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MCALLEN, RGV – Texas A&M University has announced formal approval of the initial degree programs to be offered at its Higher Education Center at Tres Lagos, McAllen.

They are: Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Bachelor of Science in Food Systems Industry Management, Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Engineering (began fall 2017), and Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Engineering Technology.

These complement three existing degree offerings: the Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Public Health, currently offered at a Texas A&M educational site on South McColl Road in McAllen.

Here is the Texas A&M new release from the Office of the Provost:

McALLEN, Texas, Feb. 19, 2018 — Texas A&M University has announced formal approval of the initial degree programs to be offered through its Higher Education Center at McAllen.

Working with the region’s industry leaders, K-12 education and the institution’s own legacy of academic strengths, seven distinct degree programs will be available to students in McAllen when the fall 2018 semester begins in late August.

“We are proud to announce the final approvals of these degree offerings in McAllen,” said Texas A&M Provost and Executive Vice President Carol Fierke. “The programs selected address high-need fields for the future of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and our state.”

The formal announcement follows the completion of two years of rigorous Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approval processes required for the formation of a Higher Education Center, extension of existing degree offerings, and negotiations with other regional higher education institutions.

The degree programs approved for delivery include the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Bachelor of Science in Food Systems Industry Management, Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Engineering (began fall 2017), and Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Engineering Technology.

These complement three existing degree offerings: the Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Public Health, currently offered at a Texas A&M educational site on South McColl Road in McAllen.

Beginning in fall 2018, these programs, with the exception of nursing, will be available to students at the soon-to-be completed Higher Education Center in the Tres Lagos master-planned community in Northwest McAllen. The Higher Education Center is being built in a unique partnership with the City of McAllen and Hidalgo County. Texas A&M currently intends to continue offering nursing degree programs at its South McColl Road site.

“We want to thank the Higher Education Coordinating Board officials, and, in particular, local board member Dr. Fred Farias, and Commissioner Raymond Paredes, for ensuring our processes were met with the highest standards and will ultimately provide educational choice to the students, families and businesses of The Valley,” said Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp.

Applications for admission are now being accepted for freshmen entering in fall 2018. Students interested in these degree programs at the Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen should review criteria and deadlines at http://admissions.tamu.edu/HECM.

Promotional materials have been sent to all school districts in the Rio Grande Valley, and individual student consultation is available at the Texas A&M University Prospective Student Center at 5277 North 23rd St., McAllen, TX, 78504.

“This is an exciting next step in Texas A&M University’s 140-year commitment to meeting the needs of Texas, our nation and the world,” said Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young. “These approvals clear the way for Texas A&M to complement existing higher education in the region, with qualified graduates who embody the famous Aggie spirit.”

Original Story:


MCALLEN, RGV – Despite snow, ice and record rain, Texas A&M University’s new higher education center at Tres Lagos in north McAllen is on schedule to begin operations in the fall of 2018.

Chad Wootton, associate vice president for External Affairs at Texas A&M University, updated the McAllen Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) board directors on the progress of the new higher education center yesterday, Feb 15.

“We have been busy getting the McAllen Higher Education Center project underway. We are still on time and under budget despite record rainfall. We are on track for a building dedication in August, just prior to the start of the fall semester,” Wootton told McAllen EDC.

Chad Wootton

Wootton said the degree programs are underway and admission is happening, with the formal announcement expected on final approved degree programs expected from TAMU early next week.

“If you have high school seniors among your family or friends or neighbors, this is the time of year that they are receiving notification of their admission offers and/or considering their choices.”

Wootton acknowledged that unfortunately A&M is causing some stress.

“We have got some students that have been accepted to the College Station-based programs and some to the programs based here. We are probably causing some breakfast discussions as the moms and dads and students sort that out.”

Wootton later told the Rio Grande Guardian: “Bio-medical science and public health is getting the most attention. We’re looking at about 85 students right now and we’ll have more over the next couple of months.”

Wootton said A&M will be formally announcing that the public health programs, both bachelors and masters that have been occurring at McColl Road will be moving out to Tres Lagos. And that the McColl Road site will be re-purposed to advance A&M’s nursing programs, as well some of the community health outreach work.

Olga Gabriel will stay at McColl Rd. She is doing the community health outreach and she’s some of the research project management,” Wootton told the Rio Grande Guardian.

Gabriel is executive director of the Texas A&M Health Science Center in McAllen.

Wootton thanked McAllen EDC President Keith Patridge and Vice President of Finance Jaime Sepulveda for being a part of the conversation and narrowing the search for good leadership for the Tres Lagos campus. “We are in the final stages of hiring our campus leaders for our higher education center at Tres Lagos. We have two candidates in at this time. There is another possible round.”

He announced the new Dean of Nursing, Dr. Nancy Fahrenwald, former Dean College of Nursing at South Dakota State University as well as the new Vice Chancellor and Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Dr. Patrick Stover, former Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University.

Fahrenwald made a quick trip to the Rio Grande Valley to visit healthcare industry officials. She is slated to start work June 1, 2018.

Wootton said Texas A&M University will host a major recruitment event in the Valley on Feb. 22, announcing additional scholarship programs and the new leadership team.

Funding for scholarships for the “pioneer” students that started their courses at South Texas College last year under the auspices of A&M faculty and the next corhort, which will start their education at the new facility at Tres Lagos will be announced by President Young and Chancellor Sharp.

“Chancellor Sharp made significant scholarship support for the first group of students–the Pioneers,” Wootton said. “He’s making a similar commitment again and … the cold storage and produce industry has in some cases matched and provided us some scholarship support for our new Food Systems Industry Management program.”

Food Systems Industry Management is one of the degrees to be offered at Tres Lagos.

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