SOURCE: Lamar University

Lamar University

April 14, 2010 07:00 ET

Online Bachelor's Degree Completion Program Meets Need Cited in AEI Report

Hispanic Degree Completion Lags Behind Other Groups; Bachelor's of Applied Arts and Sciences Degree Is an Option

BEAUMONT, TX--(Marketwire - April 14, 2010) - Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas offers a degree completion program that can help meet a specific need highlighted in a recent American Enterprise Institute report. ( Rising to the Challenge: Raising Hispanic Graduation Rates as a National Priority indicates that the college graduation rates of Hispanic students lag far behind other racial and ethnic groups. According to the study, only 51 percent of Hispanic students who start college complete a bachelor's degree in six years, compared to 59 percent of Anglo students. That means a significant number of young Hispanic men and women who have earned college credits have entered the workforce without having completed their college degrees, which limits their personal earning potential, their career growth, and their ability to give back to the economy. 

The report found that institutional commitment to college completion drives higher graduation rates for all students, including Hispanics. For those who have already left college without completing their degree, Lamar University offers the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science (BAAS) or Degree Completion program. This program meets the same qualifications as more traditional bachelor degrees, and allows admission into both graduate and law schools for further study in the pursuit of master's degrees and doctoral degrees. 

"Lamar's online BAAS degree program is ideal for people already in the workforce who want to improve their earning power," said Paula Nichols, executive director for distance learning at Lamar University. "Employees who hold bachelor's degrees traditionally earn more than those with no degrees or those with associate's degrees. By participating in this online degree program, students can work toward a bachelor's degree on their own schedule, when it's convenient for them, and yet make steady progress toward potentially higher earning power."

 The BAAS online degree completion program, an expansion of a degree the University has offered for almost 20 years, is offered online through Lamar University Academic Partnerships. The online degree completion program is priced affordably at one of the lowest tuition rates in the country: $150 per credit hour for residents of Texas and Louisiana and $165 per credit hour for residents of other states.

Many degree completion programs require students to have at least 60 credit hours to qualify, which is standard for an associate's degree. Lamar's online degree completion program requires applicants to have earned only 45 hours of academic credit from one or more schools. Lamar's online BAAS degree program also grants as many as 59 credit hours to students for experiential and technical credits.  

 Enrollment continues through May 10 for the next online session, which begins June 7. Two other online sessions are scheduled to begin this year. For more information about Lamar University's online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) degree, call 1-866-223-7675 or visit

Lamar University is a comprehensive public university in Beaumont, Texas and is a member of The Texas State University System. Serving more than 14,000 students, LU offers more than 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs with both in-person and online classes. Lamar is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Visit or

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