Emma Miller came to The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College in September 1996 armed with teaching experience and an associate degree. She became a part-time employee in the university’s Academic Computing Department, the predecessor to today’s User Support Services Department.
Miller, 45, also enrolled in the UTB/TSC’s Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program. She graduated in December 2001 with the degree with a concentration in applied business technology.
“I was working. I was married. I was teaching classes,” said Miller, UTB/TSC’s assistant director in the Scheduling and Course Inventory Department. “It was busy, but somehow, you manage your time properly, and you can do it all.”
She went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from UTB/TSC in May 2005 and is working on an online doctoral degree in applied management and decision sciences from Walden University.
UTB/TSC offers more than 20 certificate programs that take about a year to complete. Students can get certifications in jazz, auto mechanics technology, emergency medical service and other subjects. The certificates can be a springboard to earning a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences or a Bachelor of Applied Technology, both in the College of Applied Technology and General Studies.
The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences was created in 1986 and was originally in the School of Business. Students who have done certificate or associate degree work in any field can transfer up to 24 semester credit hours toward the B.A.A.S.
Students can follow one of two degree tracks: applied business technology or interdisciplinary.
The interdisciplinary option can be finished in 124 semester credit hours with general core classes, Associate in Applied Science work, electives and professional courses. The professional classes must be taken in 12-hour blocks from three areas: education, business, liberal arts, sciences or translation studies.
“They (students) build their degree around what I call their professional expectations,” said Dr. Peter B. Gawenda, interim dean of the College of Applied Technology and General Studies.
The Bachelor of Applied Technology was created in 2002 and has three online tracks: workforce leadership/supervision, computer information systems technology and health services technology and a fourth track that is not online, technology application/training.
Students must take 48 semester credit hours of core curriculum classes and courses from any of the B.A.T. tracks.
Gawenda said the online degree options provide an advantage to students who cannot be in physical proximity of UTB/TSC. He said some students have earned their degrees while serving overseas on military duty.
There are a variety of job options for students who earn the B.A.T. or B.A.A.S.
Daniel Garcia, interim chair and assistant master technical instructor of air conditioning and refrigeration technology in the Industrial Technology Department, said companies typically call UTB/TSC seeking qualified students and graduates to fill hands-on jobs. He said allied health and computer information technology are some of the most in-demand job fields locally.
Gawenda said the college is developing applied master’s programs in health sciences/allied health sciences, information science/studies and industrial technology/technician. He said two of the programs could be ready as early as spring 2010.
For more information on the B.A.T., B.A.A.S. and certificate programs, contact Applied Business Technology Department Program Coordinator Hilda U. Flores at (956) 882-7958 or email@example.com