The three colleges were awarded the money to support the creation of a consortium to promote student success and college efficiency by upgrading to a new student information computer system.
The three colleges all share the challenge of upgrading from antiquated information systems that were no longer serving institutional needs adequately.
The cost savings at Kilgore College alone are expected to be more than $1 million per year and KC expects to expand its services to high schools and area industry.
The $200,000 gift from the Texas Pioneer Foundation will also offset the extra costs incurred to develop the shared software system.
The college presidents – Bill Holda of Kilgore College, Brad Johnson of NTCC and James Henry Russell of Texarkana College – worked together to cut down on software procurement costs by 35 percent and operational costs by 50 percent by working as a consortium.
The project is currently in full-swing and the colleges anticipate that the new Jenzabar EX software will be implemented in the spring of 2015.
Once the implementation is complete Holda estimates that the updated system could be rolled out to 20 Texas schools serving more than 150,000 students.
“What we are trying to accomplish aligns neatly with the Texas Pioneer Foundation's mission and their support is greatly appreciated," Holda said.
The Texas Pioneer Foundation is a private independent foundation that works to provide financial support for programs that will improve the quality and results of education for all Texas students.
The foundation seeks out innovative educational programs that are sustainable, able to build capacity and have measurable results.