Approximately 200,000 Texas community college students graduate with an excess of 22 credit hours, according to the nonprofit Texas2036. That translates into a lot of time and money wasted and is one of the reasons for the creation of Houston Guided Pathways to Success Program, or GPS.

The 13 schools involved in the Houston Guided Pathways to Success program (GPS) (Houston GPS)

“It’s designed to really combat three big issues as it relates to students who transfer from a community college into a four-year university within the Houston region,” said University of Houston-Downtown President Loren Blanchard. “One is timely degree completion, second is cost and three is actual degree completion.”

Laurel Williamson is the Deputy Chancellor and College President at San Jacinto College. She said the focus is on the student as soon as they enter the school.

“They come in, and we begin immediately to talk about transferring careers and what is it that you’d like to do,” she said. “And then, we map their degree program through the bachelor’s degree. We don’t just stop at the associate degree.”

Find out what you need to know about the Houston GPS program on this week’s Houston Newsmakers.

For more information on this week’s Houston Newsmakers

· Lesley Briones, Commissioner, Harris County Precinct 4

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· Loren Blanchard, Ph.D., President University of Houston-Downtown

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· Laurel Williamson, Ph.D.,, Deputy Chancellor & College President, San Jacinto College

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Celebrating Transfer Students: National Transfer Student Week Spotlights Learners Leaping from Community Colleges to Universities

Transfer students have long comprised a significant portion of the learning population at universities across Texas and the U.S. These students begin their higher education journeys at community colleges for myriad reasons, including cost, class sizes, or simply to gain clarity in their career goals.

During the week of Oct. 16 – 20, transfers across the nation will be celebrated during National Transfer Student Week. The initiative is coordinated annually by the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students to spotlight those students matriculating from two-year colleges to four-year universities.

A Tale of Three Transfer Merit Scholars

At UHD, a whopping 66% of degree-seeking undergraduates began as transfer students. No wonder that the third week of October is especially celebrated at the University: National Transfer Student Week!

Certainly, transitions can be challenging for most people, but National Transfer Student Week provides the platform to highlight the thousands of success stories across the UHD campuses, including this year’s 26 Transfer Merit Scholars.

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