Texas Pioneer Foundation gives $200,000 to three-college consortium project
Representatives from Kilgore College, Northeast Texas Community College (NTCC) and Texarkana College recently gathered on the NTCC campus in Mount Pleasant to receive a $200,000 grant from the Texas Pioneer Foundation. The three colleges were awarded the money to support the creation of a consortium to promote student success and college efficiency.
The consortium was organized as an innovative way to upgrade to a new student information system as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. The three colleges all share the challenge of upgrading from antiquated information systems that were no longer serving institutional needs adequately. The college presidents – Bill Holda of Kilgore College, Brad Johnson of NTCC and James Henry Russell of Texarkana College – worked together to cut down on software procurement costs by 35 percent and operational costs by 50 percent by working as a consortium.
“It is no secret that Texas community colleges are having to do more with less funding these days. Updating a student information system is a huge undertaking that would be very difficult to tackle individually,” Johnson said. “By working together, the three colleges are not only able to improve efficiency and save money, but we are also developing a model that has the potential to help other institutions.”
The project is currently in full-swing and the colleges anticipate that the new Jenzabar EX software will be implemented in spring 2015. Once the implementation is complete Johnson estimated that the updated system could be rolled out to 20 different Texas schools serving more than 150,000 students. The cost savings at Texarkana College alone are expected to be over $1 million per year. NTCC expects a 50 percent reduction in operational costs and expects to expand its services to high schools and area industry.
The $200,000 gift from the Texas Pioneer Foundation will go a long way towards offsetting the extra costs incurred to develop the shared software system.
“It is very exciting that the Texas Pioneer Foundation decided to contribute to this project. What we are trying to accomplish aligns neatly with the foundation’s mission and their support is greatly appreciated,” Johnson said.
The Texas Pioneer Foundation is a private independent foundation that works to provide financial support for programs that will improve the quality and results of education for all Texas students. The foundation seeks out innovative educational programs that are sustainable, able to build capacity and have measurable results.
For more information about the consortium project, please contact Johnson at 903-434-8102 or bjohnson(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)ntcc.edu.