosophy about higher education and how his experience is helping him guide students to success! How would you explain the subject you teach to someone hearing about it for the first time? I start with “I teach in the field of career education”, but then I quickly follow with “…but it’s more about helping students with self-awareness, designing a meaningful career path, and doing work that makes a difference in the world.” How long have you been teaching? What was YOUR college experience like? I’ve been in a formal setting at UC since 2013, but I think I was teaching throughout my whole career. My college experience was what I thought of as “normal”, though now I know differently. I started my undergraduate experience by choosing a major that I later realized was an attempt to please others. As a result, I struggled to stay engaged in the content for the first couple of years. Once I changed majors, I began taking courses that I enjoyed, and the curriculum became much more interesting. What drove you to become an educator in this field at the University of Cincinnati? Even as a child, I wondered what led people to choose their line of work. Did they enjoy it? How did my dad become a business owner and my aunt an architect? So I’ve always been fascinated by career decisions. My first decade of professional work experience spanned several industries which allowed me to follow my curiosity. Once I learned that there was an opportunity to teach about careers at the university level, I knew that I wanted to pursue the opportunity. What makes the BAPS program at UC Online stand out? Why would someone want to take it? BAPS is specifically designed to help adult learners take that next step professionally. That next step is different for everyone, which is why we’ve created a curriculum that is customizable to meet each student’s goals. Many are looking to obtain credentials or get that next promotion. Others are interested in learning new professional skills or hoping to change industries. Just the other day one BAPS student mentioned that she is finding BAPS to be a wonderful opportunity to network with other working professionals. And a few have said that finishing their degree is something they want to knock off their bucket list. Whatever the motivation, this program will help guide students through completing a bachelor’s degree, gain valuable skills along the way, and utilize it however they wish. The Foundations Course applies to everyone in this program. How do students use this to make their own education path? Yes, the Foundations Course is the first step in the BAPS journey. There are two primary objectives; the first is to set the theoretical and conceptual academic baseline for the program, and the second is to reflect upon and evaluate past professional and academic experiences in order to design each student’s pathway to complete the degree. So, while there is some standardization in terms of early course requirements, BAPS is customizable to help each student reach their own unique professional goals. What are common roles that people with this degree get into once they graduate? This program isn’t focused on specific industries or roles but instead is designed to help adults navigate the professional world. This included developing new interpersonal and technical skills, learning how to lead more effectively, and even redefining what “professional success” means to them. Ideally, students who complete the program will have positioned themselves to move to that next place professionally. This might include promotion to management, gaining the competencies needed to shift to a new role within their current work context, or successfully switching career paths. It also is an opportunity to enjoy learning again or gain the confidence needed to courageously move forward in their life. Why do you believe the online setup is helpful for this program? Online learning has come such a long way over the past couple of decades and we are incredibly fortunate to have expert online instructional designers at UC. This means that the online course design process is rigorous, and the standard of quality is very high. The curriculum has self-guidance in mind and assignments are paced in an accessible and realistic way. Even though most courses are facilitated asynchronously, students have consistent access to instructors and advisors who can help every step of the way. How do you like to make yourself accessible for students? All BAPS courses have real live instructors who have designed their classes with adult online learners in mind. We’re committed to being available to students’ needs via email and live video calls when needed. The program also provides academic, career, and student success advisors who are there to ensure that the entire experience is seamless, efficient, and results in the completion of the program. What would you say to someone who is considering applying for the BAPS program? What advice would you have? I’d say chat or talk with one of our UC Online Student Success Coordinators. They are kind, thoughtful, familiar with the program, can answer specific questions, and are great at navigating some of the common unknowns when considering going back to school. What would you say is your greatest achievement so far in your career? Wow, that’s a doozy. I think I’m most proud that I’ve persistently prioritized learning, growing, and being led by curiosity. All this while also remaining (mostly) present with my family. I also like to think that what I’m doing is making a positive impact in the lives of students and the world in general, which is increasingly important to me. Grow Your Career with UC Online Today! The Bachelor of Arts in Professional Studies is one of the newest opportunities for professionals to advance their careers through the University of Cincinnati Online. With direction from our dedicated faculty like Brodie Theis, students will be able to take control of their futures and put their life experiences to work for them in a career path of their choosing. The UC Online Difference UC Online is committed to providing a quality education to all students. The benefits of enrolling with the University of Cincinnati Online include: 100% Online Courses Customizable Education Tracks Student Success Support Resources Transfer Credit Acceptance Financial Aid Opportunities If you are interested in taking the next steps to upgrade your career, you can start the application process by visiting the Professional Studies webpage, contacting one of our Enrollment Services Advisors, or calling directly at (513) 556-6459 if you have questions.