A statewide accountability report released this week by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board shows Texarkana College ranking first in student graduation rates among Texas community colleges.[i] The preliminary results indicate 49.7% of full-time, first time in college students graduate within three years of beginning their degree or certificate program at Texarkana College, doubling the state completion rate of 24.2%. Texarkana College has held the top position in the state for two consecutive years (2020 and 2019) and ranked first in 2017 among Texas community colleges for 4-year graduation rates. Dr. Jason Smith, Texarkana College President and CEO, said the results of the report set a new institutional record for completion of degrees and certificates.
“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 any other state-funded community college. We attribute their success to the mindset of our faculty and staff that a college experience is much more than earning a grade point average. 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.”
The 3-year graduation rates are reflective of the success of the 2016 fall cohort of full time, first time in college students. The preliminary THECB accountability report released earlier this week shows statewide data for publicly funded institutions of higher education including community colleges and universities. Dr. Donna McDaniel, TC’s Vice President of Instruction, said the report shows a snapshot of Texas’ progress to meet the state’s educated population goal of 60x30TX. This goal aims to increase the percentage of 25-34- year-olds in Texas who hold a certificate or degree by 2030 and ensure all graduates from public institutions of higher education complete programs with identified marketable skills.
“At Texarkana College, our students graduate with real-world experience and marketable skills that are valuable in the workforce,” said McDaniel. “From here, students gain confidence and skills that equip them to land a rewarding career in a technical field or transfer credit to a university to complete a bachelor’s degree. With every incoming freshman class, we begin with the end in mind. Our unique culture of completion is a pact between students, faculty, staff and community stakeholders to hold each other accountable for building an educated and prepared regional workforce. It’s a formula for success when we all keep college completion at the forefront and work toward that goal. Our caring deans, faculty and staff must be praised for working hard to ensure barriers are removed for our students to excel.”
[i] Source: Texas Higher Education Accountability System Interactive Report (2019 DRAFT) retrieved on 2/26/2020 from http://www.txhigheredaccountability.org/AcctPublic/InteractiveReport/Accountability.