As we begin the Spring semester of our 51st year, as we approach the end of this first month of 2016 and, certainly, as we stand in a period of transition at TCC, I am reminded of how the word "January" originated. The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of gateways. Interestingly, Janus possessed two heads: one to look back and the other to look forward. And so it is with us today.
We look forward with great enthusiasm to all of the exciting work we have underway to benefit our students, our faculty and our staff. This year, TCC will introduce our new strategic plan, which will reinforce our commitments to institutional excellence, community impact and, of course, student success. We will continue our work on WIGs – that is, "Wildly Important Goals" (see the story on page 12). We will strengthen our commitment to the community, reinforce the programs we have in place to foster a college-going culture among the region’s young people and continue identifying new programs the College can introduce that will support the region’s workforce needs.
We will expand our efforts to do more to help our first-time-in-college students effectively navigate the registration and enrollment process so that they’re confidently on their way to successful completion and graduation. In response to that need, TCC has seated an Enrollment and Registration Task Force consisting of more than 30 accomplished and talented senior leaders from throughout the District. Their charge was to conduct a comprehensive review of the College’s enrollment and registration processes, procedures and practices for credit and non-credit courses and then identify opportunities for increasing effectiveness and efficiency. There are six separate sub-committees within this Task Force working on everything from a comprehensive review of the Texas and National Career Pathways Framework, to technology improvements that would support a more seamless student experience, to professional development programs that will support the new processes once they have been developed. This work is challenging, yet very critical and very exciting for our College and the students we serve. You can expect to hear quite a bit more in the coming months as their work continues.
It’s so important that we help students get on the right path early so that we can help them stay on that path toward graduation, then the next stage of their lives. There’s a saying that "all who wander are not really lost." While that’s a lovely thought, it simply isn’t true for our students; if they wander too long, they will get lost, and they will give up. That’s why our Student Learning and Student Success Council is spending a great deal of time evaluating a Career Pathway focus to student enrollment and ongoing advisement. Many other colleges around the country have used this approach to help students determine the work they want to do, based on their desire and their aptitude, and then plot their academic paths accordingly.
You can learn more about how TCC will employ the Career Pathways model on page 18.
On behalf of the entire leadership team at TCC, we are grateful for your continued support, confidence and trust. Rest assured that our commitments to student success, institutional excellence and community impact are only strengthened by our day to day work and now reside as a part of TCC’s fundamental DNA. We look forward to sharing our progress as the year continues.