The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate represents an innovative approach to higher education in Texas. Incorporating competency-based and traditional courses, online and hybrid learning, and lower costs than a traditional degree, the program lets students save thousands of dollars and semesters of time in obtaining a degree.
In 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry challenged all Texas institutions of higher education to develop a $10,000 bachelor’s degree. The Coordinating Board accepted this challenge and began working with Texas A&M – Commerce and South Texas College to build a new program. Three years later, the first TAB programs were offered – an exclusively online BAAS in organizational leadership at Texas A&M – Commerce and a hybrid BAS in organizational leadership at South Texas College. Students in both programs pay $750 for each seven-week enrollment period and can complete an unlimited number of modules in each term. Since then, these programs have graduated 424 students.
Five new TAB programs were announced in 2017:
- South Texas College: Bachelor of Applied Technology – Computer Information Technology
- Tarleton State University: BS – Applied Science
- Texas A&M University – Commerce: BS – Criminal Justice
- Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi: BS – Mechanical Engineering Technology
- University of Houston-Downtown: BAAS – Applied Public Administration and Leadership
As noted by Commissioner of Higher Education, Raymund Paredes, Texas must “substantially reinvent higher education.” The success of the TAB program hinges on the efforts of higher education leaders who are willing to boldly embrace new narratives, reimagine instructional design, and creatively overhaul network systems.