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story.lead_photo.caption Pam Owney Photo by Submitted to the Texarkana Gazette / Texarkana Gazette.

Texarkana College will offer an associate of science degree in health sciences beginning January 2020. The program was approved during the regular TC Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday. The degree will prepare students to enter competitive healthcare fields and help them follow a direct pathway into the college's nursing program and then on to pursue a bachelor's degree if they choose.

'Currently our students who come in to our nursing program who want to be a healthcare professional go under our general studies degree," said Donna McDaniel, TC's vice president of instruction. "Establishing this degree allows them to have a direct pathway to fields in the healthcare industry. It allows us to tweak our science classes a little bit so it's exactly for the healthcare industry."

In other business, the board heard a first reading of the 2019-20 budget. Kim Jones, TC's chief financial officer, said it is a bare-bones budget and it is based on state funding and estimated property values. The Bowie Central Appraisal District is estimating the value as $5.878 billion, but the actual values are not available until July 25. Last year's values were $5.602 billion.

The budget reflects a projected steady enrollment, projected Pell and student loan revenues of $12 million. Projected revenue is $43,078,902 and estimated expenditures are $43,248,998.

Jones said the draft is based on current available information and that it will be revised and updated as that information changes. A second draft will be presented during the July meeting, with the final budget set for approval in August.

The board also recognized Pam Owney, associate professor of English, as the 2019 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Teaching in Excellence Award Winner representing Texarkana College. She was honored in June during the annual NISOD conference in Austin.

"Pam exemplifies outstanding professionalism and work for the good of the entire college and community," McDaniel said. "Through her guidance and leadership, students thrive and achieve their dreams of earning a college credential despite the barriers they are facing. We are fortunate to have her as a member of our TC team."

She added that Owney was nominated because she consistently goes above and beyond for her students and makes significant contributions to our community in helping build a college-going culture.

"Pam is passionate about her main focus, which is teaching," McDaniel said. "Pam takes time to work with students in and out of the classroom and is never too busy to assist a student who needs extra help. Pam teaches English to students of all levels- developmental through Composition II and is an active contributor to curriculum development and class structure. In addition, Pam serves on several committees including the Achieving the Dream Data Committee, Developmental Education Committee, and the TC Faculty Association. In the community, Pam serves on the board of the East Texas Writing Project and is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. Pam has a remarkable ability to successfully balance her roles to teach and to serve while staying committed to her family and friends."

The board also voted to move the next board meeting to July 29. The board retreat will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 29 at the Northridge Country Club, 120 Bill Rogers Drive, Texarkana, Texas.

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