Creating pathways for more affordable degree programs in Texas



Creating pathways for more affordable degree programs in Texas

Texas A&M University-Commerce and South Texas College, Texas


There are approximately 3.66 million Texans who have earned college credit but do not have a degree, according to the United States Census Bureau. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) sought to provide a way to accelerate degree completion for those students, as well as assist new students who could benefit from a flexible, self­-paced curriculum.

THECB and the nonprofit College for All Texans Foundation joined together to oversee an initiative to deliver a competency-­based education degree. This initiative is called the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program. Rather than focusing on student seat time, competency- based programs shift the focus to student mastery.

Students can accelerate through the degree program by receiving credit upon evidence of competency mastery on faculty-­approved assessments at the lower­-division level. Additionally, students may receive academic credit through other pathways such as military credit and third-party assessment of prior learning. The project involves a unique collaboration between a university, Texas A&M University­-Commerce, and a community college, South Texas College, in the development and delivery of an affordable baccalaureate degree.

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