The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 21st, 2015
After 19 years climbing the career ladder in Fort Worth’s city government, Jolene G. Applegate was stuck.
She had risen as high as acting manager but kept getting passed over
for promotions. She knew why. Even though she’d earned 90 credits (at
three different colleges), she didn’t have a credential to show for it.
Without an associate or bachelor’s degree, she rarely got a second look
from hiring managers.
"I couldn’t go as far as I wanted," she said, "because of that piece of paper."
Last year a newspaper article caught Ms. Applegate’s eye. It
described a new bachelor’s-degree program at Texas A&M University at
Commerce designed for people who’d racked up college credits but no
degree. By that time, she had earned 120 credits and an associate
degree, but with this program, even while holding down a job and
juggling family commitments, she could keep going.