MSU One of Eight Universities Participating in Grad TX

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) recently launched of Grad TX, a program designed to help adults return to college and finish their bachelor's degrees. Offered by eight Texas universities, including Midwestern State University through its Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Program, Grad TX targets the more than 40,000 adults in Texas who "stopped out" of college with 90 or more credit hours, but have not finished the 120 credit hour requirement to receive a bachelor's degree.

 

The program's website www.GradTX.orgfeatures an online transfer tool that allows returning students to enter completed coursework and preview how their credits would count toward a bachelor's degree at a participating university. The website also connects returning students to counselors at each university who specialize in meeting the unique needs of returning students, such as determining how work experience could count toward a bachelor's degree and helping returning students graduate faster. Grad TX includes information about paying for college and financial aid, as well as a section addressing the needs of Veterans.

 

"The THECB, working closely with our state colleges and universities, is focused on significantly increasing the number of college graduates," said Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes. "Encouraging and assisting our adult population to get back on track for a college degree is critical for Texas to become a national leader and global competitor."

 

In addition to better preparing people for their career choices, a college degree leads to greater financial independence.  According to a recent study by the Center on Education and the Workforce, the United States can reverse the growth of income inequality by increasing the number of college graduates. In 2010, the average weekly wage for workers without a college degree was $712. Workers with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $1,038.

 

THECB selected eight Texas universities to be part of the launch of this new program that offers specialized programs with online, compressed, and regular course offerings for returning students. The eight universities include:

 

Lamar University

Midwestern State University

Texas A&M University Commerce

Texas Tech University

University of Houston-Downtown

University of Houston-Clear Lake

University of North Texas System

University of Texas at Brownsville

 

The Grad TX website features stories of adult students at the universities featured in the programs.

 

Two recent graduates of Midwestern State University, Stan Standridge and Kimberly Ward, were able to increase their earnings upon the completion of the B.A.A.S. (Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences) degree. Mr. Standridge moved into the position of chief of police for the city of Abilene, Texas, and Ms. Ward was promoted to program coordinator at her current place of employment. They both attribute their promotions and increased incomes to completion of the B.A.A.S. degree, which allowed them to take advantage of their work experience and previous college hours earned years before. This helped to significantly reduce the length of time it took to complete their bachelor's degrees. Dr. Van Davis, Director of Special Projects at THECB, acknowledged "Grad TX puts a bachelor's degree within reach for many Texans."

 

Grad TX is part of the Generation TX movement to get all Texas students on the path to success in college and their careers. Grad TX specifically focuses on returning adult students who want to advance their career by earning a bachelor's degree. Grad TX is a project of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) with initial funding provided through a federal College Access Challenge Grant.

 

For more information on MSU's Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, call 940-397-4400.