The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate program at Texas A&M University – Commerce was awarded the 2016 Star Award.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board gave the award to the university’s program to recognize the attempts of the program to make college more affordable for students.
The goal of the Star Award is to try and achieve a goal of 60 percent of young adults completing college in the state of Texas. To stimulate universities to increase this number, the board developed the Star Award to create competition among universities.
The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate program was created in 2014. It is an entirely online program that gives students the ability to complete a college degree without actually going to a college.
The program has a much lower cost than getting a regular Bachelor’s degree, but still allows students to emerge from the program with a bachelor of applied science and an organizational leadership emphasis.
“I salute Texas A&M University – Commerce for its leadership in making a quality college education available to more Texas,” John Sharp, chancellor, said.
The Board had 39 nominations for the award and 35 different universities applied for the award for the year of 2016. Although Texas A&M University – Commerce was one of the smaller universities competing for the award, the board deemed the university the winner of the award in late October.
The Affordable Baccalaureate program is the first program of its kind in the entire state of Texas. What makes the program unique is that it allows students to work through it at their own pace and still allows them to receive a degree equal to a Bachelor’s. Most public institutions do not offer programs like this completely online and usually serve as college credits, instead of as an entire degree plan.
These unique aspects brought the program to the attention of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, who encouraged the university to continue giving students low-cost opportunities like this in order to provide Texas students with an education comparable to the best in the world.