Published or Revised February 25, 2014
Monday evening the Paris Junior College Board of Regents received an update on HB 5 and its effect on PJC. The bill, enacted during the last legislative session, modifies graduation requirements in public high schools.
In response, PJC is developing a required college preparatory course with Texas A&M University - Commerce, as well as working with Hunt County high schools and Regions VIII and X colleges. To take dual credit, a high school student must reach a certain score on the TSI assessment. This course will make the student college ready if they did not score high enough.
PJC is also teaching workforce dual credit for high schools and helping with workforce certifications required by HB 5. This past year PJC began offering welding, electrician, and enhanced nurse aide at Commerce ISD, with students from five smaller Hunt County districts also participating. Plans are to expand and implement the program in Lamar and Hopkins county schools this fall.
“This legislation is going to change a lot, and for the good of the students,” said PJC President Dr. Pamela Anglin.
PJC has also participated with Lamar and Hopkins county economic development personnel and a Northeast Texas Workforce Board representative in the ACT Work Ready Communities Academy. If goals are met based on population, the number of individuals earning the National Career Readiness Certificate and employer participation levels, a county can be certified as a Work Ready Community.
PJC has offered the Workkeys assessment on campus for years. It allows employers to assess worker skills and could be used to achieve the Work Ready Community certification. If a worker needs to build certain skills, PJC also offers KeyTrain, which remediates students so they can score high enough to earn a certificate.
“If we can get this going in this region of the state,” Dr. Anglin said, “it will help all of our economic development efforts.”
In other business, the PJC Board of Regents: