In response to Gov. Rick Perry's challenge to Texas institutions of higher education to develop affordable college degree alternatives, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) announced the launch of the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Degree Program. This innovative initiative creates a low-cost, competency-based bachelor's degree for college students and began last week at South Texas College and Texas A&M University-Commerce, which collaborated with THECB to develop the program.
"Texas attracts world-class companies across a variety of industries, and today's evolving economy requires a skilled workforce prepared to meet the diverse needs of our employers," Gov. Perry said. "In order to meet new demands, it is essential that Texans have access to affordable, quality higher education. Texas remains committed to cultivating new, innovative solutions like this one to create opportunity for our communities now and into the future."
"In 2011, Gov. Perry called on Texas higher education to develop low-cost alternatives for earning a college degree," THECB Commissioner Raymund Paredes said. "The launch of this program answers that call and demonstrates to institutions around Texas and the nation that faculty-driven collaboration and the adoption of game-changing innovations in higher education delivery can create new, affordable pathways to degree attainment."
This degree program is Texas' first competency-based bachelor-level degree from a public institution. A student with no prior college credits should be able to complete the degree in three years at a total cost of $13,000 to $15,000. With 90 credits hours and no credential, they can complete the degree in one year at a cost of $4,500 to $6,000.