TC Trustees Briefed on Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within Education Industry


Texarkana College Trustees met for their regular board meeting today and voted to appoint Dr. John Booth to serve as TC’s new representative on the Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) board. TC is a member of ATCOG and is eligible to appoint an elected official to serve as a member of their board. TC Trustee George Moore has served in this role since 2019 and is rotating off. TC President Dr. Jason Smith said he is grateful to Mr. Moore for his years of service on the ATCOG board on behalf of TC.

“Having representation from TC’s Board of Trustees on the ATCOG board is important to TC,” said Dr. Smith. “TC’s role as an ATCOG board member is to provide a voice for our students and community to promote intergovernmental cooperation to improve the quality of life for all citizens of Ark-Tex region. Mr. Moore has represented TC well and we are so appreciative of his dedication to the betterment of our region.”

ATCOG is a voluntary association of local governments serving nine counties including: Bowie, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Red River and Titus Counties in Texas and Miller County in Arkansas. ATCOG provides support through the following programs: Area Agency on Aging, Criminal Justice, Economic Development, Environmental, Housing, Transportation, and Public Safety (9-1-1 and Homeland Security).

In other business, Bart Upchurch, TC’s Executive Director of Information Technology, provided Trustees with an update on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on faculty, staff, and students.

Upchurch said, “AI is a hot topic right now in several industries including education. Many of today’s current technology products implement some type of AI. A couple of common applications you may have heard about are Microsoft’s Copilot and Adobe’s Firefly. At TC, we have set up a local version of ChatGPT for use by faculty and staff that uses the same OpenAI technology as industry leaders.”

Upchurch said there are many ways in which the IT department is using AI to speed up programming.

“AI can be used as a tool for automation and can speed up routine tasks allowing staff to focus more on the complex aspects of coding. The key is to use AI responsibly and to increase efficiency in task management.”

TC’s Community and Business Education Division offered an introductory course on the use of AI. Lance Whisenant, IT Security Analyst at TC, served as the instructor for the course.

“This course provided a foundational understanding of AI, enabling participants to effectively follow and contribute to discussions on the topic,” said Whisenant. “Learning involves not just acquiring knowledge, but also the ability to continuously adapt and apply the knowledge. The use of AI enhances this process by allowing us to explore vast information through natural language.”

Upchurch said TC will continue to offer similar courses through the Community and Business Education Division in the future. For more information, visit or call 903-823-3270.

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