TC Trustees Congratulate Phi Theta Kappa Members on Receiving Distinguished International Award


At yesterday’s meeting, April 30,2018,  the Texarkana College Board of Trustees congratulated student members of the TC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (Zeta Sigma Chapter) for receiving the Distinguished Hallmark Award for their college project at the PTK International Convention in Kansas City, MO last week.

Of the 1,300 entries considered for the award, TC’s chapter was one of only 50 projects recognized in their category. The project, TC Student Wellness Campaign, also received an Award of Merit at the Texas Regional PTK Convention held in Houston earlier this spring.

Chapter president, Addison Hill, along with TC’s PTK adviser, Mary Ellen Young, said receiving the awards on behalf of the members of the TC team affirmed the positive impact a small group of visionary leaders can have on changing the culture of an organization.

“The Student Wellness Campaign rolled out a campus-wide ‘De-stress Fest’ the week before fall finals,” said Hill. “PTK members, along with our on-site student counselor, Dr. Joan Strutton, conducted a survey to identify students’ greatest barriers limiting them to successful course completion. Results showed that stress ranked as one of the top reasons students fail to succeed. To address this concern, PTK members collaborated with TC recruiters, Palmer Memorial Library personnel, Pinkerton Recreation Center staff, and TC student clubs and organizations, to plan events each day for a week for students to participate in that helped alleviate test anxiety and boost self-confidence. Fun, relaxing activities including painting classes, gaming days, and chair massages were well attended by students throughout the week. It helped them clear their minds, relax, and better prepare for exams and completion of semester projects.”

Young said PTK members also took an interest in providing students with greater access to information about community resources available to them to help with personal and mental health concerns.

“PTK students updated the community resource the TC website and distributed literature to students listing contact information for services,” Young said. “Many of our students have barriers to overcome and this list provides a guide to programs available to them for support.”

In other business, Trustees approved the continuation of Texarkana College’s Professional Driving Academy’s partnership with Northeast Community College through February 2019. Brandon Washington, TC’s Dean of Workforce and Continuing Education, said the two colleges have been collaborating to provide a first class professional driving academy for students in northeast Texas since 2015.

“Texarkana College’s Professional Driving Academy has been taught by a third-party provider, International Schools, Inc., since we began the program in 2014,” said Washington. “NTCC joined as a partner in June 2015 and this arrangement has proven to be a solid business decision for both schools.”

Washington said the partnership provides the opportunity for larger class sizes each month and helps solidify the investment made by International Schools, Inc. to provide instructors and commercial vehicles for training. NTCC students travel to the academy located at TC@TexAmericas Center to attend class and practice driving techniques. The curriculum prepares students to take the commercial driver’s license exam (CDL) and meet regulatory training requirements.

At the meeting, Trustees also considered and approved an amendment to the budget to allow TC administration to move ahead with needed capital improvements to the Career Education Center Annex. President James Henry Russell said the capital improvement plan for 2017-18 was presented and approved at the October 2017 board meeting and includes replacing the HVAC equipment, overhead doors, and renovating the existing restrooms in the CEC Annex.

“The items needing immediate attention include the failing HVAC equipment in the CEC Annex and the restroom remodeling to meet ADA requirements,” said Russell. “The improvements align with our College’s belief statement, ‘Excellence in financial management, facilities/grounds, and safe and secure learning environments are non-negotiable.’”

Russell said the estimated cost of these improvements is $134,500, but $119,500 will be capitalized resulting in a net effect to the current year budget of $18,475.

The Trustees continued the meeting throughout the day by participating in a strategic planning process. President Russell presented a draft of strategic goals created through leadership, faculty, staff and student collaboration and the review of various forms of data and survey results.  Trustees discussed and prioritized these goals to provide focused measurable goals for the July 2018 – June 2020 Strategic Plan. The final Strategic Plan will be presented at a Trustees meeting later this summer.

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