By KIM ESTES, Four Points News
A new partnership between Concordia University Texas and Austin Community College provides students a path to a bachelor’s degree at more than 31 percent lower than a state college price, announced Concordia and ACC officials.
The ultimate goal of the new program, called Concordia Connect 3+1, is to “up-skill” the workforce and provide accessible, low-cost opportunities for students to complete their degrees, said Lynette Gillis, Concordia associate vice president of academics.
The program began in the fall, said Jessica Vess, ACC associate director of communications. Students can register at either school, but ACC will be the site of all courses.
Last fall, more than 1,000 Four Points residents were enrolled in ACC. At Concordia, they number 118, according to admission data.
For anyone registering for 3+1, tuition will be at the ACC rate for the first three years and the Concordia rate for the final year for a total cost of about $28,000, not counting books and fees.
“By comparison, a four-year degree at a Texas State University at in-state tuition is $41,000 approximately, not counting books and fees,” Gillis said.
“Financial aid and payment plans are offered all four years of the program,” Vess noted.
3+1 requires that students first complete a two-year Associate of Applied Science or AAS degree. Afterward, they will hold an AAS from ACC and can apply for automatic admission to Concordia.
In their third year, students will complete core curricula requirements and, in the fourth year, they will obtain their final credit hours in courses taught by Concordia professors. Upon completion, students will graduate with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science or BAAS from Concordia.
The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science degree is in business only.
“We will continue to collaborate with ACC to expand the degree offerings. However, at the current time, the only major is in business,” Gillis said.
Nevertheless, any student earning an AAS can enter the bachelor’s degree program, she noted.
“AAS degrees vary widely from engineering to culinary arts. For each of the students, gaining business acumen will increase their upward mobility and give them skills to run their own business or manage others in their technical area,” Gillis said.
“It is important to note that under most other programs AAS degrees are difficult or impossible to transfer to traditional Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees because many of the student’s credits are lost in the process. The 3+1 partnership ensures students that every class they take counts, which means faster graduation rates and reduced debt,” said Gillis.
For additional information on Concordia Connect 3+1, go to austincc.edu/concordia