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Victoria College amps up their marketing, promoting growth

By Carolina Astrain
Sept. 11, 2013 at 4:11 a.m.
Updated Sept. 13, 2013 at 4:13 a.m.

Geanie Morrison

STATE OF victoria COLLEGE

Enrollment

• As of Monday, Victoria College's preliminary total enrollment was at 4,434 students. According to preliminary reports, the college experience an enrollment growth by 0.3 percent this fall. Two years ago, VC enrollment peaked at 4,563 students before taking a 3 percent decline in 2012. In previous reports, Butler credited the growing job market for the college's decline in enrollment. "The choice not to go to college is often not a good choice," Butler said.

Emerging Technology Complex

• Last spring, Victoria County voters approved a $22 million bond for the construction of the Emerging Technology Complex. Construction began July 30. "The bond will go a long, long way for the new complex, but there are still funds to be raised," Butler said. "We will be seeking additional funding for this building and our master plan." In previous reports, VC board trustee Robby Burdge credited a trip to Paducha, Ky., hosted by the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, for the inspiration behind the college's Emerging Technology Complex. "We appreciate the support we get from the chamber," Butler said. "It has been tremendous."

Reaccreditation

• Every 10 years, members of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools are required to apply for reaccreditation. "This is not a government agency," Butler said. "They are our peers - a peer review of the highest level."

Source: Victoria College

Victoria College president Tom Butler highlighted renewed recruitment efforts and the structural and commercial appeal of the college's new training facility in an annual progress report Wednesday.

The college president spoke to Victoria Chamber of Commerce members about ways the college is working to improve enrollment and economic growth.

At the chamber breakfast, Butler played a short television commercial the college is running on cable networks promoting their academic and vocational programs with one word - "More."

The college also plans to advertise through Pandora, a music streaming service, six digital billboards and newsprint ads, including Revista Victoria, Butler said.

Pamphlets from the "More" campaign were on breakfast tables for chamber members to peruse during the president's presentation.

"We're excited about this new campaign," Butler said. "We're going to be communicating with students the way they want to be communicated with."

At her table, Pam Jurica, Texas Home Health executive director, paused between bites to listen to Butler.

Before becoming a director, Jurica graduated with her associate degree in nursing from Victoria College in 2001.

"I'm amazed to see how much its grown over the years," Jurica said.

With a laser pointer, Butler went through drafted images of the college's incoming Emerging Technology Complex, previously called the Emerging Technology Center. The college chose to change the name because of the additional space the complex may expand to, Butler said.

The complex's construction is expected to be completed in spring 2015.

In his speech, Butler also spoke about a new partnership the college has started with the YMCA of the Golden Crescent.

The college will work with the recreation center to renovate parts of the YMCA building and allow students to access affordable day care, Butler said.

"We're very proud of that," Butler said.

On Sept. 24 and 25, members of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools will be on campus to conduct part of the college's reaccreditation process.

Rep. Geanie Morrison, District 30, attended the chamber breakfast but did not speak publicly.

She believes the college's growth is an essential part of the region's economic growth, Morrison said.

"Victoria College is the best community college in the state because it has been around for so long," Morrison said. "It's the reason so many businesses have decided to come here, including Caterpillar and others. The new complex is going to open the doors that the community and state need."

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