The flexibility of the Bachelor of Applied Studies (BAS) degree is what made it possible for Rachel Goodrich of Libertyville, IA to accomplish her lifelong goal of completing her bachelor’s degree in December 2014.

“I always wanted to finish my degree, but never had time to physically attend classes because I have small children. The University of Iowa’s BAS program allowed me to take all my classes online at my own time. My local library also proctored all my exams,” says Goodrich. “This flexibility was great and helped me to achieve my goal.”

As a senior business analyst in information systems at Cambridge Investment Research in Fairfield, Goodrich utilizes skills learned in the classroom on a daily basis.

“In particular, the human relations emphasis area has been extremely helpful. One of the new skills I learned is active listening. Active listening has helped me become a better business analyst, and in turn has helped the developers write software that delivers what the business needs the first time around.”

Goodrich also completed an emphasis in justice studies allowing her to work part-time as a juvenile tracker for First Resources.

“I am passionate about juvenile justice, but have never been qualified to work in the field prior to attending the University of Iowa. My coursework has helped me to understand how the justice system works and I am now confident in my ability to speak with the juvenile court officers for our county.”

The diversity offered through the BAS program allowed Goodrich to explore other areas of interest as well.

“Nutrition in health and performance was an elective that literally changed my perspective on health and wellness. This class helped improve the health of my entire family.” Goodrich credits the way the courses were structured for helping her achieve work life balance. “Guided independent study courses allowed me to create my own schedule each semester. So, if my children were ill, I did not need to worry about missing class or turning in an assignment late.”

Goodrich’s advice to other working professionals balancing multiple responsibilities is to consider a distance and online education at the University of Iowa.

“It was rewarding to create my own schedule, adhere to it and reap the benefits of my hard work; all the while being able to stay working full-time and be a good mom to my four and six year old children.”