Tim Weckbacher of Akron was attending college when he experienced early success in his job right out of high school. Advancing rapidly from part-time grocery bagger to store management, Weckbacher put his college education on the back burner. But after seven years and hitting the proverbial "brick wall" in his profession, the now-32-year-old wanted go further – and he knew it would take a college degree to get there.
So Weckbacher, like many adults in the American workforce seeking career advancement and salary increases but stalled by the lack of a bachelor's degree, found a convenient solution — The University of Akron's Bachelor of Organizational Supervision (BOS) program. This specialized degree offering, the only one in the region, is designed for adults in the workforce with an associate degree or 60 completed college credit hours. Offered through evening and distance learning coursework, the program caters to full-time workers with demanding schedules.
Weckbacher says the opportunity to get his long-delayed degree was one he couldn't pass up. "I could take my classes at night, which was perfect for me," he says.
Within weeks of his May 5 graduation, Weckbacher landed a position at one of the Akron-Canton area's largest employers, The Timken Company, where he's now a customer service representative.
Weckbacher enrolled in the BOS program in 2009 with nearly 80 previously earned credit hours and no degree to show for it. He was able to easily transfer all of his previously earned college credits and earned his degree in just two-and-a-half years while still working full time.
The program creates an opportunity for students to advance professionally in their fields and develop leadership and supervisory competencies, says Stan Silverman, dean of UA's Summit College, associate provost and dean of University College.
"The program is industry- and student-inspired," Silverman says. "There are many associate degree graduates who have been in their careers for a number of years and are seeking career advancement. This program provides that opportunity."
Employees with bachelor's degrees are not only more valuable to employers, but earn higher salaries than those with an associate degree. According to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, associate degree holders had mean earnings of $39,771 while those with bachelor's degrees earned $56,665, about 30 percent more. What's more, Michigan State University's "Recruiting Trends 2011-2012" report reveals, "total hiring across all degrees will expand by 4 percent. This expansion is coming from a strong push at the bachelor's degree level with a 7 percent increase."
"If you are in the program, willing to lead and be that person who wants to be a supervisor, it puts you ahead," Weckbacher says. "You’re more well-rounded. Everything you need is put in front of you. It's another item to add to your tool box, to your skill set."
Visit the Bachelor of Organizational Supervision degree program for more information, or call 330-972-8832.
Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.