Candace Stradford

Candace didn’t want a typical four-year degree.

As a mother of two and a rising management professional in the banking industry, she was looking for something different. “I love my career,” she says. “I didn’t return to school to change a career, but to stabilize it, and hopefully further it.”

What Candace wanted was a focused degree program that challenged her perspective, expanded her professional horizons, and prepared her for an even bigger future in a changing working world. She found it with the Bachelors in Integrated Professional Studies from UNCG Online.

“When I saw that program, it spoke to me,” Candace says. “The BIPS program offered courses that I knew would help develop me into a better leader.”

That’s exactly who UNCG Online designed the Bachelors in Integrated Professional Studies (BIPS) program for—people looking to expand their bandwidth as working professionals, with a suite of courses tailored to build the forward-thinking, adaptable skill sets employers are looking for now.

“BIPS has added so much to my professional life.”

BIPS is an entirely online program, offering a range of project-focused, professionally oriented tracks that develop you as the in-demand “T-shaped professional”—someone with not only depth of experience, but breadth of talent. BIPS teaches you powerful problem-solving techniques like Design Thinking and Systems Thinking, which reframe the way you look at problems, and how to turn them into opportunities for growth.

You’ll also develop deeper insight and wider perspective with courses on Understanding Data and Global Awareness and Intercultural Competence, preparing you for greater opportunities in a globally connected, tech-forward working world.

The future-ready, career-enhancing orientation of BIPS was exactly the challenging growth opportunity Candace was looking for.

“As a leader, learning the Design Thinking process, Understanding Data, and Self-Awareness are all skills that add to my knowledge and skill set,” she says. “These are courses all professionals need, regardless of the field they want to work in.”

“I was able to connect with people I have never met.”

The BIPS focus on practical projects over tests and exams means students get hands-on experience designing and developing their own focused learning opportunities. And it goes beyond professional development—BIPS helped Candace create deeper connections with her community, too. Candace designed and implemented a youth program for her local community center as part of her Arts and Wellness class.

“To be able to connect with them and build a relationship and visit, and set up some time to work with some kids… it was exciting,” she says. “It was fun, and how often do you do schoolwork that you can really enjoy and have fun with?”

“It allowed me to create the focus that I needed to be successful.” 

Every BIPS course is just 7 weeks, completely online, with a fast-track focus on your professional and personal development. You won’t spend your time in long lectures or taking multiple tests—you’ll learn powerful techniques, gain critical insights, and focus on developing your skills and building a portfolio of projects that demonstrate your strengths. Keeping our courses tightly focused and quickly paced means you’ll learn more, do more, and build your strengths in setting goals and achieving targets—key skills every employer is looking for. It’ll change the way you look at your career opportunities, and your own skills too.

“I would tell someone who’s interested, just try a class. It’s 7 weeks,” Candace says. “Just see how much better you feel after taking one of the courses, and I promise that it will be something that you’ll want to continue.”

After her BIPS experience, Candace has set her sights on even greater goals.

“This program and this experience has created a drive in me that makes me want to continue my education,” she says, adding that she’s been inspired by her BIPS experience to get her MBA. “I’m looking at graduate programs and getting ready to apply to continue my education right this very next fall, because I don’t even want to take a break. I want to keep it going.

Candace looked at her future, and decided she was ready for more.

“I would scream recommendations of BIPS,” she says. “In fact, I’ve already been recommending it to friends and colleagues. It helped create the drive and the ambition that I needed.”