By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Oswego’s recently launched the integrative professional studies (IPS) degree, which prepares students and professionals for leadership roles in their workplace.
Although it is available to students of the typical college age, the degree particularly targets adult and nonconventional students who want to enhance their careers through training.
The degree “will allow students to focus on topics that best align with their personal or professional journeys,” stated an Oswego press release.
It “bridges the gap for transfer students and professionals looking to finish their higher education, by maximizing transfer credits and providing enhanced flexibility in how students take classes.”
The five areas of study include: communication skills; data analysis and project management; digital skills, self-management; and social structure and systems. Oswego offers a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science in IPS because of the allowed transfer credits.
A lack of soft skills has been cited by hiring agents and employers as a leading educational gap among new workers, made evident during the hiring process and when new hires begin in their new roles. The need also shows when entry-level and mid-level workers seek a higher-level role. The IPS degrees will help students improve their skills to meet workplace needs.
Students may complete classes online or in person. Flexible delivery means that more students can access the classes, from freshmen who graduated from high school the previous spring to adult students who have been in the workforce for years—and continue to work while pursuing their IPS program.
The IPS program accepts transfer credits, which can help students finish sooner. This can make it much easier for adult learners to complete the course while working full-time.
“This program will be tailored to each student, as every single student will work one-on-one with an academic planning coordinator to decide which path is best for them,” said Jill Pippin, dean of the Division of Extended Learning at Oswego, in a statement. “Our program is very innovative, as it allows a customized plan, informed by the skills needed for the future of work, which may include college transfer credits, prior learning assessed for college credit and earned stackable credentials in an individual’s pathway to a degree.”
The IPS program complements Oswego’s new microcredentials program, which helps students improve their marketability during their job search. The microcredentials program can help typically aged students improve their chances of finding employment or hone the skills of a working adult who seeks a higher level of employment or entrance to a different field. One example is the digital media and communication design credential. Microcredentials can also apply towards a degree.
To learn more, visit oswego.edu/ips. To learn more about microcredentials, visit oswego.edu/micro.
Amy Wallace, one of the first students in the new integrative professional studies program, joined because of flexibility.
Wallace is an example of the type of student the program was built to serve. Students and professionals use transfer credits and take a variety of flexible classes on their pathway towards earning a degree. Wallace says with the help of her academic planning coordinator, she is well on her way to earning her degree while working full-time on campus.
“My original target date was to finish in the fall of 2023 but now with all my transfer credits it looks like the spring of 2023,” Wallace noted.