At Monday’s Texarkana College board meeting, trustees reviewed the statewide accountability report released this month by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) showing TC as continuing to rank in the top percentile for student graduation rates among all Texas community colleges. The 2021 data report shows TC students ranking fourth among 3-year completers, first among 4-year completers, and 21st among institutions whose students took 6-years to complete their degree or certificate. Dr. Jason Smith, TC President, said he is pleased to learn TC remains as one of the top five institutions in the state helping students save time and money as they press toward earning their higher education credentials.
“For the sixth year in a row, TC ranks in the top five of all community colleges in the state in student completion rates, and I could not be prouder of our students, faculty and staff for maintaining this status,” said Smith. “The data report from the THECB compares all fifty publicly-funded community colleges on various metric points. One of the metrics each college is measured on is the time it takes a full-time, first-time in college student to earn a higher education degree or certificate from a particular institution. Completion data is reported by showing the percent of students at each institution that completes their degree or certificate within 3-years, 4-years, or 6-years of starting their college career.”
The THECB results indicate 43.2% of TC’s full-time, first time in college students graduate within three years of beginning compared to the state 3-yr completion rate of 25.2%. For 4-yr completers, 54.5% of students complete compared to the state average of 33.2%.
“We are so proud of our students who have set new records for graduation rates again this year,” said Smith. “Our students complete faster and at a higher rate than students at most other state-funded community colleges.”
Smith said TC’s advising model and mandatory learning frameworks courses for first-time in college students help establish a campus culture of completion.
“We attribute student success to the mindset of our faculty and staff that a college experience is much more than earning a grade point average,” said Smith. “At TC, we believe that building a framework for students to learn how to overcome barriers that often lead to high drop-out rates has been one of our strongest assets. TC’s faculty advising model, our mandatory soft-skills training courses offered for both academic and workforce training students, caring staff who provide support in and out of the classroom, and world-class instruction offered by experienced instructors all contribute to our high student completion rates.”
Smith said that students also gain confidence and valuable soft skills at TC that help lead them into a successful career path.
“At TC, our students graduate with real-world experience and marketable skills that are valuable in the workforce. It is important to note, that many of our students are part-time or are here to earn college credit to transfer to a university toward their bachelor’s degree. Each student’s needs are different, but our goal is all the same. We always start with the end in mind and hold each other accountable through a unique pact we have with students through our ‘Commit to Complete’ initiative. Whatever the student’s goals are, we are there to help them achieve their dreams. It’s a formula for success when we all keep college completion at the forefront and work toward that goal. It benefits not only the students who are working toward career goals, but it also builds a skilled and ready workforce for our local employers.”