Tyler Junior College to increase fees for limited courses

Published on Thursday, 27 March 2014 23:21 - Written by Emily Guevara eguevara@tylerpaper.com

Some Tyler Junior College students will see fee increases associated with particular courses and tests in the coming semester.

Starting this fall, the college will charge fees ranging from $2 to $6.50 per credit hour for courses in 27 programs.

The programs are limited to those the college considers high cost, such as welding, power plant technology, graphic design, fire technology, dental hygiene, vocational nursing and more. Many health-related programs are included.

The initial fee increase is only half of the total fee, which will be implemented in spring 2015.

That semester fees range from $4 to $13 per credit hour in the 27 programs.

Sarah Van Cleef, TJC’s vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer, said this practice of having user specific fees is used by many other Texas institutions.

When coming up with the fee schedule, college officials considered how much it costs to run the program and the state’s reimbursement rate, Ms. Van Cleef said.

She suggested re-evaluating the fees every two years to see if changes are needed.

In addition to the new user specific fees, the college will raise the fee for its Health Education System Inc. GAP test by to $75, a $25 increase over the current price. The new price would be effective June 1, according to provided information.

The test is used as an entrance exam for students who want to transition from the Licensed Vocational Nurse program or paramedic program to the Associate Degree Nursing program.

The increase in this test fee will help the college cover the cost of administering it, Ms. Van Cleef said.

The distance education fee will be increased as well. The current fee is $15 per course, and this will change to $8 per semester credit hour, which amounts to $24 for a three-hour course.

TJC Provost Dr. Butch Hayes said the college changed the way it administered online tests to ensure the person taking the class is the person taking the test. But that process is more expensive so the fee increase will help cover that. About 25 percent of the student body takes distance education, or online courses, he said.

Even with the fee increase, the college would remain one of the least expensive for distance education, according to TJC information.

In other business, the board:

*Approved the proposed curriculum and certification form for new associate of applied science and certificate programs in physical therapy assistant. This is one of several programs to be started as part of the addition of the Rogers Nursing and Health Sciences Center to the campus.

*Certified the three board of trustees candidates were unopposed and canceled the election scheduled for May 10. The candidates who are considered elected are: Ann Brookshire, Place 7; David Hudson, Place 8; and Rohn Boone, Place 9.

*Heard a report from Dr. Martha M. Ellis regarding the college’s participation in the Achieving the Dream. Achieving the Dream is a national reform network dedicated to student success and completion at community colleges, according to its website.

The network named TJC a Leader College because of its commitment to implementing student improvement programs campus-wide and using data as a way to gauge weak areas and address them.