Commerce, TX – Governor Rick Perry, in his recent State of the State address, recognized Texas A&M University-Commerce and President Dan R. Jones for pioneering efforts to create a Bachelor’s degree costing approximately $10,000—significantly less than most undergraduate degrees.
A&M-Commerce accepted Governor Perry’s challenge to develop a Bachelor’s degree at the $10K price point in the summer of 2012. The Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Organizational Leadership is currently in development. The program is competency-based as opposed to semester credit-hour based and includes e-textbooks as an alternative to more expensive, traditional books.
Dr. Mary Hendrix, Vice President of Student Access and Success and the administrator leading the development of the degree said, “Competency-based education best serves adult learners who have significant life experiences. Because many prospective students may be serving in the military and/or are balancing their careers with family responsibilities, online, self-paced, and asynchronous options are best to meet their needs for access to higher education. Competency-based delivery allows institutions to reduce costs and accelerate students’ completion of baccalaureate degrees.”
Governor Perry issued the $10,000 degree challenge to Texas universities in response to the rapidly increasing cost of higher education. Stipulations indicate that this challenge should not result in “watered down” degrees, but it is imperative that programs should maintain academic rigor and relevance to their field.
“This degree program will be rigorous; faculty from both institutions and business and industry representatives have been working on the competencies, outcomes, and assessment methods since early fall,” said Dr. Hendrix.
President Jones, in a recent address to A&M-Commerce faculty and staff, said, “We are producing—due largely to the creativity and efforts of a group of farsighted faculty members—one of the most innovative models for delivering the $10,000 degree.”