Johnson Foundation grant to aid Victoria College’s Emerging Technology Center
To help train and educate an expanding South Texas workforce, Victoria College has received a $2.3 million grant from the M.G. & Lillie A. Johnson Foundation.
The grant will be used in three areas, college officials said.
The largest part of the grant, $1.98 million, will help offset equipment costs for programs that will be housed in VC’s new Emerging Technology Center. The Johnson Foundation scholarship endowment will receive $300,000, and $200,000 will fund a new scholarship program to support students in allied health programs through completion of a certificate or degree.
Addressing the scholarship grant, Robert Halepeska, Executive Vice President of the M.G. & Lillie A. Johnson Foundation, said, “It is essential to help provide support to future healthcare workers.”
The $1.98 million will be used for instructional and presentation technology, communication systems and security – along with equipment to expand/implement training programs. The equipment supported by the grant is required for VC’s welding, machining, and industrial systems mechanic programs, as well as all computer labs and necessary technical equipment.
VC students meet legislators during Community College Day
Urging state lawmakers to make education funding a top priority and learning how government works were the goals of 26 Victoria College students as part of Community College Day in Austin in February.
The students were accompanied by VC President Dr. Tom Butler, Vice President of College Advancement & External Affairs Jennifer Yancey, and ten faculty and staff members.
Prior to the trip, students were briefed on a five-point campaign to discuss community college legislative priorities and community college funding with area lawmakers. They were urged to ask questions of the legislators during their scheduled meetings.
The event was hosted by the Texas Association of Community Colleges and the Texas Junior College Student Government Association.
Victoria College’s QEP to engage students in active learning
Victoria College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) has been in the works for the past 18 months and is on its way to implementation.
The purpose of the QEP is to increase student engagement and critical thinking by getting students actively involved in the classroom. A lack of proficient critical thinking skills is a national concern that is mirrored on the VC campus, and one that Victoria College hopes to address through its QEP.
“Research shows that students learn more when they are engaged in their education. Students are very different than they were 20 years ago,” said Tempi McLeod, VC’s QEP Director. “They are tech-savvy; they are mobile; and they have choices, so we need to adapt the way we deliver the content.”
The broad-based, faculty-driven plan is part of the reaffirmation of accreditation process designed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges that reflects on Victoria College’s commitment to student learning.
A QEP Development Committee composed of VC faculty and staff spent months looking at data and research. The panel has proposed strategies to foster student success and transform student learning through active engagement in an effort to impact critical thinking skills. Promoting Students Engaged in Active Learning, the plan will include:
Basic Training, which will help all VC students understand their role in the active learning environment as prepared participants and partners in their education. The training will be given in a variety of forms, including mandatory New Students Information Sessions and Student Success Courses.
Boot Camp, which will offer all VC employees significant professional development opportunities and an introduction to active learning and learner-centered environments.
SEAL Academy, which will provide selected faculty with a structured, year-long program. SEAL Team members will research best practices and collaborate with instructional designers to implement active learning strategies in the classroom.
Victoria College Teams Win Big
The VC Pirates men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and volleyball teams brought home all three Conference Championship Trophies in recent games held in San Antonio.
The women’s basketball team defeated the University of Incarnate Word 60-47 to advance to the finals. The VC volleyball team defeated Northwest Vista College 25-17, 25-22, and 25-8 to advance to the championship, and the men’s basketball team defeated Southwest Texas Junior College in overtime 102-92 to go to the championship.