By STORMIE SANCHEZ
Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, the Amarillo College president, and the board of regents are rolling out a new strategic plan for the next five years. This new plan features four new goals: creating an Earn and Learn program, transforming the downtown campus into an Innovation Outpost, emphasizing technology skills for all students and implementing an anti-racism policy.
The Earn and Learn program will make it possible for students to work in the field they are pursuing a degree in and make money while earning college credits, Lowery-Hart said.
“The Innovation Outpost is designed to help our local economy and local businesses innovatively shift their processes into artifical intelligence, robotics, bioscience and the direction the world is going in the next 10 years,” he said.
Additionally, Lowery-Hart said he wants all students to have some kind of technology based skillset. “What we know from talking to employers locally and nationally is that the number one skill prospective employers are needing from students is the tech skill that they themselves don’t have yet, but they know they’re going to need in transitioning their businesses.”
As for anti-racism policy, Lowery-Hart said he wants to ensure that success is equally possible for all students. “I think we’re an inclusive institution that closed equity gaps. I just want to make sure over the next five years that we’re actively ensuring that our students of color have access to the exact same success in society that all other people have,” he said.
Lowery-Hart said he is satisfied with the results of the college’s previous strategic plan, which this new plan replaces. “I’m really proud of the college and the employees and the incredible efforts they put in place to systemically love students to success.”