College of the Mainland is the latest institution to join the Houston Guided Pathways to Success (GPS) alliance, a regional collaboration that provides a timely, structured and seamless pathway for students transferring from Gulf Coast-Houston area community colleges to Houston area universities. The overarching goal is to increase college completion rates.
“With the latest addition of College of the Mainland, we continue to expand the regional consortium of institutions that make up Houston GPS,” said Paula Myrick Short, UH System senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and UH senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “This latest addition expands our reach for Houston GPS to a radius of 50 miles, with the city of Houston at its center, and serves to increase the impact that Houston GPS will have on all the students served by our institutions in the region.”
Established in 1966, College of the Mainland (COM) is a community college serving Galveston County and holds classes at the main campus in Texas City, five learning centers and six partnering high schools. More than 4,000 students enrolled in spring 2018. Recently, COM was ranked fifth in the nation in the number of degrees awarded in the technologies/technicians category by a Community College Week study.
“College of the Mainland is excited to join other area schools to help provide our students who are continuing their education at a four-year institution with a seamless transition. Through Houston GPS, area schools are working together for the benefit of all students in the region,” said Warren Nichols, president of College of the Mainland.
Representatives from each institution are working collaboratively to fully implement Houston GPS strategies by fall 2018. Some strategic components include academic maps that provide students with a guideline to complete their major courses within four years, broad clusters of majors that help students choose an appropriate college path and career faster, and new math course requirements better aligned to intended majors. Institutions will also manage students’ progress in their degrees through intrusive advising technology.
“Houston GPS institutions are now better equipped to identify students who are sliding off track and provide assistance in a more timely and effective manner to get them back on the path to graduation,” said Teri Elkins Longacre, UH vice provost and dean of undergraduate student success and Houston GPS four-year implementation lead.
With the addition of College of the Mainland, eleven institutions encompassing more than 300,000 students make up the Houston GPS alliance: Houston Community College System, Lone Star College System, San Jacinto College District, Texas Southern University, University of Houston, University of Houston-Clear Lake, University of Houston-Downtown, University of Houston-Victoria, Victoria College and Wharton County Junior College.