Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program - Rebecca Klein-Collins and Kathleen Glancey, EDUCAUSE Review

A targeted collaboration among higher education entities in Texas addressed a key problem for would-be students and their families: affordability. In January 2014 the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), South Texas College (STC), and Texas A&M University–Commerce (A&M–Commerce) launched the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate (TAB) Program, the state's first competency-based bachelor degree. The program's inaugural degree, an applied baccalaureate in organizational leadership, offers a low-cost alternative to a traditional postsecondary degree. The degree is also designed to provide students with employer-identified 21st-century competencies. While gaining or demonstrating these competencies, students have the opportunity to accelerate their time to completion, reducing costs further. The program features a blended model that combines competency-based courses and more traditionally formatted courses. Students earn the first 90 credit hours required for the degree through self-paced, online, competency-based modules, and the last 30 credit hours in either a hybrid or online format.

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