The Texarkana College Board of Trustees heard a favorable report from auditors and approved the College’s audited financial statements for the year ending August 31, 2016.

The motion came after hearing a report of full disclosure by Thomas & Thomas Certified Public Accounting firm. The report showed a clean audit with a $1.62 million increase in net position for the College and a $1.49 million increase in the Foundation’s net position.

President James Henry Russell said he could not be more proud of the TC team responsible for the clean audit report and the solid financial position of the institution.

“We have spent the past five years tightening controls to restore TC’s financial stability,” Russell said. “This report affirms that TC has sound accounting practices in place throughout the entire institution. Our TC team members work incredibly hard to operate within strict budget constraints and tightened federal and state controls.”

Russell said the College is in a solid financial position today because of the existing culture of support from the Board of Trustees and institution-wide buy-in on the importance of maintaining a high level of financial integrity.

“We are preparing right now to weather the next couple of years,” Russell said. “Although our audited financial statements show a gain for FY16, we will continue to monitor expenditures and perform cost analyses on programs to ensure maximum return on our investments. This year marked the completion of the Perot Foundation pledge of $5 million, and next year will look very different without these funds.”

Russell also noted that while the College is now financially stable, there are still hundreds of thousands of dollars of deferred maintenance needs across campus.

“State appropriations continue to decline, making funding from donor gifts and local taxes the key to our vitality and future stability,” Russell said. “We are doing everything within our power to keep tuition and fees as low as possible while maintaining high quality instruction for our students in a safe and contemporary environment.”

Russell said he is proud of how hard the TC team works to continue to lower expenditures campus-wide.

“There is a very high expectation of every single member of the Texarkana College family to work harder than ever before, accomplish more, take care of our students even better, and to do it all with less resources and less expenditures,” said Russell. “The TC Family is making it happen, and I am proud of this institution and so appreciative of the support from our community.”

In other business, Vice President of Instruction Donna McDaniel reported that the Texas Legislature recently awarded TC with a highly competitive $179,233 Nursing Innovation Grant. The grant requires that the funds be used to purchase state-of-the-art simulation equipment for enhanced learning opportunities for Associate Degree Nursing students pursuing their RN certification. The goal of the grant is to help institutions develop and expand teaching and learning activities that promote innovation in the education of initial RN licensure. TC will use the funds to transform three traditional classrooms into high-tech simulated hospital rooms for student training and practice.

Trustees also learned that TC student completion rates are at an all-time high, with more than 450 students applying for graduation this fall.

“We are seeing more and more students reaching their goals of earning an associate degree or certificate than ever before,” McDaniel said. “Students are completing at more rapid rates and earning higher grades at the same time. Of the students applying for graduation this fall, 74 have earned a grade point average of 3.25 or higher, placing them on the Dean’s or President’s Lists.”

McDaniel introduced the 2016 Fall Honors College Graduates and presented medallions to students to wear as part of their graduation regalia. Sean Daniel, a member of the first class of the TC Honors College, was introduced as this year’s student commencement speaker.

“I am so honored to serve as the student commencement speaker and represent my fellow scholars,” Daniel said. “When I look back at how much I have learned over the last two years and the wonderful contacts I have made—both with peers and professors—I am confident that Texarkana College was the perfect place for me to get a start on my degree and pursue my goal of becoming a college professor one day. I could not have had any better role models than my professors at TC.”

The college's fall commencement ceremony is set for 7PM this Thursday, December 15, at First Baptist Church, Texarkana, Texas.