Texarkana College Trustees learned today that TC ranks first among all Texas community colleges in student completion rates. Data from a 2016 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board study shows 39.2 percent of TC students completed a degree or certificate within four years compared to the state average of 24.6 percent for all state community colleges and 33.91 percent for state universities. TC officials attribute high completion rates to TC faculty’s commitment to student success and excellent academic curriculum.
“Success has come through the hard work and dedication of our faculty to help students master their coursework and remain on track toward completion,” said Dr. Donna McDaniel, Vice President of Instruction. “TC’s emphasis on providing clear pathways within degree programs enables students to earn credit faster and complete in a shorter time frame than ever before.”
McDaniel also said TC’s campus-wide implementation of the Quality Enhancement Plan is a catalyst for greater student success. The QEP, entitled, Connect: Start Smart- Finish Strong, utilizes strategies designed to improve student learning outcomes, persistence between semesters, and achievement of academic goals, including attaining a certificate or degree. The QEP also allows first time in college students to participate in a learning frameworks course to introduce study strategies and skills needed for academic success, connect with campus resources, and help build a sense of community between cohorts. In addition, students have access to faculty advisors who assist with goal planning, time management, and degree completion.
President James Henry Russell said he could not be more proud of the completion culture that has developed at TC over the last several years.
“We have a lot to celebrate with the completion data we are seeing today,” Russell said. “We are moving the needle at TC toward achieving the state’s goal of 60x30TX by helping students earn their degree or credential in record time. There is nothing better than seeing our amazing faculty in action in the classroom and one-on-one with students, helping them reach their goals and master tough coursework.”
TC hosts two graduation ceremonies each year—one in the fall and one in the spring. Russell said that every year graduation numbers increase which is a testimony to the culture of completion built by TC faculty and staff. Russell also believes TC’s partnership with the Texas Success Center has provided additional resources to develop structured academic and career pathways scaled to meet the needs of all students.
“We have poured a lot of energy and resources into the development and implementation of student success strategies at TC,” said Russell. “The Coordinating Board’s data affirms we are helping students achieve their dreams and earn college credentials resulting in greater earning potential and brighter futures.”
In other business, trustees took their first look at TC’s 2017-2018 draft budget. Kim Jones, Chief Financial Officer, presented the near break-even budget with projected revenues and expenditures for the new fiscal year, which begins September 1, 2017.
“We are working through every area that is not completely balanced at this time,” Jones said. “By the August 2017 board meeting, our goal is to present to you a break-even budget for your approval.”
The first draft budget detail shows estimated revenue of $40.4 million for 2017-18 fiscal year when all funds are considered. This includes federal and state funds as well as other sources including auxiliary funds and local tax revenue.