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Class of 2021: Daedrick Matthews has career headed in right direction thanks to new degree program

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BGSU Firelands graduate is member of first cohort for Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies program

By Bob Cunningham ’18

Daedrick Matthews saw BGSU Firelands as his dream scenario: a quality school with incredible value close to his home in New London, Ohio.

“I chose to attend BGSU Firelands so that I could save money while achieving a bachelor’s degree,” said Matthews, who is one of 10 students graduating from Bowling Green State University’s initial cohort of the Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies (BTAS) program.

Matthews graduated with an Associate of Science in May 2019 from BGSU Firelands. He was one of the first students in the BTAS at BGSU Firelands when the program began in Fall 2019.

“He was a great student and highly engaged in each class,” said Dr. Cindy Miglietti, coordinator of Business Management Technology. “He was a great group project manager for group assignments and helped the group to succeed on each project. This spring, he was nominated for and won the BTAS Academic Program Excellence Award.”

Although his initial thought was to eventually transition to the Bowling Green campus in pursuit of a business administration degree, once Firelands debuted its BTASoffering, he altered his plan.

“The BTAS degree option allowed me to stay at Firelands and finish my four-year degree,” Matthews said. “It is pretty cool to be a part of the first class to go through a new degree program at a university. There were definitely some learning curves and challenges that we faced going through a newly developed program, especially with COVID-19 happening in the middle of it, but we persevered.”

The Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies with a concentration in Small Business Enterprise (SBE) at BGSU Firelands is a degree program designed to respond to specific regional workforce needs. Students complete a series of courses designed to develop concrete workplace skills in small business enterprise. The SBE concentration is an in-depth examination of small businesses built on a foundation of continuous innovation, lean principles, asset management, labor effectiveness, social media and communication. Students in the BTAS program can earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Certifications in Lean Systems Management.

Matthews said Firelands helped prepare him for the next step in his career by giving him the requisite knowledge to attain a job in the business field. He recently was hired as a project coordinator at Elite Industrial Controls in Berlin Heights, Ohio.

“Having a BTAS degree has helped me attain my job,” said Matthews, who had an internship with the Ohio Department of Transportation that ended early due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. “The program has provided me knowledge that I will use while learning my role and while performing it when I am done with training.

“I feel that without my degree, I would not have been qualified for my job and I would not be able to understand concepts that I am learning and using in my position.”

David Denison, a design coach at BGSU and a 2013 alumnus of the University, was instrumental in helping Matthews achieve his goal of a bachelor’s degree.

“He was the most helpful in laying out the steps to finishing my degree and helping me visualize the path to graduation,” Matthews said. “He took a personal interest in seeing that I did everything that I needed to do to graduate.”

Matthews said neither of his parents finished college, but it was their goal to make sure he and his brother, Dane Matthews, a junior at the Bowling Green campus majoring in education, were able to earn college degrees.

“I feel extremely appreciative of them and fortunate to be in the position I am in today,” Matthews said. “My brother, Dane, will graduate next year and become a high school history and social studies teacher. Growing up, my parents would each work multiple jobs while maintaining the importance of education for myself and my younger brother. Without their heroic, unselfish sacrifice for the betterment of my brother and me, we would not be able to do the things we are doing now.”

Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349