Hometown Pride Tour: Student Success at Vernon College

Hometown Pride Tour: Student Success at Vernon College
Sky view of Vernon College in Wichita Falls
Sky view of Vernon College in Wichita Falls

VERNON, TX (KAUZ) - Our Hometown Pride Tour of Vernon begins with a closer look at Vernon College, where student success is a top priority. A five-year grant is helping Vernon College create new programs they hope will help students with academics.

Vernon College is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college that has been offering academic career and technical education programs since 1970.

With campuses in both Vernon and Wichita Falls, along with the skills training center.

About five years ago, the college made the decision to focus on student success with an emphasis on retention, completion, and successful transfer of students that chose Vernon College to begin their higher education journey.

In 2015, Vernon College was awarded the five year Department of Education Title III grant worth $2.2 million. Of that, one million has been invested in direct outreach services for student success.

"Programs like peer tutoring, academic coaching, peer mentoring, things of that nature and academic advising of course," said Dean of Student Success, Jim Nordone.

The grant will also allow students to get more one-on-one attention which is one of the unique features Vernon Colleges offers.

"Each student comes with their own experiences, their own struggles, their own goals, their own expectations, and so it's very individualized," said Kelly Peterson.

$1.3 million from the grant has also been used to update the school's data system which is allowing the college to assist and monitor each student's success.

The peer mentoring program was rolled out in Fall 2016 to help students who are struggling with academics. With nearly 3,000 students enrolled, Vernon College finds itself on the cutting edge of individualized higher education.

Holly Scheller said, "It's our size that lets us do cutting-edge things."

The Title III Grant activities and initiatives have moved into the second year of implementation. Nordone said, the focus of Vernon College mission of student success continues to thrive and believes there is still room for growth.

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