The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

New presidents see positions as way to help students

South president Peter Jordan and SE president Bill Coppola say learning their campuses has been their top priority
David Reid/The Collegian
South president Peter Jordan and SE president Bill Coppola say learning their campuses has been their top priority David Reid/The Collegian

By Bethany Peterson/editor-in-chief

It is 1,500 miles from New York to Texas, but South Campus president Peter Jordan made the trip to find the community college environment he wanted. 

South president Peter Jordan and SE president Bill Coppola say learning their campuses has been their top priority
David Reid/The Collegian

“I chose TCC because the level of the instruction, the commitment to professional development and diversity fit with my values,” Jordan said.

Texas, as a whole, attracted him as well.

“The state is a growing state and a growing number of people who can benefit from a community college,” he said. “I appreciate that the Legislature of the state has a focus on education.”

The district and South’s literacy and other community involvement programs were another point that distinguished the college, Jordan said.

“The strength of South Campus is that it has quite a history in Tarrant County, being the original campus,” he said. “This campus really resonated with me because of the faculty and students.”

LaGuardia Community College in Queens, N.Y., where he worked before moving to TCC, faced challenges similar to those he sees here, Jordan said.

“I can see the opportunity to really put into place the things I’ve learned to create student success,” he said. “If I had to choose one position that was most relevant, it would be the position I just came from because that college, like this one, was a community college with the same funding and

improvements to student completion.”

A high percentage of South students are first-generation college students and have other statistical hurdles between them and completing their degrees.

“We have to make sure to help them overcome barriers to success and that we are engaging in meaningful activities in and out of the classroom,” he said.

Physical improvements to the campus are a way Jordan wants to help South students.

“Being the oldest campus, our facilities are something we need to work on,” Jordan said.

The buildings should be a positive resource to students and instructors, providing an effective environment to learn in, he said.

But before he sets any goals, he is learning the ropes of the district and campus, and that is keeping his schedule full of meetings with administration and staff.

“When I’m in the office, which is rare at this point, I generally do one or two meetings with people or on email or some administrative task,” he said. “Mostly though, it is having conversations.”

And those meetings have highlighted a difference he sees between New York and Texas.

“I have a really difficult time, being from New York, when I’m not on time for a meeting,” he said.

Texans’ perceptions of time are less rushed, he said. This difference was highlighted during a trip to the department of public safety to register his car.

“The license plate on my car was a bright yellow and stuck out like a sore thumb,” he said.

He was missing one document when he reached the counter, though, and he began calling everyone who could possibly help him.

“It was every bit of 45 minutes I was standing at the counter,” he said. “All the while, the man at the counter is really calm, and I’m having a fit because in New York, I would have been thrown out.”



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