First 12 BBA Grads Receive Degrees
The new bachelor of business administration degree will better reflect the calibre and range of courses across multiple business disciplines that are taken by Redeemer’s business students.
5 min. read
June 11, 2021

Twelve Redeemer business grads will cross the virtual stage in June and receive Redeemer’s first bachelor of business administration (BBA) degrees. The BBA is more readily recognized as a business degree than a bachelor of arts (BA) by employers, professional associations and graduate schools.

“Seeing the first cohort of BBA graduates receive their degree is a fulfillment of Redeemer’s strategic effort to expand degrees and accreditations in order to ensure student and graduate success,” said Dr. David Zietsma, interim president. “It is a key part of Learn. Forward. Strategic Plan 2025. Students in Ontario now have the unique opportunity to study business from a Christian perspective grounded in a liberal arts and sciences approach, and to receive a BBA after successfully doing that.” 

Redeemer continues to enhance its program array in order to prepare students to be innovative, collaborative, problem-solving critical thinkers ready to fill the opportunities of the marketplace and meet the needs of society. In December 2020, this forward momentum reached new heights when the Government of Ontario passed Bill 213, giving Redeemer the authority to grant 20 possible new degrees, including the BBA. Since then, the university undertook an independent internal comparison of its BA with BBA degrees offered by several other Canadian universities. Changes have been incorporated into a slightly enhanced program and 12 graduates were found eligible to receive the new degree already. 

“We are tremendously excited to have Redeemer’s business program offered as a bachelor of business administration degree,” said Susan Van Weelden, professor of business and dean of social sciences. “This is a real win for students! It makes their degree more relevant in a competitive workforce. It also eliminates confusion about the excellent professional preparation provided by a Redeemer business degree that builds on a solid liberal arts and sciences foundation.” 

Redeemer’s first BBA grads agree. 

I was excited to learn that I would be able to graduate with a BBA since a bachelor of arts wasn’t as representative of the type of learning we go through in the business program,” said marketing grad Grace DeGelder, one of the 12 to be awarded the BBA this month. “Having a BBA makes my education more applicable for a variety of business positions and streams, which is exciting and gives me more confidence applying to jobs.”

Having a BBA makes my education more applicable for a variety of business positions and streams, which is exciting and gives me more confidence applying to jobs.

The BBA degrees in all four concentrations (accounting, management, marketing and not-for-profit) include slightly enhanced course requirements. The new larger degree program will make Redeemer’s graduates more competitive with students graduating from other BBA and bachelor of commerce (BComm) programs in Canada. The program is also providing students with the additional breadth and depth required to succeed in the business world, and with a degree that will remain competitive in the workforce. 

“When I was told that I could graduate with a BBA, I was elated! I know this program will also help attract future Redeemer business students,” said management grad Quinton Regnerus. “Redeemer’s business program has prepared me for my future by teaching me how to communicate effectively and work well in a team. I have learned that these are both very important skills in today’s world. Redeemer has emphasized the importance of Christian principles in the workforce. This has given me a great foundation to build on as I begin my career.”

Redeemer business alumni also recognize the benefits that the new BBA brings in light of an ever-changing business world. Joel Span, Redeemer business alumnus and director, technical accounting at Beacon Rail in Luxembourg says Redeemer’s business education provided him not only the tools required to succeed in the CPA program, but also introduced him to KPMG through the co-op program. Redeemer’s co-op, or work-integrated learning, provided him with the opportunity to enter his field of study earlier and apply hands-on what he had learned in class.

“In many ways I see it as a refinement of the brand rather than a fundamental change in the underlying education,” says Span. “Early in one’s career, the brand recognition of the degree [nomenclature] is critical in conveying a clear and consistent message of what the prospective candidate has learned during their studies. One common question I receive from friends is ‘Why do you have a degree in arts?’ so this is a welcome change.”

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