Odessa College authorized to offer baccalaureate degrees


ODESSA (Aug. 23, 2018) – Today, Odessa College received authorization from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to offer two applied baccalaureate degrees. The two, 4-year degrees approved by the THECB are a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) in Automation and a BAAS in Leadership and Management.

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 to offer bachelor’s degrees in high-demand, workforce-oriented fields. 

According to Odessa College Vice President of Instruction Valerie Jones, “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, it will also provide our students with a pathway to better pay and promotion in their chosen fields.” 

The next step in the process of bringing these two degrees to the OC campus is already underway: submitting an application for review to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the sanctioning body which provides accreditation to Odessa College. Once approval is received from SACSCOC, planning and scheduling of the actual course work and classes for the two new baccalaureate degrees can move forward. At the present time, the projected start date for classes specifically dedicated to these baccalaureate degrees is Spring 2019.