Tyler Junior College looks to the future
|RECOGNITION AND AWARDS|
|Several Tyler Junior College departments and individuals received awards during convocation on Monday. |
Continuous Improvement Award — Given to departments that have documented significant progress and changes. Each department received $250 to spend on equipment and/or supplies.
Recipients: Business Program, Criminal Justice Program, Dental Hygiene Program and Theatre Department
Demonstrated Excellence Award — Given to departments that have gone above and beyond in performance and consistency.
Each department received $500 to spend on equipment and/or supplies.
Recipients: Paralegal Program and Communications and Student Media Department
Herrin Award for Excellence — Given to classified employees who keep Tyler Junior College running and also are often the first contacts for many students and visitors. Each recipient receives $500 and a commemorative plaque.
Recipients: Monroe Jett, campus utilities specialist; Pamela McDougal, staff coordinator for nursing and health professions; and Heather Waters, accounts payable clerk/general ledger clerk
Key milestones in Tyler Junior College's past will pave the way for a good future, the college's president said.
Dr. Mike Metke recapped some of the college's legendary staff and successes in athletics, academics and the performing arts as a way to shed light on its promising future.
Metke spoke to more than 500 faculty and staff during the college's convocation in Wise Auditorium on Monday.
Metke said five major milestones accomplished in the past will change the college's future for good.
These milestones were upgrading the campus infrastructure, restoring campus civility, expanding the nursing and health sciences facilities, creating an added benefit for employees and targeting top students to attend the campus.
The infrastructure improvements included about $30 million worth of work to the college's power, plumbing and HVAC systems, along with renovations of numerous campus buildings. The majority of that work was funded through maintenance tax notes.
The college sought to improve the campus climate by trimming bushes, replacing dilapidated benches with tables outside, prohibiting smoking and encouraging proper dress and grooming, among other changes.
Metke said these changes helped to restore civility on campus. Moving ahead, the college is considering creating a variety of living/learning communities that could continue to promote a positive campus environment.
The nursing and health sciences expansion will come with the help of the community. In May, TJC voters approved a $25 million bond package that will provide half of the funding for the $50 million project.
The bond money combined with about $12.5 million in private donations and another $12.5 million in student user fees will provide for the construction of a nursing and health sciences facility on the west side of the main campus.
This facility, which is slated to open for students in spring 2015, is going to create a major medical training destination in Tyler, Metke said.
"We're going to raise the bar, set new standards and really have world-class training for health careers," he said.
He said the college is going to increase its effort to recruit high-achieving students by expanding its "top-10 program" to the top 10 percent of students at the 22 high schools in its service area.
The college will offer TJC scholarships to all of these students and the opportunity to live in a living/learning community on campus.
Previously, this program included only the top 10 students in the senior classes. Through this, the college aims to make its honors program even stronger.
"I believe that truly is going to transform TJC for the future," Metke said.
Al Ippolito was one of the many faculty and staff members in attendance for the event.
Ippolito, who is a TJC speech professor, said it was good to hear the president's vision for the college as well as his acknowledgment of the contributions people have made to make TJC what it is and what it is going to be in the future.