• November 12, 2019

Degree pathways presented to OC board - Odessa American: News

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Degree pathways presented to OC board

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Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019 9:06 pm

Proposed degree pathways in the School of Arts and Humanities were presented to the Odessa College Board of Trustees during their meeting.

Arthur Rankin, dean of the arts and humanities, said proposed pathways are in economics, history, humanities and pre-law emphasis.

He added that he would like to increase majors by 10 percent every year.

Rankin also gave an overview of what the Arts and Humanities include and careers that are possible from the degree plans.

On a separate item, Don Wood, vice president for institutional effectiveness, spoke about combating student poverty. He said OC has been in communication with Amarillo College, which recently won a Leah Meyer Austin Award for taking measures to help students.

“We are in an area that pumps out more wealth … than almost anyplace in America. We have such low unemployment almost everyone can get a job” with high wages, Wood said.

However, the Permian Basin has a high cost of living.

Wood said the college is seeing more students who have a problem persisting in college because they have to stop attending school, make money and return. He said if they stay out long enough, they don’t come back.

Wood said most Odessa College students are first-time college students and are the first in their family to attend college.

There is a student success course aimed at teaching students how to do things such as study and talk to professors, and with that support, Wood said, they stay in college.

Incentive programs like Drive to Success work to help keep students in school, Wood said. The program gives students a chance to win prizes, such as a car, for doing things that are proven to increase overall success in college, OC’s website said.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a $58,050 bid from Advanced Environmental Services for renovation of the Safety Training Center.
  • Approved a tax abatement for Oberon Solar IB LLC for phase II of its solar project near Penwell. Vice President Gary Johnson said the tax abatement is 100 percent for the first five years and 50 percent of for the next five.

The abatement for the second phase is the same one offered for the first, Johnson said.

  • Approved Ken Zartner as vice president for administrative services. His previous title was executive director of administration and human resources.

“I feel like I’ve grown up here. This is a phenomenal place to work. I thank you all for this opportunity and allowing me to serve in this role,” Zartner said.

  • Approved changing the name of the college district to the Odessa College District, rather than the Odessa Junior College District.
  • Approved certification of unopposed candidates for places 3 and 6 on the OC Board of Trustees. Those places are currently held by Royce Bodiford, Place 3, and Assistant Secretary Neil Grape, Place 6.
  • Robert Brescia and Laci Harris are running for the Place 9 spot currently held by President Tommy Clark. The election is May 4.
  • Approved cancellation of the election for places 3 and 6.
  • Approved an amended order for Election Day vote centers.
  • Heard a report from OC President Gregory Williams.
  • Among other things, Williams introduced Aimee Callahan, the new vice president for instruction, and said the Aspen Awards ceremony is April 2. It will be livestreamed.

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