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SHSU Regents Approve New Online Business Degree

Nov. 16, 2012
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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A new online business degree offered by Sam Houston State University that targets students who have not been able to enroll in or complete their undergraduate degree in a traditional setting was among the items approved by the Texas State University System Board of Regents at their quarterly meeting in Huntsville on Friday.

Students who complete course requirements will earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in general business administration.

The degree will be offered via distance learning specifically for students “whose family, work or other obligations will not allow them to enroll in and attend a traditional bricks-and-mortar college,” SHSU President Dana Gibson told the regents.

“Similar to the objectives of the Texas Dropout Recovery Program, which identifies and recruits students who have dropped out of Texas public schools and provides them services designed to enable them to earn a high school diploma or complete an alternative path to college, the online BBA program SHSU will offer another path to completion for those students,” Gibson said.

In other academic business, the regents approved the SHSU College of Criminal Justice to be split into three departments—criminal justice and criminology, forensic science, and security studies—effective fall 2013.

The board also authorized TSUS Chancellor Brian McCall to seek legislative approval of an amendment to Section 54.523 of the Texas Education Code, changing the student center fee cap from $100 to $200 per semester and $50 to $75 per summer term for institutions within the system. The amendment would allow the regents to change the amount of the fee when requested by a member institution, but the increase would not be more than 10 percent per year, unless the amount of the increase was approved by a student referendum.

Gibson made the request for the change on behalf of SHSU.

“Sam Houston State University is experiencing phenomenal student growth, and the current student center is not meeting the needs of today’s student population and the projected growth for the future,” Gibson told the regents. “In a recent student election, more than 63 percent of those voting supported the Lowman Student Center Fee increase.

“SHSU students, through the Student Government Association, have been advocating for improvements to the student center. Only through legislative action can we address their request to provide sufficient funds for these improvements without having a negative impact on the mission of the institution,” Gibson said.

In a related matter, Gibson asked that similar action be taken regarding the recreational sports fee. McCall was also authorized by the regents to seek legislative approval of an amendment to increase the current cap of $100 to $200 for each long semester and $50 to $100 for the summer session.

“As the student enrollment continues to grow at a rapid pace, complaints concerning a shortage of recreational facilities, equipment and programs have inundated the SGA offices over the last two years,” Gibson said. “The SGA has passed resolutions for support of the cap increase, encouraging the university to take action on this request. This can only be done through legislative action.”

In other action, the regents authorized SHSU to extend a license agreement between the university and Pearson Learning Solutions from Jan. 1, 2013, through Aug. 31, 2016, at a sum not to exceed $3.5 million.

Pearson Learning Solutions offers MyLab and Mastering programs, which provide personalized online instruction through more than 60 labs in writing, reading, math, science, computer science, humanities, social sciences, health sciences, languages, nursing, economics, information technology, and business disciplines, among others.

SHSU students will automatically have access to MyLabs and Mastering tutorials at no cost. The license agreement also includes access to MyWriting Lab for all SHSU students for the entirety of their academic career at SHSU.

“SHSU students who purchase electronic textbooks that accompany MyLabs will receive a 60 percent discount,” Gibson said. “This initiative will help lower the overall cost of attendance at SHSU.”

SHSU is the first university in the United States to provide open access to MyLab and Mastering tools to students for free.

The regents will hold their next meeting in Austin on Feb. 14-15.

The Texas State University System is governed by a nine-member Board of Regents appointed by the governor. In addition, a non-voting student regent is appointed annually to the board. Its eight component institutions are Sam Houston State University, Lamar University, Sul Ross State University, Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College-Orange, Lamar State College-Port Arthur, and Texas State University-San Marcos.



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