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Your Future is waiting for you

A college degree is possible with a Regents Bachelor of Arts from WVU Tech. With a curriculum designed by you, support from dedicated staff and college credit from your experience, the RBA is perfect for adult learners who are ready to take their career to the next level.

Interested in a degree?
Contact Dawn today!

Dawn Surbaugh, M.S.

Program Coordinator of Aviation Management, Regents Bachelor of Arts and Early Enrollment

304.929.1685

dawn.surbaugh@mail.wvu.edu

Interdisciplinary Science Building, Room 112

Profile: Surbaugh, Dawn

Financial Aid is Available

RBA Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU Tech's FAFSA Code is 003827.

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Why choose a Regents Bachelor of Arts?

Program Highlights

  • Accessible and Flexible: Designed with the non-traditional learner in mind, the RBA program is responsive and adaptable to fit your busy schedule.
  • Credit for Life and Work Experience: Gain credits for your work and life experiences, allowing you to progress toward your degree more quickly.
  • Learning Wherever You Are: Complete your degree entirely online.
  • Customizable Academic Path: Tailor your academic journey to meet your specific goals and needs.
  • Affordable Education: All online RBA students receive in-state tuition.

The Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) degree at WVU Tech is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of non-traditional students. This flexible program is perfect for those looking to pursue a graduate or professional degree, transition into a new career, enhance marketability within an established career, or achieve the life-long goal of completing a bachelor’s degree.

Why Choose the RBA Program at WVU Tech?

Enjoy the flexibility of completing your RBA degree online, at your own pace. Credit for Experience: Eligible students can earn college credit for professional, volunteer, and military experiences. Tailored for Working Adults: Ideal for individuals with work experience, college credits, military service, or professional certifications.

Who Should Enroll?

The Regents Bachelor of Arts degree is ideal for adult learners, especially those who have been out of high school for at least three years. Whether you're advancing your career or fulfilling a personal goal, the RBA program at WVU Tech offers the flexibility and support you need to succeed.

Start Your Journey Today

Join the RBA program at WVU Tech and take the next step towards achieving your educational and career aspirations. Apply now to leverage your past experiences and earn your bachelor’s degree on your terms.

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What’s unique about the degree is the student’s ability to package together previously earned credits, online classes, and a portfolio of real-world experience to create a unique degree. A portfolio is written justification and documentation of the student’s request to earn college equivalency credit. Our RBA advisor can help you determine if the portfolio option is best for you.

Have questions? We've got you!

College is a big step for everyone. We're here to make it more manageable and productive for you! If you have question, check out our FAQs or reach out to our RBA coordinator for more details!.

Reach out to Dawn

How long has the RBA Degree been available?
The RBA program began in 1975 and is administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Who can enroll in the RBA program?
Students who have earned a high school diploma (or a GED) and who have been out of high school for three or more years can pursue an RBA degree. Additionally, those who have completed the 2-year WV Board of Governors AAS degree program are also eligible for the program.

I would like to learn more about the RBA. Where do I start?
You can get started today by contacting our RBA Coordinator, who will guide you through the process and get you on track to earning your bachelor’s degree.

Are there financial aid programs available for RBA students? How can I fund my degree?
There are many ways to pay for your degree. If you enroll part-time, you may be eligible to participate in The Higher Education Adult Part-Time Student Program (HEAPS).

Full-time students may be eligible for the West Virginia Higher Education Grant. You should also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you can receive help from the federal government. WVU Tech’s Financial Aid Office can also help you sort out the financial aid process.

What sort of time commitment is involved?
The RBA program is a flexible program designed to allow students to tailor the program to fit their needs. Students can earn credit via in-seat or online classes, utilize credit by exam, and even obtain credit for completed training. It is perfect for working adults and non-traditional students who need to balance time between work, family, and other commitments while completing their education.

The day-to-day time required to complete your will depend on the number of college hours you already have and whether you already have and whether you can attend full or part-time.

Can my work experience count toward a degree?
One of the great benefits of the RBA program is that knowledge gained from your work and life experience may count toward college credit. If you’re interested in earning credit for your career experience, contact our RBA Coordinator about the portfolio submission process.

Can I get college credit for my military service?
Yes. Credit will be given for documented military training which has been assessed by the American Council on Education. There is no fee for posting military credit. Students must supply the appropriate official military transcripts.

I’ve attended college before, but didn’t earn a degree. Can I count the credits I earned the first time toward my RBA?
Yes! You may be able to count credits you’ve already earned toward your RBA degree, even if you’ve been out of school for a long time. Our RBA Coordinator can help you sort out which prior college experiences count for credit.

Will I have an academic advisor who is knowledgeable about the RBA program?
Absolutely! Our RBA Coordinator will assist you with all of your RBA program questions and needs.

I’m an adult learner and I’m interested in a different degree. Maybe mechanical engineering, criminal justice or accounting. Can I apply to one of those programs?
Not a problem. The RBA program is built with adult learners in mind, but students of any age are welcome to apply for any one of our more than 40 academic programs.

Note: While the RBA program awards credit for professional or life learning, traditional four-year programs do not.

How do I apply for admission to the RBA rogram?
You must complete the WVU application and list RBA as your major. The RBA& major code is 024T.

Apply

What happens if I take a break from classes for a few semesters? Do I have to re-apply to WVU Tech to continue in the RBA program?
Yes. If you are inactive for 2 concurrent semesters, you must complete the admissions process again. Our RBA Coordinator will work with you to ensure that you’re taking the right courses and will help you set a pace you can handle.

What are the requirements for a WVU Tech RBA degree? 
You can see degree requirements here. For questions about requirements, contact us.

Can I go on to graduate or professional school with an RBA degree? 
Yes! RBA graduates go on to professional schools, law school and a variety of graduate programs.

Students planning to seek graduate or professional school admission should consult with WVU Tech’s RBA staff and directly with the graduate or professional programs they’re considering to find out which courses will meet the admission requirements for these programs.

Do I have to take a foreign language? 
Nope. There’s no foreign language requirement.

Do I have to take the “24 hours of residency” credits at WVU Tech? 
Not entirely. At least three credit hours must be taken from a course offered by WVU Tech, but the rest of your residency credits may be taken at any one or more of the public higher education institutions in West Virginia.

Do I have to take the courses required for residency on campus?
Not at all. WVU Tech courses come in a variety of delivery formats, including online classes.

Can I meet the residency requirement with college-equivalent-credit? 
Unfortunately, no. Residency hours must be earned by taking traditional courses. Likewise, you cannot use CLEP tests, other tests or credit-by-exam to meet the residency requirement.

Can the same courses I take to satisfy the residency requirement satisfy the general education or upper division requirements, as well? 
Yes! Some courses may even meet all three requirements at once (but they only count once toward the 120 hours needed for graduation).

What exactly are upper-division credits?
Upper-division credits are earned for coursework that is considered to be of a junior or senior level at a four-year institution. At WVU Tech, upper-division courses are those numbered in the 300s and 400s. Coursework completed at a community college is always considered lower division.

Do I have to take traditional courses to satisfy the general education and upper division requirements? 
You can satisfy the general education and upper division requirements by passing CLEP, Dantes or AP exams. If you pass with the right scores, you’ll earn college-equivalent credit from WVU Tech. 

I never finished high school and would like to get an RBA degree. What do I have to do? 
You’ll need to earn what’s known as a high school diploma equivalent to be admitted to WVU Tech without a high school diploma. The General Education Development (GED) certificate is the most common, and is accepted here. In West Virginia, the GED has been replaced by the HiSET exam:   https://hiset.ets.org/.

GED scores must be sent directly to the   WVU Tech Admissions Office from the testing center, the West Virginia Department of Education or the county superintendent of schools – not to you first.

If I earned a GED or TASC credential recently, do I still have to wait four years to be admitted to the RBA program? 
This really depends on your individual situation. You're eligible for admission at least three years after your class graduated from high school, regardless of when you earn a high school diploma equivalent certificate.

Some of my college credits are pretty old and are from different schools. Can these credits be used in this program? 
Yes, for the most part. Credit earned at accredited colleges and university is generally transferable.

What if my GPA is below 2.0? 
We can work with that. The RBA program allows failing grades that were earned more than four years ago to be excluded from your GPA calculation, which means they won’t count against you during the application process. (Note: those failing grades will still remain on your transcript.)

Can I complete an RBA degree without taking courses on the WVU Tech campus?
It's possible. WVU Tech offers courses online, and RBA students can take courses as transient students at other accredited institutions. You can use a  transient student form to start the process. Completing RBA program requirements without coming to campus is possible, depending on where you live and/or the number of credits you’ve earned before you begin the program.

Will my associate degree credits transfer to WVU Tech for the RBA program? 
Yes! Associate degree credits usually transfer. However, if you do happen to switch from RBA to another WVU Tech program, your credits may not apply to the new degree or they may be applied in different ways.

Is there any limit on the amount of credit I can transfer from other institutions? 
Not for RBA. WVU Tech has no limits in terms of community college credits as long as the institution your credits are transferring from is accredited.

Can I transfer in “D” grades from other institutions? 
Yes you can.

Are there credits from other institutions that will not transfer? 
Developmental courses (those typically numbered less than 100) do not transfer. Aside from that, almost all satisfactorily completed coursework taken at accredited higher education institutions is transferable.

Do CLEP test out credits work in the RBA program? 
Yep. You’ll need to submit an official document from  CLEP to the  WVU Tech Registrar.

How do I find out about Standard Awards of Credit for licenses or certifications?
Awards of credit change over time, and Standard Awards of credit require specific documentation. Check with the RBA Coordinator to determine what’s required. There’s a $300 fee for evaluating credentials and awarding credit. Also, for each credit hour awarded, a fee of $10 is assessed.

The RBA Program also recognizes standard credit awards that are listed in the ACE (American Council on Education) Guide.

Total Credit Hours
120 Hours

Upper-Division Courses
30 Hours

General Education (no major field may be chosen)

  • Communications: 6
  • Humanities: 6
  • Natural Sciences: 3
  • Social Sciences: 6
  • Mathematics or Computer Applications: 3

WVU Tech Grade Point Average: 2.0

Overall Grade Point Average: 2.0

Rule of Failing Grades: All Fs received four years or more prior to admission to the program are disregarded. Students who have received a second academic suspension, however, are not eligible, except by special petition to the Committee on Classification and Grades.

Residency: 24 hours earned in one or more West Virginia state-supported colleges or universities, including community colleges. At least three graded hours must be completed at WVU Institute of Technology.

How much will the RBA degree program cost? 
That depends on a few factors, including the financial aid you qualify for, the amount of classes you’ll need to take and fees associated with online classes or labs. However, the RBA program at WVU Tech is very affordable. Web courses have a separate fee structure, so you should contact us for more information on the tuition for these courses.

Most online RBA students are eligible for in-state tuition. An RBA degree is within your reach, and WVU Tech is an affordable option for pursuing your education. 

Is financial aid available?
Yes. You may be eligible for financial aid from federal and state government, as well as institutional aid from WVU Tech. Visit our  Financial Aid website  to find out more. For federal assistance and many other aid opportunities, you’ll need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

TIP: If you’re employed, check with your company’s human resources department. Companies and government agencies may offer tuition assistance.


WVU Tech encourages students in the RBA program to complete a focused area of emphasis (AOE), though selecting an AOE is entirely optional.

The following AOEs require the completion of 15 graded hours of related upper-division classroom work with a grade of C or better in each course.

All RBA areas of emphasis

Fraud Management Certification

RBA students may choose to pursue a fraud management certification:

  • Fraud Management (ACCT 420, 421, 422, 423, 348, & 449)

NOTE: Students should check the catalog to determine if pre-requisites are required for any of the above courses.

Check out the academic catalog

What is an Area of Emphasis (AOE)?
AOEs allow RBA students to study a specific area of interest. They include areas like creative arts, health care services, cultural studies, sciences and business.

There is no limit to the number of AOEs that a student can declare. Courses to be counted toward an AOE must be graded courses and a grade of C or better is required.

Can I ever substitute a different course for one specified by the department offering the AOE? 
Yes, but only after you receive written permission from the department that offers the AOE. This is not guaranteed as the department may grant credit at its discretion.

Are new AOEs ever added? 
Yes! WVU Tech’s many departments and the RBA program office add new areas of emphasis in an on-going process to boost available AOEs and offer students more variety. 

Can I earn more than one AOE?
Absolutely! There is no limit on the number of AOEs students may earn.

Am I required to have an AOE?
No, but students can select an AOE if they want to focus their coursework in a particular area. RBA students may also be eligible for one of our offered minors.

How is the AOE acknowledged? 
Your chosen area of emphasis will be listed on your transcript along with your degree when you graduate. 

What’s an RBA Portfolio?
An RBA Portfolio is a written document justifying and documenting your request for college-equivalent credit.

Portfolios have four parts:

  1. a request for credit for specific college courses;
  2. a resume identifying your educational, professional and other relevant activities;
  3. narratives demonstrating that you have “college-equivalent” knowledge and skills;
  4. documentation to support your claims of accomplishment.

Who reads the portfolios and determines whether credit is awarded?
The RBA Coordinator will review and approve the portfolio before sending it to each academic department that offers the requested credits. Faculty from those departments will read the portfolio and recommend credit awards. 

Is there a charge for portfolio submission?
There is a $300 evaluation fee at the time of portfolio submission. Additionally, a fee of $10 is assessed for each credit hour awarded.

How do the credits earned by creating a portfolio appear on my transcript?
They are designated as “RBA” credits and do not receive a designated grade.

Is there a limit on the amount of college-equivalent credit that can be earned?
No.

Can I see a sample portfolio?
Absolutely! Contact the RBA Coordinator for examples and guidelines.

What is the difference between online classes and regular classes? 
There is no difference between online classes and regular classes in terms of content quality and what you’ll learn. The classes are simply “delivered” differently, so communication takes place electronically over the internet, rather than face-to-face. You’re still going to learn, and you’re still going to take that knowledge with you into your career after graduation.  With online courses, you need to be self-disciplined, organized, and consistent with study and login habits. If you are considering online classes, keep this in mind. 

What’s the biggest advantage of taking an online course?
Convenience. You’ll be able to access the course materials at the times and places that are most convenient for you.

Does the cost differ from regular classes?
Yes. Contact us for exact tuition amounts.

Are library resources available to RBA students? 
Yes! The WVU Tech Library offers complete library services and WVU Tech students, including online students, have access to WVU’s full range of e-resources. That means access to more than 300 comprehensive databases.

How is an RBA student certified to graduate? The RBA Coordinator works with the Registrar to confirm that students have satisfied the requirements of the degree. Once the Registrar certifies this, the student will be notified.

Are there graduation fees? 
Yes, there are. Check with the RBA Coordinator or the  WVU Tech Registrar’s Office for specific fees.

Can I walk in the regular WVU Tech graduation ceremonies? 
Yes! You can walk in the WVU Tech May graduation ceremony or you can have your degree mailed to a specific address. Graduations occur in May, August and December, but WVU Tech’s official commencement ceremony is always in May.

Opportunities for Pilots and A&P mechanics

If not having a degree has your career on hold, WVU Tech can help.

  • Credit for FAA pilot and mechanic certificates
  • Transfer credit for previous college courses
  • Online courses
  • Aviation specific courses (Aviation Law, Aviation Safety, etc.)
  • Affordable tuition
  • No out-of-state tuition surcharges

The Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) degree program can offer up to 49 credits for fully rated professional pilots holding FAA certificates. A&P mechanics can be awarded up to 67 credits.

Additional credit can be awarded for previous college coursework, military training, CLEP tests, and more. This can mean you’re well on your way to completing the RBA degree.

Flexibility within the program allows you to select the courses that will work best for you and your career while maximizing credit for what you have already learned. We work with you personally to determine your best options.

Here are the basic requirements:

  • Minimum total of 120 credit hours to graduate.
  • Upper-division credit hours (300-400 level courses) - 30
  • General education credit hours (English, math, history, etc.) - 36
  • Residency credit hours (courses taken at WVU Tech or other WV colleges) – 24
  • *Three of the 24 hours must be taken at WVU Tech.

Jobs within aviation are expected to increase due to expansion of services and a changing workforce. Be prepared to land your next job opportunity by completing your degree.