"Inspired by Amazon's need for tech talent, community colleges in Dallas County and across Texas will offer a new degree that prepares students for careers in cloud computing.

Texas education leaders and Amazon Web Services announced the creation of associate's and bachelor's degree programs Thursday at a Dallas event attended by Secretary of State Ruth Hughs, the state's higher education commissioner and several Texas lawmakers.

Local and state education leaders have looked for ways to strengthen Texas' workforce and prepare students for jobs of the future. They've set an ambitious statewide goal — dubbed the 60x30 plan —that aims for 60% of Texas' 25- to 34-year-old workforce to have a postsecondary degree or credential by 2030. About 44% of Texans in that age group currently have one. To do that, education leaders have backed early college programs and seamless transfers of credits

" McKown, 69, marks her 10th anniversary as MCC president this month, with Sept. 22 the anniversary of her formal inauguration. McKown is the third president in the community college’s almost 55-year history, following Wilbur Ball and Dennis Michaelis.

She sees herself largely as one expanding the work of her predecessors." 

Read more via Waco Tribune-Herald

"Senate Bill 25, which easily passed both chambers in the Legislature and took effect June 14 after Gov. Abbott signed it into law, aims to help students ... avoid losing credits as they move through the higher education system. Lawmakers hope that by making information about courses more accessible and transparent, students can avoid paying for classes that don't help them earn a degree." 

Read more about Senate Bill 25 via The Texas Tribune. 

Dr. Donna McDaniel, chief academic officer and vice president of instruction at Texarkana College, said she is humbled and honored to have received one of the top college administrator awards in the state.

On July 19, she was given the prestigious Carl M. "Chessie" Nelson Administrative Leadership award during the summer meeting of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, held in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. 

"I was really overwhelmed. I had no idea I was receiving the award until they called my name at the ceremony," McDaniel said. "I am humbled and honored. Everything I do is as part of a team. We have all worked together and I truly don't feel like it's my award. It's due to all the wonderful people I work with and I sincerely mean that."

Read more via the Texarkana Gazette 

The 86th Texas Legislature filed over 7,300 pieces of legislation during its 140-day regular session, passing over 1,400 bills into law. Several dozen bills related to public higher education, political subdivisions, and community colleges were under consideration. Below is a report on significant legislation passed into law related to the operation of community colleges. Bill numbers link to Texas Legislature Online for additional details.

Click here to view the entire report.