Monday, November 21, 2016

TSC SUPPORTERS LAUD ITS RETURN TO ORIGINAL MISSION

Special to El Rrun-Rrun

Texas Southmost College is well on its way to becoming the community college that many of us recall from our days on the bustling campus.
There is a new sense of pride, collaboration, mission, and enthusiasm at TSC. Signs of its growth are evident, especially on the main campus where parking is becoming scarce and students are seen all over the campus.

Other signs of growth are enrollment numbers, with TSC hitting a significant milestone by breaking the 5,000-student enrollment mark for the first time since TSC re-opened as an independent entity in the Fall 2013.


The record enrollment for Fall 2016 was a 25.3 percent aggregate increase over the previous fall. TSC's on-campus enrollment reached 3,603 students this fall, a 13.8 percent increase over fall 2015.





The College's dual and early college high school enrollment also saw an increase as it reached 1,448 students in fall 2016, a 67.8 percent increase over the previous fall.





Another obvious change is that interim president Mike Shannon, the TSC Board of Trustees, and the College’s leadership team are out in the community promoting the College, engaging with industries, and listening to faculty, staff, and students. Shannon has challenged the staff to “think outside the box” and to find new creative and innovative ways to enhance a student’s learning and campus life experience. The board of trustees are highly-engaged and very supportive of the College’s faculty and staff. They are supporting the mission and making sure the faculty and staff feel valued and supported.





Unlike the past experience the college had with the top-down approach under former TSC-UTB "partnership" president Julieta Garcia and later, the insulated (and isolated) approach by terminated president Lily Tercero, the board and administration have opened the doors to constructive suggestions and advice from instructors, staff and students. Everyone – from board president Adel Garza to instructors and students in the classroom and residents and business owners –  has a voice in shaping the new direction of the community college.



Under Shannon's leadership and in partnership with the board of trustees, TSC is quickly assessing its resources and re-staffing critically underfunded program areas such as student recruitment and outreach, workforce training and continuing education, health care, and technical education.



A new dean was recently hired in the area of health care, career, and technical education. The dean is developing plans to strengthen current programs and to develop new ones in areas of high career potential and demand. Efforts are also underway to complete, the once stalled, renovation project for the health care programs housed at ITECC.


A ribbon-cutting ceremony is expected to take place in the near future. Also, new partnership agreements are being developed to provide students with essential real-world experience and long-term career opportunities in Brownsville. The Licensed Vocational Nursing program is said to be thriving and continues to graduate LVN nurses. TSC is the only college in the RGV to offer an associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography. While most of the students in this program are from the local area, several also commute to TSC from the Upper Valley. 

They are highly sought-after students, earning great wages. Other health care programs are thriving and successfully graduating students. Shannon, the board of trustees, and the new dean are diligently working to strengthen the associate degree in nursing program so that TSC can continue training nurses. 


Additionally, there is a collective effort to engage with the college district’s communities, stakeholders, and the economic development community. The College’s efforts to preserve and promote its brand is also evident with a consistent promotion and advertising campaign in English and Spanish for television, radio, billboard, and even cinema theater advertising. The College leadership is also more accessible to the public.





A student life director has been hired to make certain that students have opportunities for leadership training, civic engagement,community service, and career opportunities. A new partnership agreement with the United Way of Southern Cameron County, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce will create paid internships for TSC students.





Under the new partnership, eligible students will be selected to participate in $10/hr. paid internships in a variety of industry and career-elevant internships. The program which was funded by the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation will make it possible for TSC to hire an internship coordinator and place 45 students in internships. Plans are also being taken to provide greater access to TSC to first generation college students. New and innovative summer and year-long camps have been developed to make it possible for more students to get an affordable quality education at TSC. 





Another new promising area of growth for TSC is in the workforce training and continuing education area. Shannon created a new division – institutional advancement and workforce training – which encompasses marketing, community relations, grants, fundraising, alumni relations, the TSC Foundation, special events, and workforce training and continuing education.



The recent hire of a vice president to lead this new division has already resulted in new economic development partnerships with local industries such as health care, industrial maintenance, construction, as well as historical preservation. Also, the TSC Foundation will hold its first meeting in December with the newly elected board of directors. The TSC board has assured local residents that all it scholarship monies will go exclusively to TSC students.

The College is also in the process of relaunching a partnership with the City of Brownsville’s Fire Department for training of future firefighters. TSC plans to launch new workforce and continuing education training in welding, pipe fitting, nurse’s assistant, and others. Plans are also underway for alumni events and fundraising activities.

Also, TSC is working very closely with the Texas Workforce Commission to provide skills development funds to help area industries train their workforceand improve their operations and with the Brownsville Economic Development Council to create workforce training programs to meet current and future workforce demands for current and new industries and companies such as SATA USA. 


One of the most noticeable changes is the strong sense of family that the faculty and staff have with their president Shannon and the TSC Board of Trustees. It is said that President Shannon, the board of trustees, and the staff are planning a family holiday party, which welcomes faculty and staff to bring their spouses, children, and significant others.

This ain't your grandma's TSC from the days of yore. The new president and board of trustees are on the right track. They are intent and highly focused on preserving the 90 year history and tradition of our beloved TSC.

After all, TSC has always been tightly woven into our community. TSC is our college! It is the lifeline to building a strong, economically prosperous community with a great quality of life. Go Scorpions!

24 comments:

L. VELA said...

This is a breath of fresh air when lately so much of the news has been nothing but depressing. Thank you to the community for having faith in our community college and a big thank you to the TSC Board of Trustees.
¡VIVA TSC!

Anonymous said...

Being from UTRGV, I feel great joy of seeing TSC in a sense, rising from the "ashes".

Anonymous said...

TSC is still an "alternative high school," juan!

Anonymous said...

TSC and its programs are vital to Brownsville's ability to provide a workforce for new industry and innovation here. The internships will provide hands-on training and learning experiences to students that will give them a head-start in the job market. I applaud TSC and its leadership.

Anonymous said...

If you believe this pie-in-the-sky narrative, you believe in Sants Claus. The college is running amuck with out a rudder. Without a permanent president all this is temporary and wishful thinking! Get real Juan!

Anonymous said...

Long live the beautiful TSC a true gem of Brownsville. This diamond can shine on its own, no more leeching.

Anonymous said...

TSC is the worst junior college in America! Shut it down. Save taxpayers money!

anthony zavaleta said...

Even though TSC has and is showing remarkable improvements there are those who continue to disparage our community college. Why is that? Don't they realize that our university is gone forever! Most Brownsville youth will never quality to attend UTRGV and so the tremendous advances that have been made in the last 20 years at UTB/TSC are gone yet our kids will need an education of some sort. Some will learn Workforce skills and others will be able to transfer to UTRGV but the days of open admission are gone. Help us to restore TSC to its glory days for the sake of our children .

Jack White said...

I have family attend as first year students and I have a close and unique view of the education they are receiving. The initial orientation, classroom instruction and support is impressive. The institution is new and has some rough edges...but it's offering a valuable educational service. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You applaud TSC and its leadership, really ? With two quick law suits within five months with this pathetic leadership there is nothing to applaud about! Only wasting taxpayer's money on senseless law suits as a result of incompetance. Get your facts together and follow closer. It will do you good and save some of your tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you take a taxi ride over the causeway?

Anonymous said...

Why don't you take a long walk off a short pier?

BART the FART Simpson said...

Why don't you come over to my house and smell my shorts?

Anonymous said...

You applaud TSC and its leadership, really ? With two quick law suits within five months with this pathetic leadership there is nothing to applaud about! Only wasting taxpayer's money on senseless law suits as a result of incompetance. Get your facts together and follow closer. It will do you good and save some of your tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

How is exile treating you these days Ed? I'm sure the board has insurance coverage for these types of suits, so no taxpayer waste.

Anonymous said...

Why was an open admissions university ever a good thing? It allowed students who weren't normally university ready to take classes and get into huge debt without graduating. They were set up to fail. Those who were fortunate enough to graduate got degrees that they can't use. You sat at the right hand of the devil and helped Julieta perpetrate this sham. The University of Texas system doesn't appear to want to stay here if they can't continue to take our tax monies. They don't care about Brownsville or it's students.

Anonymous said...

We can always count on Trey Garza to kill the mood and protect his precious Juliet.

Anonymous said...

Quit pounding you chest Zavaleta. You are part of the problem. That is why UTB gave you the boot. Mamón!

Anonymous said...

Signed Dr. Rey Garcia. You are the Pathetic one.

Anonymous said...

Let's not do what Julieta did and obsess with enrollment numbers. She was so obsessed with hitting 10000 students that they counted anyone and everyone that paid for even 1 hr of college credit as a student. Let's focus on quality not quantity. 5000 students is great but in reality the only number that matters is graduates. Focus on graduating % numbers. College isn't for everyone, these advisors need to be honest and enroll applicants in the right programs. If the student is successful the school is successful. Go scorpions! Picalos con la cola!!

Anonymous said...

Adela, your friend Sylvia could use a job. Maybe president of TSC so you two can tango -tangle.

Anonymous said...

Vomit...how gross that would be. Please no!!!

Anonymous said...

UT never cared about Brownsville.

L. VELA said...

May Dr. Arnulfo Oliveira rest in peace knowing there are good people working deligently to return TSC to the flagship of higher education it was back when he was at the helm. ¡VIVA TSC!

rita