TSTC honored for transformational funding formula

BY Daniel Perry

Texas State Technical College was recently nationally recognized for shifting to an outcomes-based funding formula tied to graduates’ employment in their associate degree fields.

TSTC received an Innovation Award from Eduventures, a research and advisory firm analyzing trends in higher education that is part of the National Research Center for College and University Admissions. Michigan State University, Purdue University and Wellesley College also received the award.

The award recognizes achievements in higher education student enrollment management, outcomes and success. The award was given in June at the Eduventures Summit 2017 in Boston.

“The recognition by Eduventures is greatly appreciated, but it’s really only part of the story,” TSTC Provost Adam Hutchison said.

TSTC undertook the challenge issued in 2007 by the Texas legislature to adopt outcomes-based performance measures. Various state agencies worked to develop the technical college’s initiative, including the Texas Workforce Commission and the Legislative Budget Board.

“We have been freed from just focusing on the amount of time students spend in the classroom or lab,” Hutchison said. “Instead, we are able to focus our instruction and our support structures on the skills and competencies that graduates need in the industry.”

TSTC’s 10 campuses have access to Career Services and Talent Management staff who work with students on the full range of job hunting, from writing eye-catching resumes to improving interview skills. Students put their skills to good use at campus employer spotlight events and Industry Career Day activities by networking with prospective companies. Many students have job offers by the time they graduate.

Students also have access to hireTSTC, a resource for linking to job openings in degree-serving industries statewide.

“We go out and make on-site visits all the time and build partnerships and relationships with employers,” said Julia Humphrey, director of Career Services and Talent Management for TSTC’s West Texas campuses. “They can call us and say they want the employees.”

TSTC’s combined graduate earnings of annual cohorts increased 70 percent from 2009 to 2015, according to the award application. In the same period, the average graduate adjusted starting wages increased 13 percent and the number of graduates working after college rose 48 percent.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.