WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - At Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting, the board approved new degrees in the West College of Education.
“Students could still get a degree in a discipline, say biology, then get a teaching certification. but this allows a specific education degree,” provost and vice president for academic affairs James Johnston said.
Changes at the last legislative session brought back certain degrees in education for students, allowing graduates to highlight their skills to employers more clearly.
While those degrees were approved, two new degrees were also added, bachelor of science in education early childhood through grade three and bachelor of science in substance abuse counseling.
Both are online degrees and target non-traditional students...
“(The degrees in substance abuse counseling is) one of the few degrees someone with a criminal background can hold a license in,” Johnston said.
While the other can help people already working in schools or quickly fill open teaching positions by training students faster.
“The difference with this degree is, this is the first competency-based teacher education degree in the state, and right now it’s the only one in the state, it allows students to complete a degree in teaching without having to quit their job,” dean of the West College of Education Matthew Capps said.
It also qualifies for the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate program cutting the cost in half. MSU Texas is also waiving tuition fees and using open-source materials so students don’t need to buy textbooks, keeping costs down even more.
“It really makes it faster, more cost-effective, and more accessible for a student to become a teacher and we hope that really helps school districts to be able to fill teaching positions especially in rural areas,” Capps said.
The board approved an increase in tuition for incoming students by two percent as well, lowered from the 2.6 percent originally considered.
Right now, compared to other universities in Texas MSU’s tuition and fees sit near the middle of the pack.
By only raising incoming tuition by two percent, university officials are hoping it will make them a more appealing choice when it comes to cost.
“Earlier this week when we were talking about the original 2.6 percent increase for our first year students for the fall, the president asked us how does it look with our peers and where does it place us with the higher ed group in Texas,” vice president of finance and administration Beth Reissenweber said. “So we presented that to her and she said that is not where we want to be.”
The athletic fees for all students will be raised 10 percent to 11 dollars a credit hour, limited to 132 dollars maximum. That amount is around half of what other schools in the Lonestar Conference charge.