Board approves 2 new degrees

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The Odessa College Board of Trustees approved a new associate of applied science degree in construction management and a bachelor of applied arts and sciences in early childhood education.
Vice President for Instruction Tramaine Anderson said the construction management degree would be offered in fall 2022 and the early childhood education bachelor’s degree in 2023.
Both professions are in high demand, information from the meeting detailed.
Odessa College currently has two BAAS degrees in automation and an ExxonMobil BAAS in leadership and management with an entrepreneurship and occupational health and safety track.
In 2021, Anderson said state House Bill 3348 gave community colleges the option to have up to five bachelor’s degrees. This will give OC three.
The board also accepted the resignation of member Larry Johnson.
Chair Gary Johnson said Larry Johnson told him he needed to step down. He said Johnson has been on the board for four and a half or five years.
No reason was given for Johnson’s resignation and no next steps were announced.
Gary Johnson said because the college and other entities are in the redistricting process right now, he wants to wait until they get through that to see what the changes in the districts are.
He said he expects that to be finalized by this summer.
Trustees also approved board policy changes. One of them impacts the number of semester credit hours professors teach. The change is the result of a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools visit.
Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Janice Hicks said this would change the number of semester credit hours from 15 to 18 as a standard load. She said 80 to 90 percent of the professors already teach 18 hours and some more. The overload under the new policy is 24, she said.
The change aligns with the college’s eight-week courses and it will increase faculty pay.
Geology instructor Josh Hardt said he and several other faculty members are concerned about the workload and the pay not adding up.
Gary Johnson said the pay could be changed in the budget process.