Online Program to Help Former Students Finish Degrees to Launch in Spring 2012

AUSTIN – Beginning in spring 2012, former college students who have completed at least half of the coursework needed for their bachelor’s degrees can get another chance to earn their diplomas through an online program at The University of Texas System.  

Called Finish@UT, the program is offered entirely online through UT Arlington, UT El Paso and UT Permian Basin and will target adult students who have completed 60 semester credit hours or more from any accredited college or university. The online program offers flexible dates to start classes making it easier for working adults to pursue a baccalaureate degree. 

Degree plans are offered in multidisciplinary studies, university studies in science, and humanities, and courses may be customized to fit the schedules of working adults. Prospective students from Texas or elsewhere are eligible to apply for admission to the program. 

“Part of our duty is to ensure that Texas maintains a viable, educated workforce, and we believe this program will go a long way toward fulfilling that goal by giving thousands of adults who never graduated from college a more flexible pathway toward earning a degree,” said David B. Prior, the UT System’s executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. 

“We believe this program offers extraordinary flexibility to individuals who have proven success in completing college coursework but due to work or stay-at-home parental responsibilities , have time constraints that limit their ability to attend classes on a college campus,” added Martha Ellis, the UT System’s associate vice chancellor for community college partnerships. “The UT System has invested time and resources into developing this model, for which many thousands of Texans already are eligible.” 

Prospective students may qualify for financial aid after they have met the institution’s requirements for admission to the program.

Faculty from the UT campuses at Arlington, El Paso and in the Permian Basin will teach the online courses. New degree plans will expand current offerings over time, Ellis said. 

While the program will target prospective students with significant undergraduate credits, students who have relatively fewer credits may apply, but first may be required to take other courses online or in traditional classrooms at universities or community colleges. UT System staff will assist those students with planning and locating such courses. 

UT System institutions also offer a wide array of General Education (GenEd) and non-program courses online each semester that may help students complete those and other requirements for the degree. 

A user-friendly website has been established to provide additional information and help prospective students select a degree plan. The site also includes information about admissions, financial aid and academic advising. 

About The University of Texas System
The University of Texas System is one of the nation's largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $13.1 billion (FY 2012) including $2.3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 215,000 in the 2011 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With roughly 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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