New program created to help adults get their college degree

Finish@UT program will help students complete their college education

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SAN ANTONIO - The University of Texas System unveiled a new program Monday to help adults who are trying to complete their college degrees which will also add to the nation's efforts to have the highest percentage of college graduates in the world.

In a reception held at Cafe College, officials presented Finish@UT. 

It's a new online bachelor's degree completion program that offers students a flexible path to completing their degree.  It was designed to help students who have some college credits as a flexible path to completing their degree without compromising the quality of their education. 

All the coursework will be done online through three universities.  Students can earn a bachelor of science in university studies from The University of Texas at Arlington, a bachelor of multidisciplinary studies through The University of Texas at El Paso or a bachelor of arts in humanities through The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. 

Students can combine classes from all three schools to earn their degrees.

"A college degree is often a critical step towards fulfilling professional and personal goals," Matha Ellis, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor of Community College Partnerships for the U.T. System said in a statement.  "The reality of earning that degree is not always so simple. Nearly one out of every two students at four-year universities works 20 hours or more, while one in four college students have children they need to care for at home. Oftentimes, there's quite a bit of juggling going on. Finish@UT was designed for those aspiring college graduates for whom getting to the campus and meeting the traditional college schedule can be a struggle."

The program offers seven to 15 week courses and are designed to help students build skills in communication, research, project management, problem solving and critical thinking.

"The jobs of the 21st century global economy increasingly require a college diploma," Mayor Julián Castro said in a statement. "In San Antonio, we've set a bold SA2020 goal to increase college completion and programs like Finish@UT are the kind of creative solutions we need to promote in Texas."

The program is also conducting a contest asking residents interested in the program to submit a short video explaining why it is important for them to complete their degree and what a degree from the U.T. System would mean to them.  Three winners will receive $20,000 in scholarships to be applied towards tuition in the Finish@UT program.  The deadline is March 16.

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