Coordinating Board presents Amarillo College with prestigious Star Award

In a testament to its transformative efforts in support of the state’s strategic plan for higher education, Amarillo College has been presented with what essentially is the gold standard of laurels earmarked for post-secondary schools in Texas.

AC received a prestigious Star Award from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) during that august body’s Higher Education Leadership Conference Dec. 7 in Austin.

Specifically, the College was recognized for its innovative Development Education/Corequisite Program. The program intentionally aligns developmental courses with credit-bearing courses so that underprepared students – formerly relegated (essentially statewide) to a fully non-credit proving ground – can be placed simultaneously in both, earn transferable credit hours, and thus achieve success at a significantly faster pace.

The THECB annually presents Star Awards to Texas higher education institutions that have implemented exceptional contributions toward meeting one or more of the state’s higher education goals. This year’s goals revolve around the strategic theme: Building a Talent Strong Texas.

“We sincerely appreciate the Coordinating Board for recognizing our efforts to develop a new, more expeditious pathway to academic success for students who come to us academically underprepared,” said Dr. Tamara Clunis, AC vice president of academic affairs.

“This is extremely gratifying because Star Awards are reserved for programs or initiatives the THECB deems transformative and impactful enough so as to be worthy of replication. This recognition means that our College could potentially influence our peers to replicate our practices, and that’s really powerful.”

AC’s Development Education/Corequisite Program combines innovative course design with enhanced in-classroom support services (success coaches) that streamline the academic and career pathways leading to credentials of value.

Since AC implemented its award-winning program, the full-time enrollment status for students in the math and English corequisite model significantly increased, a key indicator of increased retention and completion. Those same students also are academically succeeding at rates comparable to their college-ready peers who were enrolled in non-corequisite math and English transfer-level courses.

This is not AC’s first Star Award. The College received the THECB’s coveted accolade in 2009 for the superlative tutorial efforts and results of its Math Outreach Center, where student success has been evidenced by increased test scores and, in many cases, by students improving their academic standing by as much as two letter grades.

Dec 8, 22