Message from the President
Thousands of students recently returned to classrooms on elementary, middle, high school and college campuses across Oklahoma. Whatever their age or stage in life, they all hold one goal in common: securing an education. Nobel prize winner Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” We at Tulsa Community College share that belief.
TCC faculty and staff began this academic year with the theme Making Connections for Student Completion at the annual convocation in mid- August. TCC’s commitment to Complete College America has led to the development of several initiatives designed to support students as they complete their education. As a result, TCC has realized a 20.4% increase in graduates since 2010-2011, with a total of 475 more graduates. In fact, May 2013 marked the largest graduating class in TCC history, with more than 2,800 students completing degrees or certificates during the 2012-2013 academic year.
We are committed to serving our new and returning students, and serving them well, as they pursue their educational goals, despite the challenges that have occurred in funding college operations. Over the past decade, appropriations from the state have become a smaller percentage of our revenue, while tuition income and local ad valorem tax collections have become a larger percentage of our revenue. While the increasing reliance on tuition revenue is necessary in order to sustain our College and its mission, we remain fully committed to providing students an affordable pathway to a completed college degree. In other words, we are committed to keeping tuition increases as low as possible while preserving the quality and integrity of our academic offerings.
Over the past five years, the average annual increase in tuition and fees for Oklahoma residents at TCC has been 3.45%. At its June meeting, the TCC board of regents approved a 2.36 percent increase in tuition and fees, the second lowest increase in the state for 2013-2014, which translates to a $2.50 per credit hour increase in resident tuition for fall 2013. We have also increased the overall total in tuition waiver funding for students to $3 million for fiscal year 2014, thus growing the number of students who can benefit from those waivers.
As president of Tulsa Community College, I appreciate the ongoing commitment by the members of our Board of Regents and our faculty and staff to provide accessible, affordable and applicable higher education to students throughout this region of Oklahoma who choose to complete their degrees at TCC.
Thomas K. McKeon, Ed.D.