Victoria College a finalist for THECB 2011 Star Award

KEY Center Director Renee Deaver

Victoria College has recently been distinguished as a finalist for the 2011 Star Award from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The award would recognize VC for its TRiO Student Support Services Program and specifically, the KEY Center.

Eleven finalists, including VC, will be recognized during the Texas Higher Education Leadership Conference held in Austin this month. VC President Tom Butler and members of VC’s Board of Trustees’ executive board will be in attendance at the conference.

VC’s TRiO Student Support Services Program, which includes the KEY Center, is 100 percent federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education to promote participation and success at the college level for students from underrepresented and/or disadvantaged groups. This program continues to help increase the retention, graduation, and transfer rates of 160 eligible students annually.


These support services apply to all students who attend VC and focus on the expansion and improvement of services that make getting a college education more accessible. Additionally, the KEY Center offers support to low-income, first-generation, or disabled individuals to help ensure completion of their college education.

“These students historically face obstacles such as economic hardship and challenges with balancing the obligations of work, school and family,” said KEY Center Director Renee Deaver. “In addition to providing vital scholarships to these students, the KEY Center supports them with services such as laptop loans, group therapy sessions, success workshops and access to community resources.”

Students who are members of the KEY Center remain members until they graduate, Deaver said. “We provide stability and support from start to finish and this has proven to make a tremendous difference in graduation rates for students who face these challenges.”

According to program data, expectations set for VC’s student support services are consistently exceeded by those students who are members of the KEY Center. And these successful graduates are largely minorities, with 49.2 percent Hispanic and 10.6 percent African-American.

“As we work to meet the goals set by the Closing the Gaps 2015 initiatives, the services provided by the TRiO grant are more critical than ever in helping us ensure our students complete their associate degrees and certificate programs,” said Deaver.

“As a community college, it is our duty to provide educational services that meet the unique needs of this community,” said VC President Tom Butler. “I see VC’s selection as a finalist for this award as a good indicator that we’re fulfilling those needs and making sure our students are successful.”

Published: Thursday, 10 November 2011

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