How do hiring managers view different yet similar degrees?
In general, I care if you get your degree from a really good school, or a really bad school. Here, good and bad mean "when I interviewed people from this school in the past, did they know what they were doing?".
For example how would a hiring manager view a BS in Software engineering versus a BAS in Computer Information Systems?
A CIS degree to me means that you learned the language of the week, and can do the most basic of programming tasks. You can't solve problems. You don't know algorithms and data structures. You spent a bunch of time and money on skills you could've gotten by toying around with a PC for a year or two. There are certainly exceptions, but you'll have to prove to me that you learned stuff on your own.
A Computer Science degree from a bad university is basically the same. A CS degree from a good university should have given you the theoretical background that is hard to get on your own, and has forced you to learn a variety of programming languages and solve a variety of weird problems. You probably still can't write code, and you probably need to unlearn some bad habits.
What steps can a person take to cross over into a similar, yet different field?
For the majority of competent managers, the degree only goes so far. You still need to prove you can do the work. Software engineering is one of those fields where there is a very, very low barrier to entry. Get a PC, get an internet connection, make some software. Not only can those personal projects go on a resume (important, but not vital), but you can do well at the rest of the interview, which carries more weight than your degree does.