*Since the publication of this story, Leski has graduated from UW Oshkosh with a Bachelor's of Applied Studies.
A bachelor’s degree was something that John Leski, a training and development specialist, always wanted to achieve. He had researched schools online and talked to university representatives from various colleges, but he says he just needed a push.
“The catalyst came in 2008, when my job description was modified and I was required to have a bachelor’s degree to keep my position. That was the push I needed,” Leski said.
Leski works full-time and is taking a full load of credits. Since his program is made for students like Leski, he said the balancing act is less challenging.
“It’s a little less hectic because the majority of the people I have class with are in the same boat. They’re working adults at various ages, and a lot of them have families.
“Some programs might be hard for someone who works, but the program I’m in has been great with evening, hybrid and online classes. It really works out well.”
Leski also said that since his classmates are all adults, he feels more comfortable in his classroom.
“While some are older and some are younger, they’re all going back to school, which is nice. I feel much less alienated since I go to school with other adults,” Leski said.
Leski will graduate from his program at the same time his daughter will graduate high school, and he said that his decision to return to school has been a motivation to her.
“She’s a junior in high school, so she’s just starting to decide what to do. Now that I’m in school she’s become a lot more serious in what she wants to do,” Leski said.
Leski said that one of the main reasons he chose the Bachelor of Applied Studies (BAS) program is because his associate degree transferred and gave him a head start on his credits.
“I held an associate degree from NWTC that I received in 1988. The program that I chose accepted my prior degree and some other classes I’ve taken, so I came to UW Oshkosh as a junior. I was already halfway to my undergraduate degree. That was a huge decision maker,” Leski said.
The BAS program was specifically designed for students who have an associate degree.
Leski said that his post-degree plans are constantly changing.
“Since I’m getting my degree because it’s a new requirement for my job, an education could just keep the status quo if that’s what I wanted,” Leski said.
“I’m still trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up,” Leski joked. “I don’t have a specific goal, but it’s bigger and better than where I’m at right now.”