The University of Houston-Downtown is one of two Houston-area universities the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has designated to help adults return to college and finish their bachelor's degrees through a new program called, Grad TX.
Grad TX targets the over 40,000 adults in Texas who “stopped out” of college with 90 or more credit hours, but have not finished the requirements for a bachelor’s degree. The program is also available through the University of Houston-Clear Lake and six other Texas universities.
“We have a reputation for helping returning adult students complete their baccalaureate degrees,” said Charlie Finch, assistant dean, UHD College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “We offer many degree programs through face-to-face classroom instruction, but returning students find our online classes and hybrid classes that combine classroom and online instruction particularly attractive for completing their degrees…and realistic in terms of their schedules.
“We have a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in interdisciplinary studies that enables returning students to pick and choose classes that complement the coursework they already have. This is especially attractive to returning students trying to complete their degrees.”
UHD’s BAAS degree in Applied Administration also provides an opportunity for students with Associate of Applied Science degrees and a foundation of work experience and workforce development courses. Students with AAS degrees can complete additional coursework to acquire the skills necessary for upper level administration and supervisory positions in organizations.
The Grad TX program’s website http://www.gradtx.org/ features an online transfer tool that allows returning students to enter completed coursework and preview how their credits would count toward a bachelor’s degree. The website also connects returning students to counselors 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.
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: The eight universities are:
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