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PJC Wins Top Award From Texas Success Center

Paris Junior College staff are shown receiving the Texas Pathways 2019 Award for Excellence in Implementation and Scaling from the Texas Success Center at the Pathways Institute in San Antonio on Nov. 8, 2019. From left are John Spradling, Vice President of Workforce Development; Dr. Bryan Renfro, Vice President of Academic Instruction; Sheila Reece, Vice President of Student Access and Success;  English Instructor and Team Leader Jennifer Collar; History Instructor and Team Leader D’Lynn Bueno; and Jaquelyn Messinger, Institutional Research and Effectiveness Director.
by Paris Junior College
Staff and faculty at Paris Junior College were surprised and elated to receive the Texas Pathways 2019 Excellence in Implementation and Scaling award from the Texas Success Center for the institution’s work in improving student success. This was the top award presented by the Texas Success Center, out of 50 community colleges, at the Texas Pathways Institute in San Antonio. PJC is the first college to receive the award.
“I’m very excited about it,” said PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin, “it is especially meaningful to me because it’s an award that took everybody at the college to win.”
According to Dr. Kristi Short, Director of the Texas Success Center, the award for Excellence in Implementation and Scaling is presented to the college that has made the most progress in transforming the institution using guided pathways principles.
This award recognizes excellence in all four pillars of guided pathways, which are mapping pathways to the student’s end goal, helping students choose and enter a pathway, keeping students on the path, and ensuring students are learning.
“I’ll share just a few highlights of the work happening at Paris Junior College,” said Dr. Short as the award was presented. “After students are admitted, they are assigned a success coach and required to meet with that coach prior to registration. Students choose a program upfront and take a Learning Framework course in the first semester. By the end of the first semester, every student is on a program map. Students cannot enroll in courses off that map unless the student success coach overrides the map. Student success coaches track 15, 30, and 45 credit hour milestones and check whether students are on the path. Paris Junior College enjoys close collaboration with Texas A&M University-Commerce. Faculty from Paris Junior College worked with faculty from the university to talk through program maps, program learning outcomes, and marketable skills. Those program learning outcomes and career opportunities are included on program maps both to inform students and to remind faculty of the end goals for students.”
PJC has been working on the Pathways program since 2016 when the college was one of 30 chosen nationally to develop and implement the initiative.
“This validates how important this work is,” said Dr. Anglin, “especially for our faculty. We will continue to work to improve it and help our students achieve success.”
Last year, PJC won the 2018 Math Pathways Exemplar Award during the Texas Pathways Institute. The award was jointly announced by the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), the Texas Success Center (TSC), and the Dana Center Mathematics Pathways (DCMP).
Housed at TACC and operated through the Texas Community College Education Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Texas Success Center supports the 50 community college districts in Texas and helps them design and implement structured academic and career pathways for all students.
To learn more about PJC and its programs, call 903-782-0425.