Sunday, July 19, 2015

Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program-TAMUC

You can read about the program on Texas A&M Commerce' website here. Continue reading to learn about my specific experience.

I applied and enrolled in September 2014. It was the simplest process of any of my many college enrollments. This program is designed for busy working adults who already have some college and are already on a career path. I guess you can enroll if a degree would help you in a new career but I feel like most of us just wanted to enhance our value within our current field. I feel like it was designed just for me because it ended up being so perfect.

Program Description
Instead of semesters classes are grouped into 7 week terms. You begin each term enrolled in two courses. Additional courses are added as you complete the initial two classes. I chose to only work on one course at a time because my life was already chaotic with work and family. The program is built on competency based education. This means that once you "test out" of a class by making an 80 or better on the course final, you have completed that class. All the course materials(video, forums, text, etc.) are provided within the course and accessible through most platforms like your laptop, IPad, or IPhone. I chose to do everything from my laptop.

Here is a break down of the number of classes I completed each term:
Term 1, September 8-October 24: 4 classes(12 hours)
Term 2, November 3-December 19: 2 classes (6 hours)
Term 3, December 29-February 13: 6 classes (18 hours)
Term 4, February 23-April 6: 4 classes (12 hours)
Term 5, April 20- June 5: 6 classes (18 Hours)
Term 6, June 15-July 31: 2 classes (6 hours)

For me the dream was to complete one course per week but I never quite reached that goal. I am generally pleased with how I was able to accelerate through the courses.
The second term may look like I hit the brakes a little bit but I planned on giving myself the whole term to complete the algebra course I was enrolled in. I dropped college algebra more times than I like to admit so I needed all that time to master that class. Also the other course I was enrolled in, Professional Development,  is not exactly competency based. It was the only class I took that had weekly assignments.
With that exception, the amount of time I spent on school was dependent on how busy my kids were keeping me since my work schedule was consistent throughout.
My final term began on June 15th and I was actually finished with my last two courses by the end of June so I had some time to spare.
The last ten courses are formatted a little differently than the others. In addition to testing out  of the course material, we also had to complete a project. This is probably where I learned the most. I found the projects very stimulating.

The money
Each term costs a flat rate of $750.00. We paid $3500 for 72 semester hours.This includes books until you get to the last ten classes. My books for those classes cost less than $150, I shopped the best prices between Amazon, Half, and EBay.  Here is a quick comparison of the cost compared to other more traditional routes of education-
Private School- around $853.33 per semester hour
Public 4 year University-$520.00 per S/H
Junior College-$133.00 per S/H
Community College-$85.00 per S/H
My cost at TAMUC-$62.50 per S/H
Degree Information
My degree is from the school of Humanities and Education. It's a Bachelors in Applied Science in Organizational Leadership. My education prior to TAMUC was in Business so this was not much of a departure for me. 
If you have further questions about my experience in this program,  I am happy to answer them and help anyone who wants to complete their degree!

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