Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Wins 2016 Star Award

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on Wednesday awarded the 2016 Star Award to the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate program at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Launched in 2014, the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate program is the state’s first entirely competency-based bachelor-level degree from a public institution. It was created in response to a challenge issued by then-Gov. Rick Perry in 2011 to develop a low-cost alternative for completing a college degree. The entire program is offered online and allows students to earn a bachelor of applied science degree with an emphasis in organizational leadership at their own pace.

“The Texas A&M University System and our Board of Regents are committed to controlling costs while providing a high-quality college education,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “I salute Texas A&M University-Commerce for its leadership in making a quality college education available to more Texans.”

Each year, the Coordinating Board’s prestigious Star Award recognizes “exceptional contributions” toward meeting one or more goals of the state’s long-range higher education plan, 60x30TX. This strategic plan aims to establish a globally competitive workforce in Texas by ensuring that 60 percent of 25- to 34-year olds in the state hold a postsecondary credential by 2030.

The Coordinating Board received 39 nominations and 35 applications for this year’s Star Award. There were ultimately six finalists, including the Tarleton State University’s Intern 2 Learn program.

“In addition to our pride in A&M-Commerce for succeeding in a tough field of competitors, we are also glad that Tarleton State was also recognized for its efforts to secure a prosperous future for Texans,” Sharp said.

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About The Texas A&M University System

The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 150,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $946 million in FY 2015 and helped drive the state’s economy.