Many higher education initiatives touted at the recent American Association of Community Colleges annual meeting have already been implemented or are underway at Paris Junior College, according to three regents who attended the meeting.
Beginning with participation in Achieving the Dream over a decade ago to PJC’s current participation in the national Pathways Project, PJC has been using data to improve student success to allow them to reach their goals.
In the past year, PJC has been building on the work of HB 5 through the Pathways Project, assisting students to more quickly find their career paths and avoid taking unneeded classes. PJC has also hired a full-time dual credit coordinator to work more closely with high schools in the five-county PJC service area.
Regents Ginna Bowman, Caroline Lockett, and Charles Lynch attended the meeting and reported on what resonated most with them from the meeting. These included the need for college foundations to shift from funding scholarships to covering the cuts made to federal and state funding; develop a culture of inclusion and greater diversity as well as assistance beyond financial aid for students; the concept of helping those the College serves in understanding and embracing the rapid change of the digital age; and finding grant assistance to help PJC move forward.
“In this day and time, we’ve got to raise money to replace cuts from state and federal funding,” said PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin. “From 2012 to 2017, PJC revenue has gone from $40 million to $33 million due to cuts, while tuition charged to students has increased. “
“Our participation with Pathways, that culminates this week, has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,” Anglin said. “Both the Gates and Lumina foundations work through the Texas Success Center to fund and improve student success through all 50 community colleges in the State of Texas. We participated in the Lumina-funded Achieving the Dream, so we have been very fortunate to participate in multiple situations through the last few years where the benefactors were the Gates and Lumina foundations.”
In other business, the Regents:
- Approved an additional hour added to the Electrician curriculum.
- Approved the merging of science lecture and lab courses in the Core Curriculum into one listing, with no change to the total semester credit hours.
- Discussed PJC representation on the Lamar County Appraisal District Board; PJC will follow-up with the District to express a desire for representation.
- Received a draft five-year workforce development plan for the College for review.
- Authorized Dr. Anglin to continue discussions with the bidder on the Recreation Center.
- Approved the employment of Student Financial Aid Assistant Director Kimberly Herron, Upward Bound Advisor Nichole Perry, and Emergency Medical Services Instructor Heath Thomas, and accepted the resignation of Educational Talent Search Advisor Katie Shipman.