TJC introduces second baccalaureate degree

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Sharae Corbin, News Editor

As TJC strives to better education for its students it has announced its second baccalaureate degree in the past two years.

Early in July, members of the TJC Board of Trustees proposed the new Bachelors of Applied Technology (BAT)  in Healthcare Technologies and Medical Systems to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and received approval in late July. This degree provides professions in the medical and healthcare field that specialize in finance, systems management and other roles apart from the medical staff. Tyler is a city with many occupations and trades that are medically based, which perfectly aligns with the introduction of this new degree.

“Healthcare providers are one of the largest employers in East Texas, and we felt that there were limited opportunities for [people] to receive a baccalaureate degree in the management, administration, and information analysis in the healthcare industry,” Bryan Renfro,Dean of the Professional and Technical Programs.

Since the BAT degree will only be in its first year the program will be “limited to eighteen to twenty-four students [and] is primarily targeted towards working adults who are working in the healthcare industry [who] need to return to college to get [a] bachelor’s degree.” Renfro said. The Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT)  in Healthcare Technologies and Medical Systems is a “completion degree program [which means] students have to first complete an associate’s degree … in healthcare administration or business management.” Also, the BAT degree program specifically focuses on teaching the students who are accepted “how to use technology and information systems within the healthcare industry.”

There is no official start date or time when students can apply yet, but there will be a meeting this upcoming week to discuss the start date, and Renfro said a “November, or most likely, January start date.” 

According to Renfro, TJC currently “has the ability to have up to five baccalaureate degrees and at this time we have three more we can do [and] we want to make sure those [future baccalaureate] degree [programs] ensure that the graduates are getting good paying jobs and being promoted for having the knowledge and skills that they would acquire once they obtain those degrees.”

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