OC board approves tuition, fee increase

An increase in tuition and fees approved by the Odessa College Board of Trustees will bring in about $500,000 in additional revenue to the school.

The increases were approved for fall 2018 and will be effective through summer 2020. Vice President for Business Affairs Virginia Chisum said the college offers the first course free to students and an academic progress discount of 10 percent after 30 hours and 20 percent after 45 hours until they reach 60 hours, which is the amount needed for a degree.

Chisum said this is the first time in four years that tuition and fees have increased and they will still be the lowest of OC’s peer institutions and below the state average.

Currently, Chisum said tuition and fees are $87 per semester credit hour for in-district students; $131 per semester credit hour for out-of-district students; and $163 per semester credit hour for non-residents. She added that non-resident students have $150 added to their tuition and fees.

With the increase, Chisum said in-district students will pay $91 per semester credit hour; out-of-district students will pay $141 per semester credit hour; and non-resident students, $173 per semester credit hour, plus the $150 base.

Fees were also increased mostly for testing and test preparation Tuesday.

On a separate item, the board heard a report on an upcoming auto/diesel equipment purchase. ATech Automotive Technology was the chosen bidder for $90,425, including freight. Chisum said the purchase will include nine pieces of equipment and will be funded through a grant from the Odessa Development Corp.

ODC awarded an $8 million grant to Odessa College in August 2017.

The board approved purchasing six truck trailers for the college’s upcoming truck driving academy. The $202,669 bid from Bruckner Truck Sales of Odessa was also funded by a grant from ODC.

Six trucks also will be purchased from Bruckner Truck Sales for $780,074. The purchase also was funded by the ODC grant. They include three standard and one automatic 2019 Mack trucks and all will have a modified sleeper cab for an observation deck, Associate Dean of Continuing Education Louis Gonzales said.

A 2019 Volvo automatic truck with a sand blower and a modified sleeper cab for observation and a 2012 used Mack truck with 18 speeds and a day cab also will be purchased. The modifications are included in the price, Gonzales said.

The board also heard a report on a new initiative that will involve officials from every corner of the campus. Called OC 10,000, its aim is to achieve 10,000 unduplicated students in a fall semester, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Don Wood said.

Last fall, OC’s enrollment was 6,308, he said. To get to the 10,000 objective, Wood said the college’s enrollment will have to spike by 59 percent.

“We’re going to take things we’ve all seen, but look at them in a new way,” Wood said.

Areas such as kindergarten through 12th grade education, alumni, employers, continuing education and adult basic education will be examined for ways to attract students, he said.

With more students, Odessa College President Gregory Williams said more space will be needed.

Officials also noted that staffing will be a consideration, as well.