Online Degree Programs in Texas

Texas is the second most populated state in the United States. As such, it has 140 four-year colleges and universities and 323 community and technical colleges. These institutions include Rice University, which may be the most prestigious college in the state. It is a small, private university located in Houston that was founded in 1912. Today it ranks 17th in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. It is also considered one of the most selective postsecondary institutions in the state.

The state’s most well-known universities are the University of Texas and Texas A&M University. The University of Texas was established in 1883 and is located in Austin, Texas. It is known for its quality academics and its sports program. It is ranked 46th in the nation by the U.S. News . Meanwhile, Texas A&M, located in College Station, Texas, was founded in 1876. It is ranked 65th in the nation by the U.S. News.

Distance education has played a huge roll in higher education for more than a decade. In 2011, an audit of distance education in the state was completed to understand where and how Texas could improve its online degree programs and online course options. One recommendation made was that a page be created on the state’s higher education website. The Higher Education Coordinating Board took this and all other recommendations and acted swiftly to implement them into the state’s higher education system. Today students have access to important information concerning distance education on the Higher Education Coordinating Board’s "Distance, Off-Campus, and Self-Supporting Education" website.

Texas Distance Learning Initiatives

Texas is also a member of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). Through this membership, Texas created its Texas Distance Education Website in 1998. Since then the program has seen more than 250,000 distance course enrollments. Through this website online degree programs in Texas are easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection and they have many options as nearly 40 Texas colleges and universities participate in this distance education website. In total the program offers more than 3,400 online courses, online bachelors degree programs, and online masters degree programs.

Additionally, the SREB recently enacted a program called the Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus (ACMEC) initiative. Through this initiative, distance learners will finally get to experience the benefits traditional students have had for nearly three decades through the Academic Common Market program. The ACMEC does two things. First, it makes uncommon academic programs available to those enrolled in participating schools with online degree programs. Second, it enables online learners to reap the financial benefits of in-state tuition despite taking courses or being enrolled in a school in a different state.