Finalists for vice president of student success spoke to students, staff and faculty in open forums.
By Wally Perez
This college heard last week from three candidates in contention for the position of vice president of student success at this college.
These candidates include Dr. Lisa Alcorta, interim vice president of student success at this college; Dr. Billy C. Roessler, vice president of student services and enrollment management at North Central Texas College; and Dr. Vincent R. Solis, vice president for instruction and student services at Laredo Community College.
Alcorta, who was the former dean of student success, spoke to students, staff and faculty June 7.
Alcorta has previously worked in the office of the vice chancellor of academic success as the director of academic student success from 2010-13 and director of developmental education and academic success.
Alcorta spoke about her ties to this college during the open forums, and her time here as a student about 30 years ago.
One of her focuses was relating to students by saying she is a first-generation, low-income college student and called the college her second home.
“I just want to let you know that I’m passionate about assuring that the positive experiences that I’ve had here are also shared with you,” Alcorta said during the student presentation.
Alcorta said another focus is enrollment, as it has declined, which is being worked on by the outreach and recruitment office.
The office plays a big role in making sure surrounding neighborhoods see this college as a realistic option, Alcorta said.
“Part of the work they do includes going out into the community in the hopes of talking to students about college and guiding them through the process,” she said.
Alcorta said one of the projects she is working on and hopes to increase is the graduation wildly important goal, or WIG, faculty and staff must support through weekly actions.
“This college’s WIG is 4,494 students, while our WIG for next year will increase to about 4,900 students,” Alcorta said. “This is a major goal for us, and many of our students have accumulated 60 hours or more and have not received a degree yet.”
There are also students who have completed more than 60 hours and are not core-complete, Alcorta said.
“As we go through data, we need to determine which students fall under this category so we can figure out what courses they need so they can graduate,” Alcorta said.
Alcorta said she applied for the position earlier this year, but was concerned about the time commitment to the position.
“I’m a single mom and I wasn’t sure how it would fit my life at that time, but my son and I have adapted since then,” Alcorta said.
Those who attended the forums were asked to fill out surveys to give feedback on the candidates, which is then given to President Robert Vela.
The forums were recorded on video for Vela to review along with the surveys.
Foreign language Professor Tammy Perez, who serves as chair of the committee, said Vela and the search committee will then discuss the candidates and Vela will decide.
Perez said a decision might be made in about two weeks or so if Vela plans to send the decision forward to the board of trustees at the next board meeting in July.
“If he’s in no rush, then he may take a little longer being that this is such an important decision,” Perez said.