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

SE president discusses first-year changes

SE+Campus+president+Bill+Coppola+speaks+with+students+in+a+SE+hallway.+Coppola+can+frequently+be+seen+out+of+his+office+mingling+among+students%2C+faculty+and+staff.Zach+Estrada%2FThe+Collegian
SE Campus president Bill Coppola speaks with students in a SE hallway. Coppola can frequently be seen out of his office mingling among students, faculty and staff.Zach Estrada/The Collegian
SE Campus president Bill Coppola speaks with students in a SE hallway. Coppola can frequently be seen out of his office mingling among students, faculty and staff.Zach Estrada/The Collegian
SE Campus president Bill Coppola speaks with students in a SE hallway. Coppola can frequently be seen out of his office mingling among students, faculty and staff.Zach Estrada/The Collegian

By Elaine bonilla/se news editor

It has been a year since Bill Coppola became SE Campus president.

“This first year went fast,” Coppola said.

Several changes were made during the year. For instance to better alleviate

traffic, two new entrances were added, one off Southeast Parkway and the other off New York Avenue, and an additional parking lot on the east of the campus was opened.

The beautification committee wants to add more color to campus as well as more outdoor seating and tables, which could serve as study areas and/or as gathering places.

“We want this to be a friendly place for students,” Coppola said. “We want to get students more active in the organizations on campus and in the community.”

SE has also expanded partnerships with both Mansfield and Arlington ISDs.

“This helps to create a college-going culture,” Coppola said.

The SE and South campuses were given approval to roll out 10 more dual-credit certificate programs. Now more than 800 certificates are offered at TCC, which enable high school students to get a head start on degrees and certificates before graduating.

In the spring, the Student Success Center opened its doors to assist students with registration issues. The center helped more than 14,000 SE students register for the semester.

“The Student Success Center assists students primarily with registration issues, but it also offered seminars and workshops for students,” student success coordinator Charles Smith said.

The idea got started as a “welcome center” where students could register and find out what department they needed to talk to, Smith said. The campus saw a need to quickly open a center to address issues, such as long lines, that frustrated students.

“There were several students who would wait in a line for two hours only to find out they were in the wrong line,” he said.

Four information kiosks were also created with people trained to assist students.

“It worked really well and relieved a lot of the load on the registrar, counseling and advising, financial aid and business services,” Smith said.

Student development services director Doug Peak said new student orientation is another major change unifying the campuses and providing an opportunity to reach students and help them connect. The theme of the orientation is “Get CONNECTed.”

“Students are now required to attend new student orientation, and if they don’t attend, a hold will be placed on registration,” Peak said. “If students are engaged early, get to know the campus and the environment, they tend to be more successful.”

Coppola encourages and supports these programs. During the orientation, he welcomes and engages the students.

“He’s visionary and helped to create the right environment for student success,” Peak said.

Projects on Coppola’s agenda include opening another entrance to campus off Highway 360, increasing the size of The Bistro by one-third and adding café services, such as coffee and danishes, to The Hub.

“He has done a great job,” Peak said. “Right along with the word connect is engaged, and he really engages students, staff and faculty.”

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