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Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (South Texas College And Texas A&M University-Commerce)

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, created in 1965, provides leadership and coordination for the Texas higher education system. Two Texas institutions, South Texas College (STC) and Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMUC), along with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and College for All Texans Foundation, were awarded a one million dollar Next Generation Learning Challenges grant by EDUCAUSE in July 2012 for the joint development of a competency-based degree program. TAMUC is designated as a military-serving institution and enrolls nearly 500 active military and veterans each semester. STC serves two of the most impoverished counties in Texas and the nation, including McAllen, with the fifth largest Hispanic population among U.S. cities. Over 40 percent of students at both institutions received Pell grants in 2011.

The joint-developed degree, a competency-based Bachelor of Applied Sciences (BAS) in Organizational Leadership degree, launched in January 2014. The foundation of the degree is the 21st century skills outlined by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U): Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World, Intellectual and Practical Skills, Personal and Social Responsibility, and Integrative and Applied Learning. These mastery areas are integrated into the degree program’s three component parts -- the general education core curriculum, lower-division electives, and upper-division applied coursework. In an effort to make sure the program was sufficiently aligned with workforce needs, STC and TAMUC used a variation of Lumina’s Tuning process to develop both the lower-division and upper-division curriculum. Both institutions plan to scale their competency-based program quickly. Additionally, both institutions have begun to consider the ways in which the new competency-based general education curriculum can be leveraged to build additional competency-based degree programs.