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PJC Regents adopt tax rate, receive student success goal report

Published or Revised September 30, 2014

With no public comment, the Paris Junior College Board of Regents adopted a tax rate of .1866, unchanged from the previous year. There also was no public comment received at the public hearings held Sept. 4 and 11.

The Board of Regents received an update on PJC’s Quality Enhancement Plan from Associate Vice President for Student Access and Success Sheila Reece. She presented the five-year QEP Student Learning Outcomes 2013-2014 Analysis, covering the first year’s data. To increase the rates of students completing a degree or certificate, the plan focuses on two areas: mandatory orientation and academic advising, with ten goals spread between the two. Seven of the ten goals had been met.

“Overall, I think it’s pretty good for our first year,” said Reece.

Dean of Math and Sciences Ed McCraw presented new approaches to math as he outlined the Mathways Project. The project emerged from a growing realization that not all students need to take college algebra. It is a precursor to forms of higher math such as calculus or differential equations needed in science and technology degree plans, but is not needed by other majors. Forcing all students into college algebra has turned it into a “gatekeeper” course, or one that may keep students from completing college.

“There needs to be something in addition to college algebra,” McCraw said. More relevant math may be found in elementary statistics or contemporary math, he explained. Texas community colleges unanimously embraced this early on and worked towards the goal. Now four-year college and university math departments are also adopting alternatives. McCraw expects significant improvements in success and passage of students to higher degrees with alternative math pathways in the next year as all the four-year schools adopt them.

In other business, the Regents:

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