December 16, 2016
Alamo Colleges Leads Texas Community Colleges in Completion
According to the latest data certified by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), in FY2016, the Alamo Colleges awarded more degrees and certificates than any other community college in Texas. This is an outstanding achievement considering that the Alamo Colleges is the third largest community college system in Texas, yet awards more degrees and certificates than two larger systems. In FY2016, the Alamo Colleges awarded 12,009 degrees and certificates, a 22.5% increase over the 9,778 awarded in FY2015. This record number exceeds not only the goal of 10,500 for FY 2016, but the FY 2017 target of 11,500. It very nearly eclipses the FY 2018 goal of 12,500 and represents an all-time record for the Alamo Colleges!
“The Alamo Colleges continues to lead the way in Texas in student completion,” said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. "This outstanding accomplishment is a direct result of the exceptional work of our faculty and staff,” he added.
The record number of degrees and certificates reflects the Alamo Colleges ongoing efforts to ensure that more students complete their educational goals. These efforts include new programs and initiatives across all the colleges that encourage students to complete their degree or certificate, as they pursue career employment and a baccalaureate degree. Faculty have played a key role in these efforts, developing intervention/improvement strategies to improve student success in courses that have traditionally had low completion rates and/or poor grades earned.
Alamo Colleges, City, SAISD Open Eastside Center
Alamo Colleges Board Chair Dr. Yvonne Katz, Trustee Denver McClendon and Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie joined community leaders and the City of San Antonio recently to celebrate the grand opening of the 56,000-square-foot Eastside Education & Training Center (EETC) located at 4551 Dietrich Road. The facility, which occupies the former Pfeiffer Elementary School, is a one-stop education and workforce development center designed for the Eastside community in partnership with Alamo Colleges and the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD). The EETC is modeled after Alamo Colleges' highly successful Westside Education & Training Center.
The City served as a co-applicant with Alamo Colleges and SAISD to secure a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to renovate the facility. The City's Fiscal Year 2017 General Fund budget allocated $100,000 to open and operate the EETC for the next two years.
In July 2015, the City partnered with Alamo Colleges and other organizations to launch the Promise Zone to Work initiative to prepare Eastside residents for 21st century job opportunities by providing free job training classes in high-demand occupations. To date, 325 residents have received career certificates in nursing, IT, welding, heavy equipment operation and other areas.
To sustain these efforts, the City partnered with SAISD to provide free job training classes, GED preparation, job placement, financial counseling and child care in one location. The EETC will provide residents with direct access to workforce, education and support services that create pathways to quality jobs and/or higher education.
Alamo Collegfes Approves Tuition Incentive Plan
The Alamo Colleges’ Board of Trustees have approved a new Fast Completion Incentive Plan to encourage students to complete their degree in less time so that they save money and use their financial aid more effectively. The plan gives students who earn 18-24 credit hours in the fall 2016 and spring 2017 terms three to six FREE credit hours in the summer semester. Students who earn a total of 24 credit hours in the fall 2016 and spring 2017 (9+15 or 12+12) receive up to six free credit hours in the summer, allowing them to earn the 60 hours needed for their degree in just two years at a tuition savings of $186. Students who earn a total of 18 credit hours in the fall and spring (9+9 or 6+12) receive three free credit hours in the summer, allowing them to complete in three years at a tuition savings of $141. The free summer credit hours must be taken in the summer term immediately following the fall and spring term which qualify the student for the incentive plan.
“As part of our ongoing strategies to maximize student success, this plan will encourage students to take more courses in the fall and spring, and to take summer courses as well, allowing them to complete their education at the Alamo Colleges in less time, which will save them money in tuition and allow them to transfer to a university or enter the workforce more quickly,” said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie.
The plan was approved after student surveys and focus groups indicated that the majority of students were interested in such an incentive program and would take advantage of it. Increasing the number of students who complete at the Alamo Colleges in two or three years will save students about $15,000 per year according to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board data for each additional year spent pursuing a degree.
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