Qualifying as one of six finalists for the 2016 Star Award means Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Texas Affordable Baccalaureate (TAB) program has been recognized for its “exceptional contributions toward meeting one or more goals of the new Texas higher education plan, 60x30TX,” such as “implementing programs or cost efficiencies that help to ensure that undergraduate student debt will not exceed 60 percent of first-year wages.”
This strategic plan is intended to meet the state’s growing workforce need by ensuring that 60 percent of its 25- to 34-year-olds have in-hand a postsecondary degree, or certification, by 2030.
Within the 60x30TX competition, A&M-Commerce is up against El Paso Community College and Texas Tech University Partnership for Architecture; Tarleton State University’s Intern 2 Learn program; University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Success Through Education Programs (STEP); University of Texas at Austin’s University Leadership Network; and University of Texas at Tyler’s Insight Motivated Marketing (MM 360) curriculum.
The winner(s) will be decided during the luncheon of the Star Awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the 2016 Texas Higher Education Leadership Conference in Austin. Winner(s) will be announced on Wednesday, Oct. 26.
TAB is the state’s first “competency-based bachelor-level degree with an emphasis in organizational leadership.” It was created in response to an edict given by then-governor Rick Perry in 2011 to develop a lost-cost alternative for completing a college degree. The entire program is offered online.
About Texas A&M University-Commerce: Founded in 1889, Texas A&M University-Commerce is a member of The Texas A&M University System. Located in Northeast Texas, A&M-Commerce is home to more than 12,000 students, four academic colleges, a thriving graduate school, and more than 140 degree programs. As the region’s focal point of higher education, A&M-Commerce offers students facilities ranging from the world-class Keith D. McFarland Science Building and University Planetarium to the Sam Rayburn Student Center, to a fully equipped recreational facility and music hall. The university also has convenient locations in Corsicana, downtown Dallas, Midlothian, McKinney, Mesquite and Rockwall.
About the A&M System: The A&M 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, seven state agencies, two service units and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 140,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, externally funded research expenditures exceed $932 million and help drive the state’s economy.