The Texarkana College Board of Trustees has approved the addition of an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning.

This adds to the college's workforce education curriculum. The new degree plan pairs with with the existing HVAC certificate program and gives students an opportunity to earn skills and knowledge necessary for advancement in the high-demand career pathway.

“It is TC’s goal for all certificate programs to eventually have a pairing with an AAS degree to enable students to reach their full potential,” said Ronda Dozier, TC Dean of Workforce & Continuing Education.

Dozier said there are several paired workforce programs already in place at TC and the addition of an AAS in HVAC provides students with even more options for success.

“Students who take the next step beyond completion of the certificate program and pursue the AAS degree are more marketable and qualified for management and leadership positions in their chosen career field,” Dozier said.

Certificate-seeking students choosing to advance to an AAS degree will enroll in academic courses after completing skills training courses. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has approved TC to offer the new AAS degree, and final approval is pending by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Once TC receives final approval, students can declare this major as early as December 2016.

Dr. Donna McDaniel, TC Vice President of Instruction, reported that TC’s fall enrollment is up by more than 130 students over last year’s fall numbers.

“Our enrollment is continuing to increase year after year,” McDaniel said. “We believe this is a direct result of our faculty and staff working hard to build a college-going culture in our region and ensure that students have access to quality, affordable higher education options here at TC. More and more students are seeing the outstanding value of attending a community college and are choosing to save thousands of dollars over typical tuition rates at four-year universities.”

McDaniel also reported that dual credit enrollment is trending up, with preliminary reports showing 1,715 high school students are taking dual credit courses this fall.

“We have seen a steady increase of high school students taking advantage of getting a head start on their college career by earning dual credit,” McDaniel said. “This option is saving students thousands of dollars and valuable time when it comes to completing a degree. Whether a student is interested in learning a skill that is a fast-track to a career path such as a culinary or cosmetology certificate, for example; or, if students want to earn academic credit to transfer to a university, dual credit is the answer for both.”

McDaniel said enrollment numbers are still preliminary and have not yet been certified by the state. However, current reports show a total of 4,287 students enrolled at TC this fall with close to 500 of these students entering college for the first time. This number includes 1,715 dual credit students from 15 high schools including nine school districts in Bowie County, five school districts in Cass County, and one in Red River County. Fall enrollment numbers do not reflect the number of students registered in TC’s continuing education professional academies, which include Fire Academy, Professional Driving Academy, and EMT training courses, which are also seeing increased enrollment.

In other business, Trustees voted to approve an Order of Cancellation for the TC Board of Trustees Election initially set for Nov. 8, 2016. The election was called earlier this year to fill Board Places 1 and 2 currently held by Ken Reese (Place 1) and Jane Daines (Place 2). The cancellation of the election comes as a result of no one filing to run in opposition of the current Trustees.

“We are glad to welcome back two outstanding Trustees who have been loyal supporters of TC throughout the years,” said TC President James Henry Russell. “Since no one filed to run in opposition of Places 1 and 2, and since both agree to serve for additional 6-year terms, Trustees Reese and Daines are declared ‘elected’ once the election has been ordered cancelled.”

Following the Nov. 8, 2016 election day and once the mandated canvassing period has passed, both Reese and Daines will both be sworn in to serve new six-year terms and will receive a Certificate of Election. The cancellation of the election will save the College approximately $10,000 in administrative costs to run the election.

For more information about Texarkana College, please visit their website.