Dr. Hector Gonzales, president of Southwest Texas Junior College, focused on the future of SWTJC during his address to faculty and staff at the 2014 spring convocation general session on Jan. 7 at the Uvalde campus Tate Auditorium.
“Last semester saw many changes in the college’s organization,” Gonzales noted, “and those changes are largely behind us.”
A ten-year re-accreditation process by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SWTJC’s regional accrediting body, will begin in earnest during the spring 2014 semester. While SWTJC will not submit a re-accreditation proposal until the summer of 2015, Gonzales explained that the extended time frame is necessary to create a successful proposal and stressed the importance of faculty involvement in the process.
“We’ve already begun some of the work necessary for re-accreditation,” the president said, “and will be ramping up our efforts this semester.”
Creation of a new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), developed in tandem with SWTJC’s re-accreditation proposal, was also addressed. Gonzales encouraged faculty to consider the broad impact of student services as they develop the next ten-year QEP initiative.
A review of SWTJC’s “college climate survey” is part of the President’s plan for the spring 2014 semester. The survey, conducted in 2008, asked respondents about “all aspects of the college.” Gonzales plans to use the results of the survey as a baseline to measure college improvements since 2008.
Construction-related progress and enhancements are ongoing for many SWTJC campuses. The SWTJC Del Rio campus construction is nearing completion and will be move-in ready by summer 2014. Plans for additions to Eagle Pass and Crystal City campuses are underway. Additionally, the Uvalde campus will continue to receive upgrades to buildings and services.
Finally, although enrollment numbers are down at SWTJC, Gonzales indicated that the decrease mirrors both state and national enrollment levels.
“It’s the sign of a good economy,” Gonzales explained, “When the economy is good, enrollment goes down.”
Gonzales closed on a note of optimism: “We’ve done excellent work on student success. Let’s continue to focus on that. Student success is our future.”
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