Texas A&M University-Commerce and Dallas College are joining forces in a partnership that will provide Dallas College students with convenient options to transition their associate degree studies to a bachelor's degree from A&M-Commerce.
The institutions signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday, April 13 at the Dallas College Richland Campus to mark the beginning of the partnership.
The arrangement—which will see the creation of multiple academies—will allow Dallas area students to save money on tuition, graduate with less debt and stay local to Dallas for the first two years of study.
The announcement comes on the heels of news that A&M-Commerce is expanding into North Dallas, taking over the top two floors at 8750 North Central Expressway, where the university will set up headquarters for its education and business colleges.
“Along with our move into Dallas, this is further proof that Texas A&M University-Commerce is committed to expanding our footprint in North Texas with willing partners such as Dallas College,” A&M-Commerce President Mark Rudin said. “By seeking innovative approaches and solutions in a spirit of collaboration, we can work together to help ensure that students benefit from the full breadth of our respective offerings.”
Administrators from both institutions agreed that the academies should offer degree programs that match graduates with in-demand jobs in the North Texas market and beyond.
In addition to unifying its seven formerly separate, accredited colleges last year, Dallas College created seven schools in the areas of business and hospitality, creative arts, education, engineering and technology, health sciences, law and public service, and manufacturing and industrial technology. Additionally, the college is also offering an applied science degree in early childhood education and teaching, it's first-ever bachelor's degree program.
Initial academies offered will be the Agriculture Academy, the Business Academy and the Education and Human Services Academy, beginning in fall 2021. Additional academies will come online as they are developed and finalized. While each academy is under the same umbrella, there will be differences in instructional design and delivery among the program areas.
Students accepted into the Agriculture Academy will complete courses in Dallas together, supported in their studies through a cohort learning community. After their junior year, students will complete their last year of courses online or at the Commerce campus.
Alternately, Education and Human Services Academy students may be eligible to take courses toward their bachelor's degree while completing course work at Dallas College, including some courses taught directly by A&M-Commerce faculty. Students will complete their first two years in Dallas before transferring to A&M-Commerce full-time. The academy will boast 12 degree pathways, including the option for students to earn an Associate of Arts in Teaching from Dallas College and a Bachelor of Science in Education from A&M-Commerce.
The Business Academy will offer Dallas College students who have earned their associate's degree with a field of study in business or management the opportunity to move seamlessly into their third year of a bachelor's degree program at A&M-Commerce. They will have various concentrations in business administration and applied economics to choose from.
Dallas College Chancellor Joe D. May said the agreement represents the type of partnerships that give lifeblood to the college's mission of transforming lives and communities through higher education.
“There's more than one pathway toward addressing the critical workforce needs of our region,” May said. “We can either take a siloed approach or we can embrace partnerships, and we choose to do the latter for the benefit of our students and our communities.”
Learn more about the A&M-Commerce academies at Dallas College.