The Commerce Journal

July 2, 2013

Partnering with Commerce ISD for success

By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dr. Dan Jones said that working with the community is essential in growth.

With that in mind, A&M-Commerce recently opened a new location in Rockwall for bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and is partnering with Collin College to house both schools in the same location.

“Students would be able to get their bachelors degree without having to leave Rockwall,” Dr. Dan Jones, president of A&M-Commerce, said, adding that since Rockwall is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas, that makes it “a great market to get into.”

A&M-Commerce is also having more of a presence in Dallas as well. The university is planning on partnering with El Centro, a college in downtown Dallas, to offer programs for residents there.

On a more local level, the university is partnering with Commerce Independent School District in many ways this year.

The university is in talks with Reading Partners, a non-profit company in Dallas, to give special attention to at-risk students at CISD to help them get back on track.

Another program that will continue in the fall is a child mentoring program through the Kappa Alpha fraternity, which began last spring.

Members of the fraternity go to A.C. Williams Elementary school and adopt and mentor students by reading and playing with them.

“They are raring to go for this fall,” Noah Nelson, director of community engagement for A&M-Commerce, said.

On the education front, Jones is working with CISD Superintendent Blake Cooper on having certification programs in computer science set up for this fall.

The two are able to work more closely since Texas House Bill 5 recently passed, which gives schools more options for administrators to adjust their curriculum.

“This opens things up a bit for training programs in high schools,” he said.