The January meeting of the TCC Board of Regents included a positive financial report, assurances that the Federal government shutdown will have minimal impact on the College, and a discussion on the sale of a plot of land belonging to TCC.
The meeting began with a student success update about completion grants. The grants were funded by a private donor and offered last fall to students with a specific set of characteristics. Fourteen students received grants.
“We identified students who were high performers at the College, but had dropped out,” said Eunice Tarver, TCC NEC provost and assistant vice president of diversity and inclusion. “They were not enrolled in the fall, had a high GPA, and were within one or two semesters of graduating.”
Recipients Rosanna Vigueras, Necretia Alexander, and Sheila Riley gave their accounts about the impact the grants have had on their lives.
“I had a hold on my account and couldn’t register,” said Vigueras, a mother of two and newly certified EMT. “The grant was a blessing to me. It’s been a long road. I graduate in May. Because of this grant, we’re able to be here today.”
Alexander said, “I was in stuck mode, not having the funds to finish my degree so I could continue on to Oklahoma State University to obtain my bachelor’s in the marketing program.”
When Alexander graduates from TCC this May, she’ll already have enough credits to qualify as a senior at OSU. She has plans to open multiple businesses with an eye toward providing opportunities to those who have experienced similar hardships.
“Being a first-generation college graduate with siblings and coming from a single-parent home, I feel it’s my role to set an example for those coming after me.”
Riley, a mother of six, promised her own mother she would go back to college in 2013. Her children, the oldest of whom is 30, provided emotional support.
“They’ve been really encouraging. They’ve tried to keep me focused and pushing forward,” she said.
Riley’s now on the cusp of finishing her degree at TCC, then moving on to NSU to complete a bachelor’s degree in social work. Like Alexander, when she enrolls at NSU, she’ll be a senior.
“The grant enabled me to finish my goal,” Riley said. “I’ll be the first one in my family to graduate from college.”
Tarver and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion are working toward selecting the next round of grant recipients.
“We have funding for another semester of completion grants,” said Tarver. “We’re looking for students not enrolled this Spring, but meet all the criteria. We expect to have many more in the Fall. We’re geared up and ready.
“The Office of Diversity and Inclusion strives to identify and address obstacles that derail students on the path to completion. Completion grants provide a tangible way to achieve that goal.”
- The Campaign for Completion has achieved 86 percent of its goal and is still on track.
- Conference Center Move: Both TCC and Tulsa Technology Center are expected to select a broker for the sale of the building this month, and it is expected that the Boards of both organizations will vote on that selection by the end of February.
- Construction on the Student Success and Career Center is progressing.
- The remodel project on Metro Campus’ chemistry and biology labs is underway with construction expected to be complete by June 2019.
- TCC is again a Bellwether Award finalist in the category of Workforce Development for the Nate Waters Clinic.
- The Board approved the College to enter into negotiations regarding the sale of 5+ acres of land adjacent to the Northeast Campus to Food Home.
Food Home, a non-profit led by Taylor Hanson, seeks to grow fruits and vegetables sustainably and make them available to members of the community. The project will include a community garden and food distribution center managed and operated by Food Home using funds raised through the non-profit. Hanson expressed a desire to locate the project in proximity to a community hub like TCC, and the College’s property fit those requirements.
“We are hopeful about the project,” said Regent Samuel Combs, III. “They will be great tenants and great partners. It would be a potentially be a very holistic relationship our students could participate in.