OC gets early college high school updates

The Odessa College Board of Trustees heard updates from the two early college high schools on campus — OCTECHS and Odessa Collegiate Academy during their meeting Tuesday night.

OCTECHS Principal Karl Miller and OCA Principal James Ramage reviewed their goals and presented student data.

Miller said he has 67 seniors, 73 juniors, 81 sophomores and 104 freshmen. All are enrolled in one of eight pathways such as criminal justice, auto and diesel tech and others.

The goal for both schools is to attain 125 freshmen each year. Miller said he is currently at 400 students and plans to reach 500.

Other objectives are to recruit and retain highly effective teachers and staff; ensure that all students take and pass the TSI by the end of the year; to work with Odessa College to grow the program to 500 students; and to work with ECISD and local businesses to ensure meaningful senior internships each year.

The TSI Assessment (TSIA) is part of the Texas Success Initiative program designed to help your college or university determine if you are ready for college-level course work in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics, according to the College For All Texans website.

Ramage said he has 49 seniors, 82 juniors, 98 sophomores and 101 freshmen. He said the seniors represent the last of the Falcon Early College High School students.

Falcon was at University of Texas Permian Basin and OC took it in. Ramage said students are enrolled in one of six pathways for associate degrees in areas such as general studies, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and other subject areas.

The goal for seniors is to have them apply to four year universities. OCA has similar goals to OCTECHS, the last is to work with Ector County ISD and regional universities for students to transfer in pursuit of a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Both schools expect to have more than 400 students each next school year. This means more than 800 high school students on the OC campus.

The principals said there is pick-up and drop off at Travis Hall and high school parking along Andrews Highway and University Boulevard.

OC President Gregory Williams complimented the high schools on being two of the highest performing high schools in Odessa.

Williams said major changes will have to be made to the parking lots in the near future for ingress and egress.

On a separate item, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Janice Hicks said the college hosted five community colleges virtually for the Odessa College Leadership Institute and they plan to form a network for colleges implementing OC strategies such as eight-week classes and the drop rate improvement program.

Hicks pointed out some statistics. In 2010, the average class drop rate was 10 percent. In 2019, it was 3 percent.

The success rate was 67 percent in 2010 and 81 percent in 2019.

From 2010 to 2011, OC awarded 730 degrees and credentials and in 2019-2020, it was 1,800.

The percentage of 25 to 34 year olds with a certificate or higher postsecondary credential in West Texas, Hicks said, is 33 percent as of 2018.

In his report, Williams said spring enrollment reached 6,387, a 2.9 percent increase from spring 2020.

He announced a title change for Jonathan Fuentes from executive director for academic partnerships to vice president of academic partnerships.

The Drive to Success announcement is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Sewell Auto Tech building where one student will win a Ford Mustang.

The virtual Aspen Prize ceremony will be at noon May 18.

And OC’s graduation is May 7 and 8 at the OC Sports Center. Masks are required and social distancing is recommended. Williams said it will be live-streamed on YouTube as well.

After an executive session, the board approved extending Williams’ contract for one year. Director of Media Relations said salary was not discussed. An information request has been made.

Odessa College