Harris County commissioner talks progress, college program supports students, and more on Houston Newsmakers

Harris County Criminal Courts headed for an upgrade (KPRC)


  • Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones talks about her past seven months in office and her efforts.
  • Learn about the Houston Guided Pathways to Success Program aimed at helping university students earn a four-year degree.

Watch Houston Newsmakers at 10 a.m. on KPRC 2+ and KPRC.

Commissioner Lesley Briones says there is much work to do

Commissioner Lesley Briones says there is much work to do.

Lesley Briones has only been the Harris County Precinct 4 commissioner for seven months but has hit the ground running, trying to make a difference.

She was involved in a ground breaking for a $20 million drainage improvement project in the Bear Creek area and securing $1.2 million for the Harris County TeleDeputy program, but she said there is still much more to do.

“I was shocked to learn…imagine all of the growth we have had in Harris County and the growth we will continue having. We had only received one new criminal district court since 1985,” she said.

Briones said she was able to lead the effort to get commitments for six new criminal district courts. On this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall, the commissioner discusses these topics and much more, including what she said is a “brazen” effort of Austin lawmakers to single out Harris County in recently passed laws. Also this week, check out a Houston Newsmakers EXTRA with Commissioner Lesley Briones.

The 13 schools involved in the Houston Guided Pathways to Success program (GPS) (Houston GPS)

Houston GPS Consortium encouraging four-year college degrees

Approximately 200,000 Texas community college students graduate with an excess of 22 credit hours, according to the nonprofit Texas2036. That translates into a lot of time and money wasted and is one of the reasons for the creation of Houston Guided Pathways to Success Program, or GPS.

“It’s designed to really combat three big issues as it relates to students who transfer from a community college into a four-year university within the Houston region,” said University of Houston-Downtown President Loren Blanchard. “One is timely degree completion, second is cost and three is actual degree completion.”

Laurel Williamson is the Deputy Chancellor and College President at San Jacinto College. She said the focus is on the student as soon as they enter the school.

“They come in, and we begin immediately to talk about transferring careers and what is it that you’d like to do,” she said. “And then, we map their degree program through the bachelor’s degree. We don’t just stop at the associate degree.”

Find out what you need to know about the Houston GPS program on this week’s Houston Newsmakers.

For more information on this week’s Houston Newsmakers

· Lesley Briones, Commissioner, Harris County Precinct 4

· Website: https://hcp4.net/commissioner/

· Loren Blanchard, Ph.D., President University of Houston-Downtown

· Website: https://www.uhd.edu/president/Pages/president-dr-loren-blanchard.aspx

· Laurel Williamson, Ph.D.,, Deputy Chancellor & College President, San Jacinto College

· Website: https://www.sanjac.edu/about-san-jac/leadership/strategic-leadership


· Website: https://higheredtransfer.org/

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