BC joins TACC’s efforts to increase student success
Brazosport College has recently joined the state’s other 49 community colleges in the creation of the Texas Success Center , which will support the state’s community college success agenda that includes alignment and acceleration of proven strategies, as well as targeted and coordinated advocacy across the state’s community colleges.
The initiative was created by the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), which encompasses all 50 Texas Community Colleges, through The Kresge Foundation, Houston Endowment, Greater Texas Foundation, Meadows Foundation and TG.
Brazosport College’s main role in the Texas Success Center will be as a co-development partner for the Mathways Project, which will help students successfully progress through their college math requirements. The work is being led by the Dana Center at the University of Texas-Austin.
“We envision three pathways,” Brazosport College President Dr. Millicent Valek said of the Mathways project. “College algebra will be for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors, college statistics is for many business and health science majors, and quantitative mathematics is for many of the applied science areas.
“All of the math pathways are being paired with a student success course that supports the successful study and completion of mathematics,” Valek added.
The Texas Success Center’s (TSC) mission is segmented into three broad categories of activity:
• Alignment of different innovation and student success initiatives into a more coherent and comprehensive approach, including development of data infrastructure and key measures of success.
• Acceleration of learning across colleges so that adoption of proven or evidence-‐‑based initiatives can be accelerated and information costs reduced.
• Advocacy for policies that support the student success agenda, in the legislature and in relevant state agencies.
ʺCommunity colleges continue to serve as an increasingly important sector in public higher education,” said Senator Kel Seliger, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “They provide quality, low-cost workforce training, as well as transfer pathways to four-year institutions. I look forward to working with the Texas Success Center to ensure our community colleges continue to play a pivotal role in Texas' higher education system”
The Texas Success Center (TSC) is part of a growing movement in the national completion agenda to help more community college students complete their academic goals.
“As the largest sector of higher education, enrolling 75 percent of freshmen and sophomores, community colleges have an obligation to ensure the future success of our state by working to improve student outcomes,” said TACC President Rey Garcia.
Texas joins Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio and New Jersey in creating a success center to increase coordination and collaboration across community colleges, develop common data definitions and create shared professional development venues.
“The Kresge Foundation is delighted to partner with multiple Texas funders and TACC to help launch the TSC,” said Caroline Altman Smith, Senior Program Officer at the Detroit‑based Kresge Foundation. “Student success centers can help create and strengthen linkages among programs, practice and policy. We’ve seen Centers play a key role in driving the student success agenda forward in several states.”
Angela Oriano, former Associate Director at the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE), will serve as Executive Director of the TSC.
“The Texas Success Center is unique in its team-based approach, bringing together community college practitioners (faculty, staff and administration) and national experts to capitalize on the lessons we’ve already learned to strengthen and extend effective educational practices in every Texas community college.”
The TSC leadership teams will focus their efforts in five broad areas: Workforce and Skills Alignment, Measuring and Funding Success, College Readiness, Transfer and Articulation, and Texans in Community Colleges.
The TSC will host the first Texas DREAM Institute in fall 2014. The TSC will invite colleges to send teams to learn about promising practices and develop strategies to implement or scale practices upon returning to their campuses.
“Texas will be only the second state in the country to host a regional DREAM Institute, modeled after the highly successful national DREAM Institute hosted by Achieving the Dream,” said Wynn Rosser, President, CEO Greater Texas Foundation. “The institute will not only serve as an early way to support the Center’s priority to enhance and accelerate learning across institutions, but will also serve as a strong symbol of and reinforce the state’s commitment to its community college students and the importance of the student success agenda.”
About TACC: The Texas Association of Community Colleges is a non-profit association that includes all 50 public community college districts in the state. TACC was formally created in 1947 to serve as a voice for all member colleges.