BASTL proves to be right prescription for career advancement



Shawn Silvoy loves working in health care and relishes the challenges of working as the Lehigh Valley Health Network’s liaison between its hospitals and roughly 150 ambulance services.

But the 37-year-old Bethlehem resident realized the only way to continue advancing was to go back to school. The first step was finishing his associates degree in manufacturing technology from Lehigh County Community College and then earning his Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Leadership (BASTL) from Bloomsburg in May 2017.

“In healthcare, if you want to advance to a management level you need to have a couple of letters behind your name,’’ said Silvoy, adding that he received a “nice” salary bump after earning graduating with honors. “I think I’m going to complete the master’s program as well – it’s opened up opportunities within the network.’’

Silvoy said the BASTL’s flexibility allowed him to continue working full time and have time to spend with his wife, Amy and 3-year-old son, Lincoln. As is the case with many students who work full-time, Silvoy’s employer assisted with his tuition.

The management classes have helped him do a better job in working with the wide range of personalities he encounters every day. He’s currently writing a business proposal and the skills taught in the Project Management have proved invaluable.

“There are a lot of skills from school that I’ve been able to put into my daily routine at the hospital directly,’’ he said. Looking ahead, Silvoy said he wants to continue moving up in the network and hopes to one day hold a position of director – or higher.

He said he would recommend the BASTL program. The professors took an active interest in the students, he said, and the video conferencing component of the online classes was like being in a classroom.

“I continue to engage with the professors, and they really want you to succeed and will push you to make sure you are doing your absolute best,’’ Silvoy said. “For me, the ability to have the one-on-one interaction was important.’’