Friday, February 11, 2011

Texas already has a $10K bachelor's degree ... that is about to be ended

The irony is just priceless ...

Gov. Perry challenged Texas colleges to offer a $10,000 bachelor's degree program in his State of the State Address, but there are already three schools across the state that have a program like that, the Texas Tribune reported.

That includes Brazosport College which is in the Houston area.

However, the state house is considering cutting funding to the school and if it's approved the college could be forced to shut down.  

More from the referenced Trib piece:

As it turns out, there already is a $10,000 bachelor’s degree available in Texas — and the Legislature may be on the verge of eliminating it.

Shirley Reed, the president of South Texas College, a community college in the Rio Grande Valley, was at the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon to testify before the Senate Finance Committee. She heard Perry and thought, “My goodness. This is precisely what we’re doing.”

South Texas College is one of three community colleges in Texas — the others are Brazosport College and Midland College — authorized to offer a Bachelor of Applied Technology degree. It’s a real, honest-to-goodness bachelor’s degree, designed for students who already have an Associate of Applied Science — a technical degree that often doesn’t transfer to traditional universities. It can be leveraged into middle management positions or even the pursuit of a master’s degree. And the cost tends to be in the $10,000 range.
“It’s probably the most cost-effective, affordable bachelor’s degree you could have in Texas,” Reed says.

At Brazosport, for example, four years' worth of tuition and fees for a Bachelor of Applied Technology degree comes to $9,168. To be fair, that does not include books. Ken Tasa, the dean of educational programs and services at Brazosport, estimates that eight semesters' worth of brand-new textbooks could run a tab as high as $4,000, tipping the bill significantly over Perry’s $10,000 limit. Between the internet and the campus library, however, there are ways of skirting those costs.

So, mission accomplished? Not so fast — the Bachelor of Applied Technology program is highly controversial and may not be around much longer.

The House’s base budget not only eliminates all funding for Brazosport, it eliminates funding for all of the state’s Bachelor of Applied Technology programs. 

There's more there about how this degree has met with considerable resistance from the educational establishment, which believe that a four-year degree from a two-year college encroaches on university turf. But I'm sure the governor has another wand to wave that will make that go away. After all he appoints all those regents, you see.

As for how Perry is hoping to get his $10,000 degree, she says she is still scratching her head. “I just assumed that meant it was all online,” she says.

Rick Perry pronounces and college administrators across the state scratch their heads. You can just picture it, can't you?

The problem is believing anything he says in the first place.

1 comment:

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