Texarkana College Board of Trustees met on Monday to fine tune and select strategic goals to guide the direction of the college over the next 24 months. The planning process was the third step in setting measurable goals for the institution that will enable more area students to access affordable and quality higher education and obtain skills that will provide a better future for themselves and their families.
Through an interactive process, Trustees assessed more than 25 goals that emerged from input received from students, faculty, staff and community members since the planning process began over two months ago. Using a marking system, Trustees prioritized the top goals they thought would help move the needle on helping more area residents attend college and attain higher education credentials.
Establishing a college-going culture in our community was identified as a top priority, and boosting TC enrollment to 8,500 students by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year was set as a stretch goal. The following four overarching priorities moved to the top of the planning list:
· TC will keep student loan debt low by providing students with the area’s most affordable and accessible higher education opportunity. TC will have a student loan default rate of less than 30%.
· TC Foundation will continue to reward area hardworking students and families by reaching a funding status of ten million dollars that will enable the Presidential Scholarship to continue to be awarded to all Miller, Bowie, and Cass County Students in top 15 % of their graduating senior class.
· TC will provide more services and course offerings at a lower cost to residents of Cass County. A new TC workforce education learning site will be established in Cass County where students can earn degrees and certificates in high demand occupations. This will be accomplished by annexing the TC service area portion of Cass County in November 2016.
· TC will boost enrollment to reach a combined fall and spring academic and technical enrollment of 8,500 for 2017-2018 academic year.
The final, approved strategic plan will include five belief statements with additional goals that correspond with each belief statement. However, TC president James Henry Russell asked Trustees to focus on identifying the goals that would have the greatest impact on increasing the number of students with higher education credentials in TC’s service area. The goals above rose to the top of the list.
“Every goal they chose has a direct tie to student success,” Russell said. “Our Trustees make decisions based on what will provide greater support for students. They know that by keeping their goals student-centered, lives will be changed for the better and our regional economy overall will benefit. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Texarkana College is also working to meet the state’s goal of helping 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 get a postsecondary degree or certificate by the year 2030 (60x30TX). According to data collected by the state, currently only 38 percent of Texans hold a higher education degree or certificate. According to Russell, the goals TC Trustees chose today support the state’s priorities.