Today the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board announced the award of more than $650,000 to four public institutions, including Tarleton State University, for expansion of the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate program.
Other recipients are Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, South Texas College (in partnership with Austin Community College) and Texas A&M-Commerce. The funds awarded support the planning, development and implementation of the institutions’ new affordable baccalaureate programs.
“The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate (TAB) is a cost-effective option to provide greater socioeconomic mobility for a greater number of Texans,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes. “The state must continue to innovate and provide cost-effective, high-quality education that meets the needs of an ever-changing global economy while providing greater opportunity and prosperity for Texans. The coordinating board welcomes these four new programs.”
Tarleton will use its grant funds to evaluate and implement alternative credit courses to reduce costs and time-to-degree for students in its bachelor of science in applied science program. By combining a hybrid-delivery model with an alternative credit model for general education courses, the new program will provide a path to an affordable baccalaureate degree for nontraditional students who have completed technical or occupational specializations from a community college or technical school, or during military training.
“We are extremely grateful to be selected by the coordinating board to participate in the TAB program,” said Dr. Wayne Atchley, director of Tarleton’s Office of Applied and Experiential Learning. “Tarleton is committed to serving the needs of nontraditional students throughout Texas. As part of the TAB program, we’re able to offer an affordable, expedient degree option to a growing number of Texans eager to return to the classroom and earn a bachelor’s degree.”
The College For all Texans Foundation supported the fundraising efforts for the grants, which were made possible through AT&T Aspire, Greater Texas Foundation, Kresge Foundation and Meadows Foundation. Grant recipients were selected through a competitive application and review process.
“At the Texas A&M University System, we are always looking for new ways to lower costs and increase options for our students,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “This initiative is a natural fit for us. I am so proud that three of our universities are on the leading edge of it, and I am grateful to the coordinating board and the funders for making it possible.”
The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate program supports 60x30TX, the state’s higher education goals for completion, marketable skills, managing student debt and ensuring that at least 60 percent of Texans age 25-34 will have a college degree or certificate by 2030.