How DBU’s Degree Completion Program Saves Time and Money

DBU grad students

If you're looking for online degree completion programs in Dallas, Texas, DBU proudly offers the oldest bachelor's degree completion program in the metroplex. We created our program over 35 years ago because we understand how challenging it is to work full-time, juggle family and other commitments, and earn a degree.

If you're new to the concept, you might wonder, "What is a degree completion program?". Or you might be curious about how to complete an online degree completion program.

DBU Professional Studies students can petition to earn college credits for knowledge and skills earned through their work experience via our Professional Portfolio Pathway. Let's break down DBU's degree completion program and Professional Portfolio process to help you decide if this educational route is right for you.

What is a Degree Completion Program?

A degree completion program is a flexible degree path to help working adults reach academic and career goals.

At DBU, we created our degree completion program to meet the needs of busy, working adults who juggle multiple daily tasks and responsibilities and desire to earn their bachelor's degree. That means you'll have the flexibility you need to fit your academic schedule around the rest of your commitments.

We also know that earning a degree can help you advance in your career and increase your earnings.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean weekly earnings for workers with a bachelor's degree in 2022 was $1,432, versus $853 for workers with a high school diploma. U.S. Census Bureau 2022 data also shows that the earnings of workers 18 and older with bachelor's degrees increased by about $6,900 per year.

DBU offers one-week, eight-week, and traditional semester-length classes, along with day, evening, and online classes to suit a variety of schedules.

Plus, DBU advisors and faculty members are ready to help you create a custom degree plan that fits with the rest of your life. You can take in-person classes, hybrid classes (part online, part in-person), or complete an online bachelor's degree. Either way, our Christ-centered focus will foster spiritual growth as you work toward achieving your academic goals.

Can You Earn College Credit Based on  Your Work Experience?

One fantastic aspect of DBU's degree completion program is that Professional Studies students can enroll in the Professional Portfolio class (PRST 3305 – Professional Learning) for an opportunity to translate knowledge and skills gained through professional experience into as many as 30 academic credit hours. This means you can potentially earn credit for your knowledge and skills earned through work experience!

Please note:

  • This course is only open to Professional Studies students engaged in certain professional partnerships.
  • Requires special permission.
  • Students cannot take this course in their final semester, as the awarded portfolio hours must be posted to the student's transcript BEFORE their final semester.

In addition, bachelor students must complete a minimum of 25% of credit hours in residence at Dallas Baptist University (e.g. for a 120 credit hour degree program, the residency

requirement is 30 hours). For more bachelor degree requirements, please contact the DBU Registrar’s office. 

What Is Included in a Professional Portfolio?

A student creates their Professional Portfolio in a binder containing three sections. Dr. Wayne Davis, Dean of Mary C. Crowley College of Christian Faith, explains them in an on-demand webinar.

  • Section 1: Student Profile – Contains a student autobiography and resume.
  • Section 2: Course Petitions – Student identifies the course type and credits sought.
  • Section 3: Documentation – Student provides supporting evidence for the knowledge and skills gained in their petitions.

The course instructor guides students through the process and answers any questions. Each petition could be around five to eight pages long.

What Kind of Knowledge and Skills Can Count as College Credit?

Skills and knowledge gained through work experience vary for individual students. Many students are surprised to discover how what they've learned in various jobs and volunteer roles translates to college credit.

Students highlight their experiential learning in their portfolio petitions. An independent panel evaluates each petition and supporting documentation that a student submits and awards college credit, if applicable.

Dr. Davis gives an example of valuable skills a student might gain as a five-year store manager in the webinar.

For instance, a retail manager will likely gain customer relations and interpersonal communication skills. They may also learn marketing skills in placing and arranging product displays, practice conflict resolution, and gain inventory control knowledge.

The Professional Portfolio instructor mentors and guides students through the process to help them uncover what they've learned to use in their portfolio.

Your Learning and Skills from Working Can Save Time and Money

Completing a Professional Portfolio is time-intensive — but well worth the effort. The end goal is to achieve valuable college credit for professional experience. Students can petition to receive up to 30 college credits via their Professional Portfolio.

The more credits received in the course, the more time students save in completing their degree. Students also save money, as they only pay for the Professional Portfolio class and evaluation fee. For example, if a student earns 21 college credits for their work experience petitions, they will save thousands of dollars on tuition for those college credits.

DBU Is Ready and Willing to Help

Pursuing a bachelor's degree is a big decision. DBU's knowledgeable and caring faculty members are ready and willing to help you decide if pursuing a Christ-focused, Professional Studies degree completion program is right for you. Feel free to contact us via phone at (214) 333-5337 or email us at professional@dbu.edu to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.

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