What’s the Best Way to Move from an Associate to a Bachelor’s Degree?

If you’re like many of the students we work with at University of Cincinnati Online (UCO), you spent at least two years working hard to complete your associate degree.

Now that you have it, you may find yourself wondering what to do next. Continue your studies because you know there’s value in getting your bachelor’s degree? Start researching top universities’ programs?

Something else that might be on your mind is the transferability of your associate degree. With the time and energy you put into getting it, you’d hate to take new associate-level classes and lose some of those hard-earned credits.

Benefits of a “2+2” Degree

We designed our Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies (BTAS) program for students just like you: You want to spend only two more years completing your bachelor’s degree and not have to do any backtracking.

Sometimes called a “2+2,” “2:2” or a “completer degree,” our BTAS program helps you easily transition from your associate to a bachelor’s education. You’ll find it to be an efficient way to complete the next step in your educational journey. You retain credit for what you already accomplished and earn a degree that many employers demand for specific positions or internal promotions.

Meet Patty Goedl and Michele Kegley, BTAS Co-Directors
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Patty Goedl, CPA, PhD

UCO’s BTAS program is a decade old now. Its virtual degree counterpart — where students take 100% of the classes online — is newer to University of Cincinnati. Our focus on online learning excellence goes back two decades, and we’re excited to offer the BTAS program to even more students throughout Ohio and across the country.

Studying online for your bachelor’s degree is a great way to get a quality education at an affordable price, coupled with a flexible schedule and no requirement to travel to and from school.

Patty Goedl, CPA, PhD, and Michele Kegley, PhD, jointly oversee the BTAS program. They’re responsible for the curriculum and staffing and handle essential student and administrative duties. Michele is one of the instructors in the program, too.

Michele Kegley Head Shot
Michele Kegley, PhD

Students come to UCO with diverse professional and educational backgrounds. They may have recently graduated with any type of associate degree — or they’ve had their degree for years now and want to move into a new career. They know a bachelor’s degree can help their career marketability and their ability to move into a new industry or ask for a raise.

“What BTAS students have in common is they’re working full- or part-time and don’t want to attend college and have to live in a dorm,” Michele says. “They need to juggle their family demands and personal life with their education.”

Diverse Student Body from Across the U.S.
Jermaine G.
“I’m a full-time employee and musician. The program has afforded me the flexibility to maintain both careers while simultaneously pursuing a bachelor’s degree.” – Jermaine G., BTAS Student

Students find UCO’s bachelor’s degree program broad enough to accommodate their diverse professional backgrounds and interests and value its focus on critical skills development. They quickly learn the program can help them take their careers to the next level or give them a solid foundation if they’re relatively new to the workforce.

Some BTAS applicants work in human resources, financial services or healthcare. Others enroll in the program because they want a promotion at work or are currently unemployed — some because of job loss due to the pandemic.

“One of our students came to UCO in her 30s,” Patty says. “She initially tried college straight out of high school, completed a couple of semesters and then quit to go into the workforce. Years later, she decided to get an associate degree in accounting.”

Patty says this student’s end goal was to be a certified public accountant (CPA). In order to sit for the CPA exam, she needed a bachelor’s degree — and an accounting certificate showing additional hours attained — or a master’s degree. When this student evaluated her options, she decided to enroll in UCO’s BTAS program, which helped her to not lose any credits from her associate degree. Today, she’s a proud graduate of the program.

Michele mentions another student who is in the Air Force. “We’ve had military veterans in our program before, but this student is active duty and currently stationed outside the U.S.,” she says. “He’s in our program full-time and can complete his degree while he’s deployed. He couldn’t do that if the BTAS degree wasn’t flexible and fully available online.”

Business World-Ready Courses
Sunnie L.
“My advice to other students thinking about the bachelor program at UC is not to overthink it. Just get in touch with someone at the college who can help with transferring your credits and get started.” – Sunnie L., Former BTAS Student

The online bachelor’s degree curriculum has a mix of what students need to succeed in business today, no matter what industry they work in or whether their employer is a large company or a small one.

Course topics include team building, diversity, finance, technology, professional writing and law and ethics. “Our curriculum has an intense focus on practical skills necessary to excel in supervision and management, including an understanding of finance and human resources,” Patty says.

Three of the courses Patty and Michele cite as being quite popular with students are:

  • Applied Technology for Personal and Professional Productivity – This course focuses on ways in which technology can be applied to facilitate and improve productivity, problem-solving skills and decision-making ability.
  • Financial Information for Managers – Here, you will learn how to read and use financial statements and how to employ ratios and performance measures. The course covers concepts that include leverage, working capital management, traditional and activity-based costing and budgeting.
  • Senior Capstone – You’ll experience this course at the end of your bachelor’s degree program studies. It’s designed for you to apply your newfound knowledge and skills to the phenomenon of organizational change that regularly occurs in the business world. Michele describes the capstone course as a service-learning project where students work with a community partner — for example, helping an organization apply for a grant.
Connect with a Bachelor’s Degree Specialist

Michele and Patty enjoy seeing the BTAS program students grow over their two years at UCO, developing new leadership, collaboration and critical thinking skills. Students often express greater self-confidence, too, which some say they didn’t have before. “In the program evaluations our students complete, I often see them write something along the lines of this: I came into the program thinking I didn’t know if I could complete it. Thanks to the instructors’ support, now I feel like I can do anything.”

If you’re ready to explore the benefits of the BTAS degree and how it helps you make a smooth transition from your associate degree into a bachelor’s program, we encourage you to connect with an advisor or call a BTAS specialist at 833-556-4428 today.

Be sure to ask about this program’s low tuition rates that help you save money while preparing you to earn more in your professional career. We look forward to meeting you!

birds eye view of students working at a round table with laptops and study materials
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