TCC Named National Bellwether Award Finalist

December 14, 2017
Tulsa Community College has been named a finalist for a national Bellwether award and will compete for the prestigious award in January 2018. The selection as a finalist is a special recognition for the work TCC has done in less than two years as part of the Pathways Project, a national initiative sponsored by American Association of Community College and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“I am so proud of TCC and the work we are doing on behalf of our students to shift from a culture primarily focused on access to one dedicated to access and completion,” said TCC President and CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. “I credit TCC’s faculty and staff for the transformative work in implementing the Pathways Project with the goal of increasing the number of students who graduate from college.”

Using the Pathways best practices, TCC is already seeing positive results in student success. The fall-to-fall retention rates increased from 59 percent to 62 percent and the retention rate for Latino, African American, and Native American students jumped nine percent, from 54 percent to 63 percent. The College also saw an increase in the percentage of students completing 24 credit hours of college-level coursework their first year, an increase in the percentage of students who completed developmental education requirements within their first year, and an increase in overall licensure and certification pass rates.

In addition, TCC has implemented mandatory advising for all first-time degree-seeking students, mandatory new student orientation, and on-time enrollment. In addition, the number of students per advisor has dropped from 1044 in 2015 to 530 in 2017, with an expectation of reaching 300 as early as 2018.

A panel of experts and education professionals selected TCC as one of 10 finalists in the Planning, Governance & Finance category. The Bellwether Awards, given annually, recognize outstanding and innovative college programs or practices in three categories.

“We will give a presentation about our efforts to make success inescapable for our students,” Goodson said.

The Bellwether winner in each category will be announced on Jan. 30, 2018. The Assembly is sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida and focuses on cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating.