New Insights into Applied Baccalaureate Degrees

by Debra Bragg and Maria Claudia Soler / Nov 24, 2015

Our newest research on Applied Baccalaureate (AB) provides a collection of case studies conducted in five regions of the United States (Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and the two state region of Maryland and Delaware). Applied Baccalaureate Degrees in STEM and Technical Education: Program Implementation in Five Regions of the United States presents AB degrees offered in technician education programs in the following STEM fields: biotechnology and biotechnology sciences; energy management; engineering technology; cybersecurity, computer and network security, networking, and cyber security; information security; and information technology. Each case discusses implementation from the perspective of institutional context, program goals, key components (curriculum and instruction, support services, etc.), and intended outcomes. The study also uses the following criteria to analyze the data: program quality, educational significance, evidence of effectiveness, and replicability (Bragg, Bobik, Maxwell, & Palovik, 2002).

We express our gratitude to the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technology Education (ATE) program for the $1.2 million award that made this research possible. An earlier report, Investigating Applied Baccalaureate Degree Pathways in Technician Education, may also be useful to readers.

Individuals interested in learning more about AB degrees should consider attending the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA) annual international conference in Chicago, Illinois on March 18-20, 2016. This conference includes the Applied Baccalaureate (AB) Design Lab wherein participants attend dedicated sessions that address degree program implementation, stakeholder analysis, policy and accreditation, and evaluation and continuous improvement. For registration or other information about the CCBA meeting, visit:


  • Bragg, D. D., Bobik, C., Maxwell, C., & Palovik, D. (2002). Enhancing America’s workforce one exemplary program at a time: Highlights of 2000 and 2001 postsecondary exemplary CTE programs. Columbus, OH: National Center for Dissemination in Career and Technical Education, The Ohio State University.

Dr. Debra D. Bragg is the founding director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership 

Maria Claudia Soler is a PhD student in the Education Policy, Organization and Leadership program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Graduate Research Assistant for OCCRL.