The Greater Texas Foundation has awarded a $715,742 grant to help develop Texas State Technical College’s performance-based education initiative. The grant was awarded through The TSTC Foundation.
Performance-based education allows students to have flexibility with their schedules as they master set competencies in their programs. Faculty members guide the students as they take courses.
“Performance-based education pathways allow students to build on their existing knowledge and complete credentials without putting the rest of their lives on hold,” said Sue McMillin, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Texas Foundation. “We are proud to support TSTC in developing these pathways to extend postsecondary opportunities to more Texas students.”
The money will be used to hire three instructional designers to reshape nine of TSTC’s programs in the next three years. Performance-based education is scheduled to debut in fall 2021 in the Computer Networking and Systems Administration, Cybersecurity, and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology programs.
“It is great for the institution,” said Kyle Smith, TSTC’s deputy chief academic officer. “I would say with this particular grant, it is going to be transformative for our students. If you look at the key drivers of the grant, it is all very student-centered. It increases the accessibility to college, the ability to accelerate, with programs being available from morning to evening.”
Instructional designers deconstruct curricula down to knowledge, skills and abilities that provide the foundation for competencies and master assessments, said Gena Jean, TSTC’s performance-based education program manager. Instructional designers will work with faculty to develop engaging curricula.
Performance-based education could allow some TSTC students to graduate early after showing they have mastered competencies to their instructors. Students will still have semesters, but the number of classes will vary.
“The whole intent of the vision is to put more Texans in great-paying jobs by allowing them (the students) more accessibility and flexibility in scheduling and the ability to accelerate through the courses they will be in,” said Lance Eastman, TSTC’s senior vice president of student learning and interim provost of the West Texas campuses.
The Greater Texas Foundation supports initiatives that increase rates of postsecondary enrollment and completion for all Texas students, with a particular focus on students who may encounter barriers to postsecondary success, according to the organization’s website.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.