Monday’s meeting of the Paris Junior College Board of Regents opened with an address from Representative Gary VanDeaver, House District 1, and continued with an update on the work being done with the National Pathways Institute.
“You missed out on some funding last time,” VanDeaver told the Regents, referring to the previous legislative session. “We’re going to work to see that doesn’t happen in the future.”
VanDeaver said he felt that community colleges are in a much better position going into the new session than in the last cycle. A House interim study looking at community college funding issues, requested by VanDeaver, is underway now.
A report on the First Pathways Institute was delivered by Board of Regents President Curtis Fendley, who attended with PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin and PJC staff members. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is paying expenses for PJC’s participation in the Pathways project.
“We can be very proud of Paris Junior College,” said Fendley. “They only selected 30 institutions in the entire country and we were one of those. The main emphasis of what I heard is this a starting path for students leading them from the start to completion of their degree. Our goal as a board is to increase the number of graduates and along the way eliminate unnecessary courses that don’t transfer. The goal is for them to not only be successful at PJC, but for them to be successful in the workforce.”
He reported on groundwork already done of establishing performance indicators, monitoring timelines, and getting communication out. There are a total of five institutes held in the year.
“Pathways will work with what the high schools are doing with endorsements,” said Dr. Anglin. “We can get into the high schools and hand students a degree plan all the way up through the associate degree in applied science or working through a baccalaureate. So we’ll be working with K-12 and our major transfer institutions to have that path. Students will have milestones and advisors checking those milestones to keep them on track.”