Meet Our B.P.S. Students: Jason Melise Aims for a Top Spot in Banking

Jason Melise

Melise is thankful to be a member of the second cohort in RIC's new Bachelor of Professional Studies Program.

There are more than 100,000 Rhode Islanders with some college credits, but no degree. Rhode Island College’s Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.), the college’s first fully online degree completion program for adult learners, is built for them. This story is part of a series profiling some of the students who have found their path to career advancement through this program.

Rhode Island College’s Bachelor of Professional Studies (B.P.S.) Program arrived at the most opportune time in Jason Melise’s life.

Melise, age 38, started working in 2005 at Citizens Bank as a business banking specialist. In 2018 he became a call center supervisor at Lifespan. In 2022 he returned to Citizens as manager of the bank’s recovery department, where he oversees a team of 25 people and leads hiring, mentoring and regulatory compliance initiatives. Now, after more than 15 years in leadership positions, Melise is determined to continue moving up the ranks.

“I’m looking to go to the next level of leadership but that will require a degree,” Melise says. “I didn’t go to college in the past because I managed to have a successful career without a degree; however, my aspirations for the future have changed. So, here I am.”

Melise is part of the second cohort of students in RIC’s new B.P.S. program. He is pursuing a B.P.S. degree with a concentration in organizational leadership. For him, the program has been a perfect fit.

“It gives me the flexibility to work at my own pace,” he says. “I love the fact that there is a split semester with two classes per semester. That’s brilliant because if you’re pressed for time, taking four classes in a semester doesn’t always work.”

Melise also appreciates that his courses are mostly online.

“I love that although it’s virtual, I speak with my classmates off-line all the time,” he says. “There’s still human interaction. We lean on one another.”

The biggest takeaway, he says, is what he’s learning.

“What I’m learning has helped to influence some of the decisions and management styles I use every day,” he says. “I feel like I’m moving toward long-term success.”

Melise’s management professor, RIC Associate Professor Julie Urda praised him for being a wonderful student.

“His participation is thoughtful and insightful, especially his written activities, such as the online discussion board and weekly written assignments,” Urda says.

Ultimately, Melise’s goal is to earn his bachelor’s degree before he turns 40. And, he’s on target.

“I’m so thankful this B.P.S. program came along,” he says.

Other Articles in this Series:

Learn more about the Bachelor of Professional Studies program