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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