Harrison Keller met with leaders of Texas Tech University, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Texas Tech University System.
The head of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board visited Texas Tech University today (March 6) to learn about the university's efforts to make education more widely accessible.
Harrison Keller, commissioner of higher education, met with administrators from Texas Tech University, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Texas Tech University System to see how Texas Tech is helping potential students become current students.
"Today, I'm delighted to be with the leadership of the Texas Tech System and Texas Tech University, talking about the innovative partnerships Texas Tech has with community colleges and school districts," Keller said. "We're talking about some of the ways we can streamline pathways for students into the university and into the workforce. I think it's important to highlight and to honor the depth of the commitment at Texas Tech to undergraduate education and to student success."
Texas Tech offers a number of ways through which students can begin their college education in a cost-effective way. The dual-credit OnRamps program allows high school students to simultaneously complete both high school and undergraduate courses. Also, the university maintains a 2+2 partnership with many community colleges across the state, allowing students to take two years at the community college and then two years at Texas Tech to complete their bachelor's degree.
"I am very optimistic about what can be accomplished under Commissioner Keller's leadership. He has already articulated a vision and an emphasis on collaboration and partnership that will benefit higher education in the state of Texas," said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president. "His support for greater cooperation between four- and two-year institutions aligns with one of our priorities to provide greater access to a college education through our partnership with community colleges at our regional sites. In addition, I look forward to working with him in developing more innovative approaches that address cost, student access and success."
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's mission is to provide leadership and coordination for the state's higher education institutions and promote access, affordability, quality, success and cost efficiency. It's a crucial role, said Dr. Tedd Mitchell, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, because of the multitude of competing interests for state funding that the Legislature faces.
"Having a group like the Coordinating Board, that can work with all the different areas of higher education to come up with a more uniform approach to the degrees we offer through our universities, becomes really critical," Mitchell said. "There are a million, very important things people ask for in Austin, and for the legislators, it becomes extremely difficult to choose what to fund and what not to fund. Having Dr. Keller come out here to hear about Texas Tech, the Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University and the things we do, so that, as he's thinking through the best way to approach the upcoming session, he can help coordinate for us, that becomes a real plus for West Texas."