Just up the road a piece, Texas A&M has built and continues to develop an education institution designed to attract and serve transfer students, particularly active duty and veteran military personnel, and their families.
Technically called an “upper level” university, Texas A&M University Central Texas is the only public university in Texas that serves students who arrive having finished the equivalent of their sophomore year and wish to transfer credits, or work experience, toward their undergraduate degree.
Program curricula are based on the needs of students of all ages in the region. Since the nearest four-year university is an hour away, Central is a flexible solution for adults from Georgetown to Fort Hood who have an Associate’s degree to complete a bachelor’s degree easily and more economically than traditional campus enrollment.
Having surveyed the regional community regarding what types of programs and methods they needed, A&M developed a model that allows people with technical backgrounds, certificates and degrees to move into management. University President Marc Nigliazzo said, “We are dedicated to civic and community engagement and it is critical for us to have informed, educated people who will contribute back to the community. We hope to make a big different in our region as well as our state and nation.”
Georgetown City Councilmember Steve Fought attended the recent information luncheon and noted, “I wasn’t familiar with the concept of upper-level colleges but I can appreciate that the students are here because they want to be; not because mom and dad insisted. I love that people can attend for a year or between deployments and jobs. Folks who never had the time to go back to school now have the means to do so.”
In 2018-19, Central offered 27 Bachelor and 17 Master degree programs. They also partner with Temple College for a music degree and they are currently developing English and Teaching programs.
A model that allows people with technical backgrounds, certificates and degrees to move into management.
The average age of a Central student is 34 years and, to date, they have conferred more than 7000 degrees. The school also boasts a 73 percent matriculation rate for students considered to be at-risk based on financial consideration, demographics or time out of school. “Nearly everyone graduates and about half of our students and graduates are in the military.”
Work began on the campus more than 50 years ago by many who wanted to have a public university in the area. The land was deeded from Fort Hood through the Department of Defense and students can still hear echoes of artillery file, which some say reaffirms the school’s Warrior name and spirit. Nigliazzo explained, “This school was inspired by those who served and sacrificed for our nation. Our commitment to them must be worthy of the commitment they made to us.”
Dr. Peg Gray-Vickrey, Vice President of Student Affairs, added, “Our affordability allows students who never had the opportunity to get their degree. We focus on excellence because an affordable degree without quality is just cheap.”
Visit TAMUCT.edu for information or to apply.