Getting ready to take advantage of opportunity
After 20 successful years at a Fortune 500 company, Jodi McCrosky realized she wanted to take her career to the next level. “I began to look at moving to the public sector where I felt like I could maximize my strengths and have a greater, positive impact on the community my family lived in,” she said.
To do that, she needed to build on her foundation. McCrosky had earned an Associate in Business Management and had learned a lot through her years of professional experience. She wanted to position herself to take the next leap.
“I made the decision to change careers, and I know that by making that decision, I also made the decision to complete my bachelor’s degree that would allow me to be ready to take advantage of any opportunities that [would] come along in my future career,” McCrosky said.
Leveraging an Associate’s degree
Once Jodi made the call to go back to school, she dug in with thoughtfulness and intentionality. “I’m someone that when I look at doing something new, it really needs to add value or I’m not going to put the time in,” said McCrosky. Going back to school would mean she would have to sacrifice time with her family and put many things in her life on hold, “And so I really did a lot of soul searching about that.”
She wanted a program that would build on her past educational experience. She needed a program that fit into her life as a working professional with a family. “I needed to find a program that was flexible and one that would allow me to really still continue to learn and grow in an area that I have personal passion in,” she said, “I looked at programs all over the nation. I wanted to find one that met the needs I had and the priorities I set.”
With all the commitments of a working parent, she needed the most expedient path to a bachelor’s degree. Her research led her to the Online Bachelor of Applied Science at Boise State University.
“I looked at programs all over the nation. I wanted to find one that met the needs I had and the priorities I set.”
The Boise State Online Student Success Coach worked to assess the experience and knowledge Jodi already had. Together, they built a degree plan that leveraged her prior educational history, work experience, goals and the academic emphasis areas she was interested in.
Once Jodi got into taking courses, she found them to be flexible to match where she was in her journey and what she could handle each semester. She started with one course, and as she got comfortable with the workload, she figured out how she could take on more.
She didn’t find the barriers she was worried about, either. “There is just such an array of classes that you choose from. If something’s not available in one discipline, it probably will be in another.” McCrosky and her advisors were able to maneuver each semester without holdups.
“There is just such an array of classes that you choose from.”
The Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) program at Boise State was developed to help students just like McCrosky build on their education rather than starting from scratch. The program carefully reviews and applies credits from technical associate degree programs to the BAS program requirements, credits that often are only accepted as electives in other degree programs. It also features a wide variety of courses to help students meet the program requirements expediently, all while pursuing an education that aligns with their interests and goals.
Putting the education to work
About a year into her position as a project coordinator for the Boise Police Department McCrosky started her BAS courses. She immediately began putting the education to work, “I started the program in 2015 and I have already seen the investment well worth it.” McCrosky was taking on big responsibilities at the police department, and they weren’t a hindrance to her degree progress. They were an asset.
The BAS curriculum incorporates a “Case Studies in Leadership” class that encourages students to work on their professional projects with guidance from the professor and program cohorts. McCrosky had been charged to update the police department’s strategic plan. “Through talking with my instructor, I was able to use my work project as part of an assignment,” she said.
“Through talking with my instructor, I was able to use my work project as part of an assignment.”
The experience of developing the strategic plan with the help of the class solidified the value of her education, “I had feedback from my peers and the instructor that allowed me to make sure that I used best practices… The City of Boise now has a really successful strategic plan for the Boise Police Department, allowing us to fulfill our mission to protect, serve and lead our community to a safer tomorrow.”
Adding value to the community conversation
After leaving a long private-industry career for a completely different job in the public sector, McCrosky looks back on her decision to change careers and go back to school as a positive one. “It’s been an amazing place to work. I get to work with a great group of people and I’m working for an organization that values continuing for employees to learn and grow.”
Jodi continues to see the payoff of her education. After five years at the Boise Police Department, she was promoted, “I now have a team of employees I lead and the concepts and education provided in the program, specifically the LEAD certificate, allowed me to strengthen my supervision and leadership skills.”
McCrosky is particularly proud to be a part of the City visioning conversations, “I’ve been thrilled to see that I can apply what I’m learning and the Bachelor of Applied Science program into my life. It’s really added value to the conversations I have in leadership within the community.” From her perspective, the BAS has given her the opportunity to make her community a better place, “I get to do what I love every day. And I get to work on the city vision of making Boise the most livable city in the country.”
With a Bachelor of Applied Science from Boise State Online almost complete, McCrosky is confident she can seize new opportunities, “I feel that the bachelor’s degree is going to allow me to be poised and ready to take full advantage of future career opportunities that I have.”
About Boise State Online
Check out the Boise State Online Bachelor of Applied Science and learn how you can finish your degree. Along with the BAS program, Boise State University offers more than 55 online degree and certificate programs to help you make your educational dreams a reality–whether you need a bachelor’s degree, a graduate degree or a single, online class. For more information, visit boisestate.edu/online.