Gonzales Center students among Victoria College contingent in Austin

Victoria College Gonzales Center students met with Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt in his capitol building office during Community College Day in Austin.

Victoria College students attending classes at the VC Gonzales Center were part of a contingent travelling to Austin on Tuesday as part of Community College Day.

The 13 students, accompanied by VC Gonzales Center Manager Jackie Mikesh, joined the VC Main Campus students on a bus trip to meet Crossroads-area legislators.

The students, along with VC President Dr. Tom Butler, met Tim Kleinschmidt who represents Gonzales County. Just prior to the group’s 1:30 p.m. appointment, Kleinschmidt had met with state adjutant general, Maj. Gen. John Nichols, and two of his fellow officers.

The Gonzales group was ushered into Kleinschmidt’s small capitol office where they quizzed the representative on the education system.

LVN student Shelby Voigt asked Kleinschmidt his thoughts on community colleges and learned the legislator is a fan of the dual credit system in which high school students can earn college credits.

“One of the best programs is the advance credit program for high school students,” Kleinschmidt said.

Mikesh said that a number of Gonzales High School students attend the VC Gonzales Center five days a week and can earn 18 hours of credit during their junior and senior years. The Gonzales school district pays for the students to attend the college classes and purchases student books.

Butler said that proposed legislation will make it easier for students to transfer to a university without losing credits. Kleinschmidt said this would not only help the students, but also their parents who are paying for the education.

“You should not lose an hour of credit going to a larger university,” the Gonzales County representative told the group. “You will see a huge push in the next few years towards efficiency.”

VC Gonzales Center student Elizabeth Perry described the day as fun and educating.

“It was very interesting to learn about the type of laws that could affect us as community college students,” Perry said. “Speaking with Rep. Todd Hunter, chairman of the Calendars Committee, was the most interesting. Things he mentioned such as allowing gambling in Texas seemed like a promising alternative to getting funding for education.”

“Texas Community College Day trip was a great experience for our Victoria College students,” Mikesh said. “They were able to interact with state representatives and discuss current issues. I was impressed with the thoughtful questions our students asked and the concern they have for the important issues facing Texas higher education.”

Some VC Gonzales Center students gather on the grounds of the state capitol during Community College Day in Austin.
Published: Friday, 08 February 2013

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