Written by | SAVANNAH TARBET |
The Amarillo College Criminal Justice Program and more than 50 local businesses will host the 16th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference. The event will be conducted from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today in the Amarillo Civic Center. The registration fee is $25, which includes lunch. The conference’s purpose is to bring awareness and provide information about child abuse prevention to the Amarillo area, especially during April, which is National Child Abuse and Neglect
“Our Conference Steering Committee works hard every year to design a conference that will appeal to a broad audience of professionals working in the criminal justice, social service and other related fields,” said Eric Wallace, director of the AC criminal justice program. Guest speakers will include Joe Laramie and Chris Baughman. Laramie is a program manager with the National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College.
Baughman is a consultant on MSNBC’s show, Sex Slaves, a former police detective and author. They will talk about technology and child sexual abuse investigations, child pornography and crimes related to human trafficking, among other topics. “It is our sincere desire that this conference will provide valuable information and insights that will help participants achieve both their professional and personal goals,” Wallace said.
Child abuse is a growing problem all over the world, and Amarillo is no exception. “As far as child abuse statistics for this area, it is a problem,” Wallace said. In 2015, the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle saw about a 10 percent drop in the number of reported child abuse cases compared to 2014, while some counties have seen rates increase. Wallace said he hopes the event will benefit the community. “It appears progress is being made, and this conference is one more way to help make a difference,” he said.
Written by | Maggie Tinoco |
The Texas Board of Nursing has approved the Amarillo College Associate Degree Nursing program. The first passing rate was almost 95 percent in on the national licensure exam. Dean of Nursing Dr. Richard Pullen received a letter from the Texas Board of Nursing stating that the program went from full approval warning to full approval. “In 2014 our passing rate was 77.6 percent, which eventually we went to a full approval warning.” Pullen said the actual passing rate for the Texas Board of Nursing should be at least 80 percent. “We had to evaluate on how we were doing things,” Pullen said.
The national licensure exam became more difficult in April 2015.
“The program required it to be more challenging for students to get in as well as to raise the expectations for students and nursing instructors,” Pullen said. The ADN program did make changes that not only benefits the school but the students as well. Nursing instructor Karrie Young said, “We have smaller sections for classes just to be able to interact more with the students.” There is more hands-on training than before; lectures are kept at a minimum, Young said.
“A lot of times we look at the numbers, and that’s good. We can see how the state bases us. Sometimes we get caught up in that, and I want the community to see that our grads and students are well prepared.” Nursing major Elena Lopez said it’s a lot harder but she is reassured by the end of the day. “When I have to take the test, I can guarantee I am going to pass it because the instructors are going to prepare you,” Lopez said.
Pullen wants to continue reaching a high passing rate for the ADN program. “A program that has an annual pass rate of 90 percent or higher annually is recognized for having an outstanding rate,” he said.
To continue with the standards, other goals are to provide more tutoring improve the curriculum.