TJC has received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for an additional baccalaureate degree.
On Thursday, THECB notified College officials of the decision to approve the College’s proposed Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) in Healthcare Technologies and Medical Systems.
The new BAT Completion Program adds the expertise in health care systems management, finance, medical staff roles and responsibilities, reimbursement mechanisms, electronic medical recording, and privacy and legal issues related to the health care industry.
This builds on and is a completion degree for TJC’s current Associate of Applied Science in Healthcare Administration, which trains for the practical skills needed in critical thinking, information utilization, and fundamental competencies in health care management principles.
A baccalaureate-prepared health care manager is a critical professional who uses advanced management principles for health care facilities, technological innovation in the delivery of health care services, health information processing technology, and understanding of government regulations to ensure high quality and affordable health care.
The health care sector continues to change with advances in technology and new standards of care, new business models, a growing population and changing demographics. There is an acute need in the Tyler area as well as across East Texas for the skilled and educated indirect patient care providers that will graduate from this new degree program.
Texas Workforce Commission lists medical and health service managers as the fifth most-needed occupation, with more than 875 job openings in Smith County last year. In the East Texas region, there is a projected 30 percent increase in medical and health care services management positions over the next 10 years.
TJC is one of the few Texas junior/community colleges with legislative designation, accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges, and approval from the THECB to award specialized baccalaureate degrees. The College’s focus is to strategically proceed with degrees that align with local employer needs. TJC received Level II accreditation in 2016, and began offering a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene that year.
The new BAT degree also prepares graduates for gainful employment and promotion opportunities. The TJC Board of Trustees, as elected officials for the institution, are committed to the role of a premier college, and the faculty and staff remain focused on student and community success.
Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC’s president for branch locations and district provost, served as one of the state’s pioneers in the establishment of bachelor degrees by community colleges in the state of Texas.
He said, “This is a major victory for East Texas as educational attainment benefits us all. This significant accomplishment is attributed to our entire wonderful community and their focus on collaboration and success.”
TJC Chancellor Dr. Mike Metke said, “We are most appreciative of everyone, inside and outside TJC, who made this outcome possible. Special thanks to the entire TJC Board and particularly to CPAs Ann Brookshire and Clint Roxburgh and Attorney David Hudson, who traveled to Austin to present data and advocate on behalf of our proposal. Senator Bryan Hughes, who has been honored as TJC’s Outstanding Alumnus, also championed our application and provided key support.”
The approval notification from the THECB will now be communicated to the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges, to identify a soon start date for this degree.