bachelor’s of arts in applied science (BAAS) degrees

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During the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) 123rd Annual Meeting, Odessa College received authorization to offer the bachelor of arts in applied science (BAAS) degree in automation and the BAAS degree in leadership and management. With SACSCOC approval, planning and scheduling of the course work and classes for the two new baccalaureate degrees can move forward. The projected start date for classes specifically dedicated to these baccalaureate degrees is Spring 2019. SACSCOC is the recognized regional accrediting body in the eleven U.S. Southern states for institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees.

According to Odessa College Vice President of Instruction Valerie Jones, “applied science means we link education with hands-on, real world experience. Students will learn theory and practice from the industry leaders and innovators who merge professional experiences and firsthand knowledge into an academically rigorous curriculum.” Odessa College students with applied associate degrees will now have an affordable, high-quality option for continuing their education. Offering these degrees will not only allow the college to meet critical workforce needs in the Permian Basin, but it will also provide our students with a pathway to better pay and promotion in their chosen fields.

Two-year institutions such as Odessa College are allowed to offer 4-year applied baccalaureate degrees under the provisions of Senate Bill 2118 (SB2118), which passed the Texas Legislature on June 12, 2017, and became effective immediately. The legislation allows 2-year colleges to seek permission from their respective state and regional accrediting bodies to offer bachelor’s degrees in high-demand, workforce-oriented fields.

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