At today’s (Monday, August 17) meeting, Texarkana College trustees adopted the 2020-21 tax rate of $.123081 for TC’s taxing district which includes all of Bowie County. This rate is the same exact rate as the current year’s and results in no tax rate increase for Bowie County property owners. TC’s taxing district includes all of Bowie County and is adopted annually by trustees once certified property values from Bowie County Appraisal District have been received.

In other business, trustees approved the College’s budget and compensation plan for the 2020-21 fiscal year. TC’s Chief Financial Officer, Kim Jones, said the budget is balanced based on current projections and estimates.

“We presented a break-even budget today reflecting adjustments and revisions of some preliminary projections presented in prior budget drafts,” said Jones. “Because we are operating in very uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will remain vigilant in monitoring the budget throughout the fall and spring semesters and be prepared to adjust further as needed. The current budget includes tuition rates and the compensation plan for 2020-21. There are no significant changes to the 2020-21 compensation plan as compared to the previous year.”

Action was also taken to order a trustee election for November 3, 2020 to fill the expired terms of places 5, 6, and 7. TC president, Dr. Jason Smith, said that he is grateful for the service of trustees Kaye Ellison, Kyle Davis, and George Moore who have filled these seats through the years and who have served TC so well.

“During my time as president, I have been blessed to work with amazing trustees who are dedicated to student success and the support of TC faculty and staff,” said Smith. “I want to thank trustees Ellison, Davis, and Moore for serving TC through very pivotal times including the current pandemic. I am so grateful for their leadership and devotion to the mission of our institution.”

Open positions are six-year terms and are at-large seats meaning trustees elected to these places represent all residents of Bowie County. TC will enter into a Joint Election Agreement with Bowie County and the election will take place in correspondence with Bowie County polling places. Early voting will be from Tuesday, October 13, 2020, to Friday, October 30, 2020.

A report was also given to trustees by Dr. Donna McDaniel, Vice President of Instruction, who shared information about the on-going success of TC’s TRIO program and the recent good news of a funded continuation grant.

“TRIO Student Support Services Grant Awards were announced this month by the US Department of Education and Texarkana College received notice of a $1.5 million continuation grant for the next five years,” said McDaniel. “This grant supports first generation lower income college students who are pursuing a degree or certificate in higher education.”

McDaniel said services provided by the grant are tutoring, academic advising, and financial literacy, according to the Press Release.

“TC’s Student Support Services staff, led by Dr. Tonja Mackey, Executive Director of TRIO and Library Services, provides daily motivation, encouragement and resources for students to accomplish their goals,” said McDaniel. “Dr. Mackey has worked extremely hard to ensure that our program remains funded and serves the needs of Texarkana College students. She is an outstanding grant writer and grant manager who looks for opportunities to improve students’ experiences that lead toward their higher education goal completion. Recently, at the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Mackey implemented a laptop loaner program for SSS students to ensure they had access to reliable technology to complete their course assignments. We are so proud of TC’s TRIO team’s success!”

TC’s TRIO Student Support Services staff members include Lance Whisenant, Gabriel Avila, Bea Ross, Connie Gass, and many peer tutors.

McDaniel also reported on enrollment opportunities for students still not registered for the 2020 Fall semester.

“The official first day of class for Fall 2020 is Wednesday, August 19,” McDaniel said. “However, because the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the typical process involved with course delivery options and safety protocols, we are extending registration for Fall courses until the end of August. This will allow time for students who are still needing to get registered to call and make an appointment with an academic advisor or financial aid specialist. Our faculty and staff are willing to work with all students to help them transition into a course even after the start date. We want everyone who is interested in taking courses this fall to have ample time and support needed to complete their schedule and secure options for financial aid.

For more information about registering in courses, students can call 903-823-3012 to book an appointment with an enrollment or financial aid specialist, or visit TC’s website for additional information here: https://www.texarkanacollege.edu/fall/faq/

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