Board of trustees approve new programs, tuition increase

Northeast Texas Community College students will soon have two new degree options as the NTCC Board of Trustees approved associate of applied science degrees in Health Studies and Healthcare Management at its regular meeting March 6.

These new degree tracks combine a variety of courses already offered at NTCC. The Health Studies program covers a broad range of contemporary health issues and helps a student develop the skills to follow a career in healthcare, social policy, health organization or education. Healthcare managers work in a variety of organizational settings including hospitals, physician clinics, long-term care facilities, home health organizations and others.

“We are excited about these two new degrees under our Health Sciences division. NTCC is always looking for ways to expand opportunities for students and this is just one way we are doing that. Because they are comprised of existing courses, we are able to offer these options without taking on the added expenses generally associated with new programs,” Dr. Kevin Rose, Interim Vice President for Instruction, said.

Dr. Josh Stewart, NTCC Vice President for Student and Outreach Services, reported to the board that the overall headcount for the spring 2018 semester dropped by 2.4 percent. Stewart said that the decline is consistent with what other colleges around the state are experiencing and could be attributed partially to improving economic conditions in the region.

“NTCC experienced a slight downturn in enrollment this spring. This comes largely from decreases in certain workforce programs, like welding, that are most impacted by changing economic conditions. As the unemployment rate improves, students pursing workforce certificates and degrees tend to go back to work. This is a good problem for us to have, as our ultimate goal is for students to achieve gainful employment. On the other hand, our university transfer and dual credit enrollments have remained strong this semester and continue to trend upward,” Dr. Ron Clinton, NTCC President, said.

The board also approved tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 academic year. Tuition and fees are set to go up two dollars per credit hour, or roughly three percent across in-district, out-of-district, and non-resident rates, starting this summer. For in-district students (residents of Camp, Morris and Titus counties), this would mean that 12 hours of tuition and fees would rise from $1,109 to $1,157.

“Our board has historically elected to raise tuition and fees slowly over time to avoid sudden sharp increases due to changing enrollment, state appropriations, and local tax revenue. Other institutions around the state have had to raise tuition significantly from one year to the next, which can cause hardship for students. Our goal is to provide a more stable, conservative approach to tuition costs,” Clinton said.

The board also voted to cancel the May 5 trustee election. The incumbents for places three, four and seven on the board all filed for their positions unopposed.  Sondra Fowler will maintain her position in place three, Sid Greer in place four and Dr. Dan McCauley in place seven.