By Jason B. Hogan
During a regular meeting on Jan. 21, the Alamo Community College board approved St. Philip’s College for a $1.5 million fund geared toward the school’s public relations office.
Matari Jones-Gunter, director of public relations for St. Philip’s, explained the reward by the ACCD board is not to be confused as a fund strictly for their office.
“It’s $1.5 million for three separate focuses,” Gunter said.
The money is being split into three integral parts to serve three differing components.
Gunter promises there will be many advances and fixtures unique to St. Philip’s College.
Recruitment and retention of the student body is one of the central themes, Gunter said.
“The (fund) request is targeted into three areas,” Gunter said.
“We are facing drastic challenges when it comes to the students. That’s one aspect of the three that will be targeted.”
The two remaining areas being addressed are updated equipment and programs offering students rare opportunities.
St. Philip’s has become outdated. The solution is major technological upgrades, such as new projectors, laptops and cameras, Gunter said.
These media services are key factors for the school getting back on track, which will be installed in what is called smart classes.
Gunter said these goals need to be completed to assist a campus of more than 10,000 students, and 1,000 faculty and staff.
“St. Philip’s is not drawing enough students from our zip code area,” Gunter said. “That’s a problem. We need to establish a bridge or a connection.”
St. Philip’s programs will receive overhauls as well.
The campus is advancing itself toward offering unique programs especially for their school, such as their aircraft, automotive and diesel technology as well as culinary arts.
“In order to compete, we have to have the latest technology available,” Gunter said. “We’re now trying to catch up with the technological upgrades that we desperately need.”