2008 - 2009 Professional Bachelor of Business Administration Program (PBBA)

Program Goals | Admissions & Financial Aid | Degree Requirements | Program Policies | Project Sequences

Program Chair: Aric Krause
Faculty: Peter Ingle, Aric Krause, Michael Sutton, Joel Watson

The Professional Bachelor of Business Administration is a project-based degree completion program specifically designed for non-traditional students who have completed an Associate’s Degree (A.A. or A.S.) and wish to complete a Bachelor’s degree at a later point in life. The program is:

  • Project-Based: a student completes a total of 5 projects designed and sequenced specifically to measure student learning and accomplishment.
  • Self-Paced: a student completes sequenced projects while still attending to personal and professional commitments; a student will individually choose the speed and pace they wish for program completion.
  • Accelerated: a student graduates when all projects are successfully completed; the amount of time a student would take to graduate from the program is self-determined by the student.
  • Low-Residency: a student uses learning experiences and resources delivered via the Internet to master program competencies. A student attends two-day on-campus residencies once during each of the 5 project sequences.
  • Faculty mentored: faculty members work with students on an individual basis to provide mentorship, project guidance, and feedback. Faculty members also evaluate completed student projects to determine whether or not project learning is sufficiently demonstrated.

Students completing all program and college requirements earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree from Westminster College.

Program Goals

A student completes the program by demonstrating mastery of the following program goals and related competencies:

  • Communication skills: a student effectively communicates business concepts orally and in writing to faculty and business stakeholders.
  • Ethical decision making skills: a student understands various ethical perspectives and utilizes ethical and legal framework for decision-making.
  • Critical thinking skills: a student develops skills to analyze and solve complex managerial problems.
  • Leadership and collaboration skills: a student demonstrates how individuals and groups contribute to valued organizational outcomes.
  • Strategic perspective: a student demonstrates the cultural, legal, economic and geo-political forces that impact business strategies within national and international contexts.
  • Organizational performance: a student analyzes and uses accounting and financial information to articulate organizational performance for various stakeholders.
  • Market execution: a student identifies and understands markets for an organization’s goods and services, applies the activities which make up the value chain for those goods and services, and employs appropriate methodologies and techniques for ensuring product/service quality and speed to market.

Admissions & Financial Aid

A student is admitted to the program on a rolling basis, with new cohorts beginning the program in August, January, and May of each year.

Admission to the Professional Bachelor of Business Administration requires the submission of the following materials to the Office of Admissions for admissions evaluation:

  1. A completed application with a $40 application fee.
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, providing evidence of an associate degree (A.A. or A.S.) from a regionally accredited college or university or international college or university. The associate degree must have been completed at least two years prior to the application for admission to this program.
  3. Résumé detailing 6 or more years of relevant work experience. Relevant work experience can be paid employment, volunteer work for non-profit organizations, military service, or combinations of the above; the résumé should demonstrate increasing responsibility in work-related experience.
  4. Two reference letters, typed on letterhead from supervisors, managers, professors, or other professional sources.
  5. Responses to essay questions.

In certain cases an interview with an admissions representative may be required prior to admissions. When the application materials are complete, the application is reviewed by a committee and decisions are reported to the student.

A student entering the program is given the equivalent of 64 credit hours for an associate’s degree (A.A. or A.S.).

Program Costs

The cost of the entire program is fixed as long as the student is making academic progress. The tuition price includes all learning resources and fees. Because of the self-paced nature of the program, once a student is enrolled in a project, tuition refunds are not possible. Students with extenuating circumstances can adjust their pace when necessary. Students who decide to withdraw from the program entirely must notify their Program Assistant immediately.

Satisfactory Progress Policy

A student is required to maintain satisfactory progress in the program in order to receive Title IV federal financial aid funds. For more information, see the satisfactory progress policy on the Financial Aid page.

Financial Aid

A student enrolled in this program is eligible for federal financial aid programs as described in the financial aid section of this catalog. A student is not eligible for institutional aid programs. To be eligible for federal financial aid, a student must maintain enrollment and satisfactory progress as described. A student can also elect to participate in alternative loan programs as long as eligibility requirements are met. Please contact your Program Assistant for specific information about financial aid.

Degree Requirements

The Projects

The program consists of 5 project sequences which must be completed at Westminster College. Each of the project sequences consists of several small sub-projects and an integrative project. The projects are to be completed in the order specified. A student completes all projects to demonstrate mastery of the program learning goals and objectives. Before starting a project sequence, a student meets with his or her Coach to assess which learning experiences should be used to help the student complete the projects, given the student’s prior life and/or professional experience. The student is given a set of rubrics, which explain precisely how the project will be evaluated upon its completion. A student can use this rubric to self-assess the project before submission. When a project sequence is successfully completed, the student can begin the next project sequence.

Faculty Interaction

To help students in the program, there are dedicated faculty members specifically assigned to assist in learning, in learning assessment, and for career mentorship. Students and faculty interact regularly to effect learning. Each student has a Coach to serve as a mentor to the student throughout the program. Each project sequence has a faculty mentor who assists the student in learning experiences and in project completion and evaluation. Each student also has access to Program Assistants to assist with registration, billing, financial aid, project submission, technology systems, and any other questions about the program. A student is encouraged to utilize these resources whenever needed throughout the duration of the program.

Grading/Assessment Systems

When a student has completed a project, work is submitted to the Mentor for evaluation according to the established project rubrics. A student is given one of three assessments for each of the competencies related to the sub-project and for the overall project: Exceeds project standards, Meets project standards, or Does Not Meet project standards. In all cases, the student is given substantial feedback on project performance. In the case that an assessment of “Does Not Meet project standards” is given, the student is allowed to use additional learning experiences and resubmit the work for additional evaluation. A student can submit their work a maximum of three times for evaluation.


Each project sequence includes a required two-day on-campus residency period. The residency consists of workshops, seminars, and simulations specifically designed to offer learning opportunities related to each project sequence. Residencies are scheduled on a monthly basis. Please consult the program website for specific information on residency schedules.

Learning Experiences

Learning experiences are provided to help the student master the knowledge related to specific competencies and learning goals as they relate to specific projects. All of the learning experiences can be accessed from the program website. A student is not required to complete any specific set of learning experiences. Learning experiences augment a student’s knowledge and can be engaged on an as-needed basis by the student. A student is strongly encouraged to consult with his or her Mentor as they are working on projects to figure out which sets of learning experiences are most useful, given the student’s background and experience. All learning experiences can be accessed by all students—even if a student is completing a later project, that student can refer back to learning experiences from other projects to help recall specific techniques and knowledge.


After evaluation by a faculty member, each project’s deliverables are packaged in their final form and placed in the student’s electronic portfolio. These projects can be used by the project’s original author as templates or resources in later projects. All deliverables will be formally reviewed by committee members in the student’s final project. Each student will be responsible for maintaining the e-portfolio throughout the duration of the program. Specific details about the e-portfolio process will be furnished during the program orientation each term.

Program Policies

Academic Progress

A student can complete the requirements of the program at a self-determined pace, but are expected to complete the program within three (3) academic years. A student who, for whatever reason, does not enroll for two consecutive terms must request reinstatement in the program, and will be subject to the tuition charges currently in effect. A student must also complete a particular project sequence within 6 months from the date of registration. If, after 6 months, the project sequence is not completed, the student may be required to reapply to the program. Staying in constant contact with the mentor helps avoid problems.

Academic Suspension

A student who, for whatever reason, is unable to demonstrate mastery of the competencies of a particular project sequence after two full attempts will be asked to meet with their Coach. The Coach will work with the student to develop a realistic plan to identify those barriers that inhibit the student’s successful performance. This plan will then be engaged and the student will be given one additional attempt at completion. If the student is still unable to complete the project, the student may be suspended from the program.

A student who is suspended from the program may reapply for admission after two terms. A personal interview will be required before readmission is allowed, and, if readmitted, the student will be able to reenter the program at the current year’s tuition rate. The student will work with his or her Coach to develop a specific progress plan. As long as the student fulfills the terms of the performance plan, the student will be allowed to complete remaining program requirements.

Academic Standards

Faculty members in the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business have developed the following academic standards to support the mission and goals of this program. The goals are presented here to help the student understand responsibilities as a student throughout the program.

  1. A student should always be familiar with project requirements and assignment guidelines to avoid problems. The student should take every opportunity to consult with his or her Coach and Mentors to receive clarification when needed.
  2. All work on all projects should be the original work of the student.
  3. A student should always be respectful of faculty, staff, and other students in the program.
  4. The program should most importantly be fun, intellectually challenging, and enjoyable. Students should push themselves, using every opportunity to participate and learn and get the most from the Westminster experience.
  5. Plagiarism is a serious offense in academic and business settings. Plagiarism is a violation of the college’s academic policy. Click here for further information on Academic Honesty. A student who violates the academic honesty policy may be suspended from the program.

Graduation Requirements

A candidate for graduation must consult their Program Assistant at the beginning of Project 5. The Program Assistant will assist the student in completion of the application for graduation for the next graduation period in the following December or May, or August, depending on the actual date of application. To be eligible for graduation, a student must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Complete 124 credit hours
  • Complete each project sequence successfully with a minimum evaluation of “Meets project standards”
  • Maintain an e-portfolio and receive a minimum evaluation of “Meets project standards”

A student should consult either the assigned Coach or the Program Assistant at any point when questions arise about graduation requirements.