Texarkana College makes great strides in graduation rates

Texarkana College makes great strides in graduation rates

TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - Once on the brink of closing, the now thriving Texarkana College has made a significant jump on the road to improvement.

"I graduated May 2011," said TC Assistant Professor, Lindsey McFaul, "it is very neat getting to work with some of the faculty that helped me achieve the goal of graduating."

It's stories like McFaul's that have helped put Texarkana College back on top. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reports TC as the number one Junior College in the state for graduating students.

"A lot of people know that the financial side of the college has improved, and I tell you improving the academic side is much more difficult," explained Texarkana College President, James Russell.

In 2008, the graduation rate at Texarkana College stood at just 10 percent.
According to the Texas Higher Education Board, the rate has now climbed to 31 percent, doubling the state average for junior colleges.

"I think the great relationship between faculty and students, and our faculty putting them on a pathway to a degree, I think that is what made the difference," said Russell.

4,100 students are currently enrolled at Texarkana College, only adding to the continued success which school leaders say benefits the entire area.

"That means more jobs will come here, that means current businesses will be more competitive, crime rates will go down," Russell continued, "there is hardly a statistic you measure that a more educated community won't improve," said Russell.

Russell acknowledges more work is needed academically and financially for the institution, but he said Texarkana College is headed in the right direction.

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