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New degree program offers flexible pace for adults

New degree program offers flexible pace for adults

An innovative degree program aimed at adult learners who have started a degree but not had the chance to complete it is gearing up for a start this August at UMHB.  Called “MyWay at UMHB,” the program
is offered entirely online; instead of taking a set group of classes each semester, students will individually progress through the degree program by mastering specific “competencies” at their own pace and according
to their own schedules.  Though competency-based degree programs are increasingly being offered by public universities and for-profits across the country, UMHB will be the first private university in Texas to offer such a program.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges approved the new program for accreditation in late April, opening the way for students to begin enrolling in it.  Instead of paying tuition and fees for a certain number of credit hours each semester, students will pay $3,000 per six-month period
of enrollment, during which they are free to complete as many of the competencies as they can.  During that time, each student will have access to Success Coaches, Subject Experts, and Resource Coaches, all of whom are dedicated to helping students navigate the program and reach their goals.

Since the program is for adults who have already taken some college courses, sometimes at multiple institutions, it has been designed to be “transfer friendly.” “Some competency-based programs will not allow students to transfer any credits,” said Dr. Chrisann Merriman, who oversees the program as the Interim Director of Distance Learning. “We’re going to work with our students based on what they already know and award them competencies accordingly.”

Since the program does not follow the traditional semester format, students may begin the program on the 15th of any month, beginning August 15, 2016. Additional information about the program and application forms can be accessed on the university website at myway.umhb. edu.