February 12, 2014
Over the course of his 47-year career in higher education, Dr. John O. Beaver has learned that a single institution can make a huge difference in a student’s life. But the magic really happens when organizations come together in the name of student success.
After 17 years as dean of Academic Affairs on the Blinn College – Bryan Campus, Beaver will specialize in exactly that as dean of Educational Partnerships, a role that will allow him to focus on one of his chief passions as an educator.
As dean of Academic Affairs, Beaver assisted in establishing the Blinn Transfer Enrollment at A&M (TEAM) Program in 2001, a unique co-enrollment partnership with Texas A&M University that allows students to enroll at Blinn College with part-time admission to Texas A&M.
Participating students are enrolled in three to five hours at Texas A&M each semester and complete the remainder of their courses at Blinn’s Bryan campus. Students who complete 45 Blinn credit hours and 15 Texas A&M credit hours within two years, with a 3.0 grade point average at each school, are automatically admitted to Texas A&M. TEAM students can compete for transfer admission sooner when they meet the eligibility requirements.
The program enrolled 1,200 freshmen in Fall 2013 and recently received the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Recognition of Excellence.
“Thirteen years ago we thought if the TEAM Program was really successful, we would get to 800 students someday,” Beaver said. “We’re glad we mapped it out so carefully because our success has led other universities like Purdue, Baylor and Texas State to inquire about the program.”
Beaver also had a hand in developing Bryan Collegiate High School, a unique early college collaboration with the Bryan Independent School District. Through a curriculum that includes Blinn College courses throughout all four years of their high school experience, graduates leave with not only their high school diploma, but also 40-60 college credit hours they can transfer to a four-year degree. The school estimates that between tuition and books, students who complete the program receive an estimated $15,000 in college savings at no charge to the students.
“It has been a wonderful partnership since we began in 2007,” Beaver said. “These articulation agreements connect us with the community and offer outstanding benefits to everyone involved.”
Last year, Bryan Collegiate ranked among the top 5 percent of high schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school also earned all three Texas Education Agency (TEA) distinctions, making it one of just five high schools in Education Service Center Region 6 to do so.
Beaver said he plans to implement more college student-led tutoring at Bryan Collegiate to help high school students better develop critical thinking skills and effective study habits. His new duties will also include overseeing Blinn’s Dual Credit programs, professional development and Service Learning.
“It’s passé nowadays to say that where you work you’re in a family, but when you’re at Blinn College, there is the feeling of camaraderie,” he said. “You are not just at a job. You come here and develop deep relationships with people—students, faculty and staff alike.”
Blinn enrolled 18,413 students this Fall and has experienced 31.1 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its career and technical certification programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.