As part of TJC’s 90th anniversary celebration in September, officials announced the TJC Promise, a new initiative that will benefit high school students within the College's tax district.
The Promise is closer to becoming a reality, beginning with the first class of area freshmen to sign up for the program.
On Tuesday night, 59 out of 80 Grand Saline High School freshmen – along with their parents – filled the school cafeteria and became the first group to sign pledges to meet the standards of the program during their high school years. (More students could still sign the pledge before the December deadline.)
In return, the Grand Saline TJC Promise will fund up to two years of their college education.
“I got a fantastic education here at Grand Saline High School, and later at TJC,” Grand Saline ISD Supt. Micah Lewis said to the parents in attendance, “but the education your kids are about to get at TJC is just unbelievable. This is an opportunity of a lifetime.”
In the coming weeks, TJC Promise signing ceremonies will be held at the remaining schools in the TJC tax district, including Chapel Hill, Lindale, Tyler, Van and Winona.
Beginning with the class of 2020, eligible high school graduates from these districts can receive up to two years of tuition and fees at TJC.
“The TJC Promise is an earned scholarship,” TJC President Dr. Mike Metke said. “A student promises to work hard, make good grades, give back back to the community and come directly to TJC following graduation from high school. In return, we promise to provide the opportunity for them to continue their education.”
The TJC Promise was inspired by the the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise, the first promise program of its kind in the state of Texas, which is privately funded by gifts from Citizens 1st Bank, The James I. Perkins Family Foundation and others.
The new program was developed in partnership with leaders from surrounding school districts.
With more than 120 degree and certificate programs available at the college, plus extensive technical and training programs, students will benefit from the TJC Promise whether they plan to transfer to a four-year institution or go directly into the workforce.
For each high school, the TJC Promise carries a community-branded name. For example, in Tyler the scholarship will be the Tyler TJC Promise.
The TJC Promise will offer a path to higher education by making college accessible and affordable. Scholarship standards are based on student performance in high school, which will instill behaviors early on to ensure students will be successful in high school, college and beyond.
“I hope other communities will see the TJC Promise as a model for success and follow in our actions,” Metke said.
“Across the nation, promise programs are making the American dream fresh. They are becoming vehicles of upward mobility by providing broader access to a college education. This is a win-win for our students and community.”
For more information, go to www.tjc.edu/promise.