The Texarkana College Board of Trustees met today to approve the institution’s two-year strategic plan including its vision, mission, core values and beliefs. The approval of the plan was the final step in setting measurable goals for the College 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.
The plan establishes the core values of Texarkana College, which include opportunity, excellence, community, success and integrity, and shows the top priorities to be:
· Boosting enrollment to 8,500 for 2017-2018 academic year
· Annexing TC’s service area in Cass County in November 2016
· Achieving a student loan default rate of less than 30%
· Reaching $10 million in TC Foundation assets by 2020 and growing the TC Alumni & Friends Network to 1,000 members by 2018
“Trustees recognize that making informed decisions is more important than ever for the future of Texarkana College and our community,” President James Henry Russell said. “Over the next two years, we will measure progress by our level of adherence to these values, priorities and our mission of advancing our community through attainable higher education and lifelong learning.”
In other business, Dr. Donna McDaniel, Vice President of Instruction, reported that TC has had a significant increase in student completion rates since 2013 and the trend continues with the current graduating class.
“Since 2013, Texarkana College has had over a 75 percent increase in degrees and certificates awarded, indicating a huge return on investment for students and the community,” McDaniel said. “Student success and completion is what drives our institution and makes the greatest impact for the future of our region. We are on track to exceed last year’s completion rate of 1,100 awards. That was evident at our spring graduation ceremony earlier this week, which had the greatest participation of any in the history of the College.”
Texarkana College completion rates are based on awards made for associate degrees and Level I and II certificates in workforce education. For Spring 2016, 374 students were awarded degrees or certificates and more than 250 participated in the commencement ceremony held at First Baptist Church on Monday, May 16. Texarkana College holds two commencement ceremonies annually and it is optional for students to participate. Of the 374 graduates, 68 received certificates from TC’s workforce programs and 306 graduated with academic degrees. At the ceremony, 82 academic graduates wore new royal blue honor cords, and 10 graduates wore Honors College medallions indicating they completed TC’s rigorous Honors College curriculum.
“Our goal at TC is to help our students finish their degree or certificate and move on to better jobs and brighter futures,” McDaniel said. “This actually hurts us when it comes to funding from the state, which is based on the number of hours they spend in our classrooms, but our role is to efficiently prepare our students for transferring to another institution or for a job that will boost our local economy. We take that very seriously.”