New grant expands opportunities for adult students at Texas A&M University-Commerce


Commerce, Texas – Greater Texas Foundation has announced a grant of $ 783,524 to the Texas A&M University-Commerce Foundation. The money will be used to develop two competence-based courses and hire additional staff to support and advise adult learners.

Competency-based programs provide affordable, flexible pathways to a bachelor’s degree for students who already have college credits, certifications or work experience. The online programs allow students to earn references at their own pace by demonstrating mastery of content through various assessments.

“An increasing number of Texans want to continue their education after gaining valuable knowledge and experience on the job,” said Sue McMillin, president and CEO of Greater Texas Foundation. • Competency-based programs recognize what these students have already achieved and enable them to complete their credentials on a timeline that makes sense to them, ?? she said.

A & M-Commerce currently offers two competence-based courses. The addition of two new programs will help meet the critical human resources needs in the region.

“Our university is already a state leader in competence-based education, and this generous grant allows us to expand our programming and distinguish A&M-Commerce as the premier university for adult learners,” said A&M -Commerce President Mark Rudin.

Rudin said he looks forward to the impact of these new competence-based programs under the guidance and expertise of Dr. Yvonne Villanueva-Russell, Dean of the College of Innovation and Design, and Mr. Carlos Rivers, Executive Director of the Institute for Competence-Based Education.

“We are delighted to develop these two new industry-focused education opportunities that boldly reinforce the university’s strategic plan to transform lives, advance knowledge, serve an inclusive community and foster collaboration in the region,” said Villanueva-Russell.

With funding from the grant, A&M-Commerce will strengthen its Student Success Team within the College of Innovation and Design to more fully support competence-based learners and meet their unique needs. New members of the success team will be a partnership and outreach coordinator who will recruit students to the program; an undergraduate enrollment specialist, who will assist students in planning their courses; and a life design coach, who will help students navigate any challenges they encounter along the way.

“We are energized by the work being done in this important field of education and are extremely grateful to the Greater Texas Foundation for this grant,” said A&M-Commerce Foundation Board Chairman Mick Trusty. “Adult learners face several challenges as they balance full-time careers and families, so a robust support system is critical to their success,” he said.

The new competence-based courses are expected to be offered from the autumn of 2021.

Visit to learn about the university’s competence-based education programs within the College of Innovation and Design.

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