University of Southern Indiana
Fountain and Health Professions Building

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question:  Is the Bachelor of Professional Studies program the only major open to adult learners?

Answer:  Where many majors require classes that are only offered on a weekday schedule, the BPS program requirements are tailored to adult learners who need to complete required courses during the evening hours and/or online and who have career experience to relate to their coursework.

Question:  When do I enroll in classes? When do I start?

Answer:  The Public Service and Enterprising Leadership concentrations are organized to begin in the fall semester of each academic year, but BGS students  might wish to complete any additional degree requirements as soon as they are admitted/re-admitted and know which classes are needed.

Question:  What is the typical career path for someone who completes a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree?

Answer:  The "typical" BPS student already has significant career experience and is seeking to enhance new opportunities in management and leadership within his/her current employment setting.  The coursework and required projects aim to build the student's capacity to contribute to the success of his/her employer's mission and qualify him/her for career advancement.

Question:  How does the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree compare with another kind of degree from USI?

Answer:  Other USI majors are designed to prepare students for their first career opportunity: to enter the field of business, nursing, teaching, a liberal arts career, etc.  The BPS program focuses on adults who are already in the workforce and seek to build upon career experience and industry knowledge to reach a higher level of education, responsibility and recognition.

Question:  How do I choose the right concentration in the Bachelor of Professional Studies program?  Public Service?  Enterprising Leadership?  Individual Studies?

Answer:  The Public Service concentration was developed for students with careers in the public sector: law enforcement, public agencies and human service organizations. Students who complete the required courses for Public Service should build knowledge, skills, and confidence to lead these organizations and to advocate for their missions and purposes.

The Enterprising Leadership concentration was developed for students with careers in business and manufacturing settings. Students who complete the required courses for the Enterprising Leadership concentration should build knowledge of organizations, skills in communication, and confidence to develop and research new ideas and solutions to organizational problems.

The Individual Studies major is offered to students with unique career and educational goals, and who wish to focus on completing the Bachelor's degree. Students work with the BPS Academic Advisor to develop an individualized plan for completing a degree.

Question:  Can I use my work experience for academic credit toward my degree?

Answer:  Formal training (not just work experience) may be considered for academic credit in the BPS program as elective credit. Students may submit documentation of completed training experiences, which are reviewed using national standards for awarding credit. Some typical examples include Law Enforcement Academy, Real Estate Sales, Life and Casualty Insurance, and Computer Software and Network training programs.  The BPS Academic Advisor can provide additional guidance on the credit approval process.

Your military service and training will be converted into college credit through the Joint Services Transcript or the Community College of the Air Force. For information on USI application fee waivers, military credit and military benefits, contact USI Veteran, Military and Family Resource Center.

Question:  I work full-time and am not sure I can handle four courses in a semester. Can I still be a student in this program if I can't take all the required classes each semester?

Answer:  This program is designed to complete the 60-hour program in two calendar years, beginning in the fall (first group in fall of 2014). Ideally, BPS students will begin the program in cohort groups and move through the classes together; however, exceptions will be made to accommodate qualified students.

Question:  I have not yet met all of my Core 39 requirements. How might I plan to complete these while I am working on the BPS requirements.

Answer: BPS students will have all previous college work, military and technical training assessed before they begin the BPS program. It is likely that many of the CORE 39 requirements will have been fulfilled if a student has completed an Associate Degree or equivalent. Some Core 39 requirements are met within the Enterprising Leadership and Public Service concentrations, so please review your individual situation with the BPS program advisor to determine the best way to complete Core 39 requirements.

Question:  What will this cost?  How can I pay for this?

Answer:  University of Southern Indiana remains the most affordable 4-year institution in Indiana. BPS students pay the regular tuition and fees based on number of enrolled hours. An additional distance education fee of $30 is charged for each online course.  Many students utilize Veteran's Benefits, Pell Grants, scholarships and loans, and employer assistance when planning for the costs of returning to college. The USI Bursar's Office offers payment plans and third party billing options to help make tuition affordable and manageable.

Question:  Are course requirements available online (distance education)?

Answer:  The program requirements for Enterprising Leadership and Public Service are offered online in a sequence to complete 60 credit hours in a two-year time frame.  Students who need to complete Core 39 requirements should consult the BPS Program Advisor to determine the best way to complete these courses.

Contact Dr. Wes Durham


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