Texas Southmost College joins the elite ranks this year of only nine percent of community colleges across the nation that saw an increase in enrollment. From fall 2019 to fall 2020, TSC’s Department of Institutional Planning, Research and Effectiveness reports that TSC’s enrollment has seen a 1.73 percent increase.
Across the state, Texas community colleges are seeing a 7.1 percent decrease. Nationally, community colleges are experiencing a 10.1 percent decrease according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
TSC President Jesus Roberto Rodriguez said it was a combination of factors that led to this increase. This ranges from a dedicated TSC Board of Trustees, faculty and staff to the financial help that the college was able to provide for its students during a time of crisis.
“I’m proud of the TSC team we have in place. They made this possible,” said Rodriguez. “This is a testament to the dedication they have for this college and its students. Obstacles have been faced with rigor to overcome them, so that we can continue doing what we do for our communities – provide an affordable, high-quality education.”
Alleviating Student Financial Burdens
TSC has been able to alleviate some of the financial burden college students have faced due to funding from the CARES Act. Most recently, qualifying, active TSC students received a $652 grant. This is in addition to a $400 grant from last year to help those facing financial hardships.
In addition, in summer 2020, TSC introduced a Take 6 On Us initiative as part of a comprehensive TSC care package. The initiative waived 100 percent of tuition and fees for up to six summer credit hours for students who reside in the college taxing district. It also waived 50 percent of tuition and fees for up to six summer credit hours for all Texans who reside outside the TSC taxing district. Furthermore, all TSC students were also offered a 20 percent reduction in tuition for fall 2020 classes.
Rodriguez said through it all TSC has remained firm in its commitment to foster student success.
“Ensuring that our students are taken care of and maintain momentum in completing their educational goals is always our top priority,” he said. “And it is the Board of Trustees stewardship of resources that has allowed us to provide this type of financial relief to our students and their families, and that they are able to receive the training they need to lead successful careers.”
TSC Director of Institutional Research and Compliance Oscar Hernandez said TSC is on track to see enrollment increases in the upcoming semesters.
“Our numbers are trending upward and we remain on track to see more enrollment increases for spring 2021,” he said.
Registration for summer and fall 2021 begins April 1.