Factors to Consider
As a TSTC graduate or student nearing graduation, you have a choice about whether to work in your career field or continue your studies at a university. Having a bachelor's degree can improve your earning potential and is especially attractive if job openings in your career field are limited in the current economic environment. There are several factors you should consider if you are comparing universities, including: transfer of credits, location, tuition/fees and institutional reputation.
Transfer of Credit & Degree Types
Credit transfer is determined by the degree type and/or having articulation agreements with TSTC. The following is a description of the most common types of bachelor's degrees and how they relate to the transfer of courses.
These programs allow technical students to transfer the most credit. These degrees were designed for people with technical associates degrees to transfer 36 technical credits on average and between 70 to 90 credits overall into the degree plan.
These programs are focused on giving students a broad background in several different programs (usually two academic and one technical). These types of programs usually allow 18 to 24 technical credits and 70 to 90 credits overall into the degree plan. The student must take care to ensure their particular technical program is approved as one of the three majors.
These programs require a specific articulation agreement between TSTC and the university in order to accept block credit for technical (WECM) classes. Normally these degrees do not accept transfer of technical or workforce education courses.
Campus Location & Distance Learning:
Location can be an important factor when you are considering living expenses, family interaction and professional opportunities. There are several programs that are offered in Waco at the University Center located on the campus of McLennan Community College. Other institutions offer fully online degree programs. Online instruction is very flexible, but is not well suited for all types of learners. Face-to-face instruction is available in on-campus programs and may have a residency requirement for a specific number of credits that must be completed on-site.
Tuition & Fees:
Financial considerations include tuition, fees and financial aid availability. You should consult the website of the particular institution you are interested in to determine the financial commitment involved.
Employers consider the reputation of universities and the quality of instruction they provide. US News & World Report is a widely consulted source for rating the best colleges and universities. For more detailed information on quality ratings, please consult the US News website (www.usnews.com/sections/education). Institutions that offer online degree programs also have a special section for comparison.