Category Archives: Institutional Effectiveness

Richland College and UTD continue partnership to prepare students for careers in math and science


Caption:Representatives from UTD and Richland College gathered to formalize a partnership that will help Richland math and science students make a smooth transition to UTD. (from left to right) Front Row: Nathan Ivey, UTD; Bruce Novak, UTD; Raymond Canham, Richland College; Back Row: Celeste Hernandez, Richland College; Gerald Suggs, Richland College; Shannon Ydoyaga, Richland College; and Fred Wittel, Richland College.

The Richland College School of Mathematics, Science and Health Professions and The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics signed five academic transfer articulation agreements today. These agreements were made to further enhance the academic transfer process for Richland College students pursuing associate in sciences degrees in the following areas:


Students who successfully complete Richland College associate in sciences degrees in the areas listed above with a GPA of at least 2.5 and no grade below a ‘C’ in the respective courses will receive automatic admission to the UTD and will be able to transfer between 62 and 66 credit hours as a block.

These agreements were signed in keeping with Richland College and UTD’s long-standing joint efforts in serving the educational needs of Dallas County citizens and in responding to the shortage of qualified graduates in these areas as stated in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Closing the Gaps initiative.

MEDIA ALERT: RLC and UTD to sign transfer agreements, Mon., March 26

The Richland College School of Mathematics, Science and Health Professions and the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) Erik Jonsson School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics will sign five articulation agreements on March 26. These agreements will further enhance the transfer process for Richland students pursuing an associate of science degrees in the following areas: biology, chemistry, geosciences, mathematics and physics.

Who:Richland College and the University of Texas at Dallas

What: Articulation agreement signing between Richland College and The University of Texas at Dallas

When: 3 p.m., Mon., March 26

Where: Richland College College, Sabine Hall, Room SH205

For more information, contact Anitra Cotton at 972-238-6022 or

The RLC Garland Campus presents awards to training partners

Richland College Interim President Dr. Kay Eggleston and staff from Richland College attended the 80th Annual Garland Chamber of Commerce Banquet on Jan 26. Dr. Eggleston presented its first ever Richland College Garland Campus/Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association (DCMA) Partnership Award to Hatco, western hat manufacturer located in Garland. Ramon Otero and Dan Brown, from Hatco’s leadership team, accepted the award for the company’s collaboration with Richland College in training more than 250 employees in subjects such as safety, leadership, customer service, lean manufacturing and workplace communications.

The Community Partnership Award was given to Susan Bethel, Dallas County performance and training specialist, for working successfully with Richland College in training more than 200 Dallas County employees in diversity, business productivity and customer service.

For more information about these awards, please contact Konley Kelly at or 214-360-1222.

Richland College offers training to meet new IRS tax preparation requirements for professional tax preparers

The IRS rolled out a nationwide competency test for tax preparers in November. Existing tax preparers must pass the IRS test by the end of 2013 or be required to leave the industry. This will affect approximately 87,000 tax preparers in Texas. The Continuing Education program at Richland College has partnered with the Pacific Northwest Tax School to offer “The Basic Tax Course” in a 72-hour online course to prepare students for the national exam. The cost is $500 and upon completion, students will earn a certificate of completion.

“Richland College is excited to partner with Pacific Northwest Tax School, a school with a great track record in training tax preparers for the national exam,” said Melinda Weaver, executive dean of Continuing Education at Richland College. “We continuously assess the needs of our community to offer the types of courses and professional development in demand. This partnership helps us do just that.”

This course will begin in the spring semester 2012. To enroll, visit For more information, please call Richland College at 972-238-3750.

Richland makes top 10 list of institutions hosting international students

Richland College was in the top 10 of U.S. higher education institutions awarding associate degrees with the most international students in 2010-11, according to a ranking recently released by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Richland was listed as No. 9 with 1,312 international students. Richland’s current enrollment of international students is 1,394 students. The college’s total credit enrollment for Fall 2011 is 20,403. The student body at Richland is internationally and ethnically diverse, speaking more than 79 first languages.

“Richland College’s vision is to be the best place we can be to learn, teach, and build sustainable local and world community,” said Kay Eggleston, the college’s interim president. “The rich diversity we experience with students attending Richland College from all parts of the world heightens our ability to provide an array of global perspectives and cultures that helps prepare all our students for successful living and responsible citizenship in building sustainable local and world community for future generations.”

Information for the ranking reported by The Chronicle came from the Institute of International Education’s annual Open Doors report, which is published in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The 2010-11 report showed that the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by five percent to 723,277 compared to the year prior, led by a strong increase of students from China.

To learn more about Richland College, visit For more information about the Open Doors report, visit

Texas Workforce Commission awards grant funds to Richland College for skills training for Garland-area employees
From left to right: Ruth Poliner, Larry Poliner, MD; Dr. Wright Lassiter, DCCCD; Nick Cleary, Genesis Medical Foundation; Tina Peters, Dr. Massuma Kazemi; Elizabeth Buchanan, Genesis Medical Foundation; Kristen Ford, Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Associates; Commissioner Andres Alcantar, Texas Workforce Commission; Ron Clark, Richland College; Konley Kelley, Richland College; Debbie Fowler, Orthopedic Associates of Dallas

From left to right: Ruth Poliner, Larry Poliner, MD; Dr. Wright Lassiter, DCCCD; Nick Cleary, Genesis Medical Foundation; Tina Peters, Dr. Massuma Kazemi; Elizabeth Buchanan, Genesis Medical Foundation; Kristen Ford, Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Associates; Commissioner Andres Alcantar, Texas Workforce Commission; Ron Clark, Richland College; Konley Kelley, Richland College; Debbie Fowler, Orthopedic Associates of Dallas

On Wed., Nov. 9, Texas Workforce Commissioner Andres Alcantar presented Richland College with two grant checks to fund skills training for approximately 600 Garland-area employees. Richland College will partner with the Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association (DCMA) and Genesis Physicians Group to provide this training.

“We honor their [Richland College’s] role in terms of workforce development. Time and again our community colleges, like Richland College, respond to the issues facing our workers and our companies, and they have demonstrated a capability to develop a timely, results-driven outcome for our customers. We’re proud to have that partnership with them,” said Commissioner Alcantar. “We believe this will be very positive to Garland, to Richland College and the greater Metroplex area.”

A check for $367,506 was presented to Richland College and DCMA’s participating Garland employers, including Ecolab, J&A Manufacturing, Karlee, Kraft Foods, Marlow Industries, Micropac Industries, National Circuit Assembly, and SST Truck Company LLC. Employees will be trained in the areas of leadership development, lean manufacturing, project management, and more.

Commissioner Andres Alcantar of the Texas Workforce Commission signs a check to Richland College and Genesis Physicians Group to provide health-related skills training.

Commissioner Andres Alcantar of the Texas Workforce Commission signs a check to Richland College and Genesis Physicians Group to provide health-related skills training.

In addition, a check for $173,921 was presented to Richland College and Genesis Physicians Group representatives and participating members’ offices. Richland will provide training in computer skills, language training, HIPAA law and ethics, medical insurance coding, electronic medical records, and other health-related skills.

For more information, contact Tandy Dollar, Richland College Garland Campus director of community programs, at 214-360-1221 or

Richland’s Sabine Hall receives accolades from U.S. Green Building Council

Richland’s Sabine Hall LEED Platinum-certified science building recently received an Honorable Mention in the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Central Texas Balcones Green Schools Design Awards competition. The jury in the Higher Education category for the Green Schools Awards selected Sabine Hall as one of three Honorable Mention projects in Texas.

The award was officially presented last week at the Green Schools Symposium attended by approximately 200 architects, designers, builders, educators, and facilities managers. The USGBC Central Texas–Balcones Chapter Fourth Annual Green School Symposium was held at the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified Cibolo Green Elementary School in San Antonio. In addition to the awards presentation, the event examined best practices and latest advances in green school building, financing, and operations, and participants had the opportunity to hear from local, national, and international green schools design experts.

For more information, please contact Janet James at 972-238-6974.

Richland named a military-friendly school

Richland has been awarded the distinction of a Military-Friendly School by G.I. Jobs. The Military-Friendly Schools list is determined through research by the G.I. Jobs Military-Friendly Schools® team. This research includes government agencies and private entities that administer education benefits and a comprehensive survey from G.I. Jobs. A Military-Friendly Schools Academic Advisory Panel, consisting of five higher education administrators, helps determine survey questions and weights the questions. Criteria such as: programs and services for military and veteran students; recruitment efforts of military and veteran students; VA approval to accept the G.I. bill; flexible learning programs; and academic accreditations help determine military-friendly status. In addition to the listing online, a printed guide to military-friendly schools, which includes complete school profiles, is distributed quarterly to military Education Service Offices throughout the country.

For more information, please contact Kim Montes, Richland College veterans affairs coordinator, at 972-238-6739 or Or, visit

Richland partners with HCAT to reduce construction site fatalities

Richland College is partnering with the Hispanic Contractors Association de Tejas (HCAT) to host the Construction Safety and Health Summit, a regional event created to train, educate and promote heightened awareness of jobsite safety. The event will take place Sept. 15–17 at the Mesquite Convention Center Hampton Inn & Suites located in Mesquite, Texas.

The summit is a result of a collaboration among the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region VI, Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) OSHA Education Center, Compacion Foundation, U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association (USHCA) and Richland College. The goal of the event is to offer an exceptional opportunity to those employed in the construction industry to receive comprehensive training critical to their safety and survival on the daily job site.

“The Hispanic Contractors de Tejas has always been a leader in supporting safety in the construction industry, training more than 4,000 workers in OSHA 10 Certification. This conference is taking the next step in defining a unified approach of best practices to reach the goal of zero construction fatalities in Texas,” said Celes Oppedahl, associate dean of workforce training at Richland College.

Current industry safety statistics indicate that the construction industry is plagued by three deaths in the workplace every day. Hispanic contractors account for two of those three fatalities. Unfortunately, the state of Texas has one of the most dismal safety records in the country.

To provide the tools necessary for a safe workplace environment, the HCAT’s safety summit will provide relevant educational workshops, expert speakers, and numerous forums to address current deficiencies and discuss solutions for best safety practices. Major components of the summit’s agenda are the two, eight-hour accredited course offerings. The OSHA Education Center at UTA will provide “Introduction to Safety and Health Management” (OSHA 7500) and TEEX will provide “Fall Hazard Awareness in Construction” (OSHA 7405). These courses are included as part of the summit registration.

The summit will also feature an introduction to the HCAT/OSHA Marathon Training Seminar and a one-day expo featuring industry-related exhibitors. The expo will be open to the general public.

Registration and additional information can be found at For other details, contact Celes Oppedahl at or 972-761-6804.

About the HCA de Tejas
The HCAT is a non-profit organization based in Balch Springs, Texas. The organization’s mission is to promote and support the advancement and economic growth of Hispanic contractors in Texas and to provide advocacy of best safety practices in the construction industry with the goal to reduce accidents and fatalities. The HCAT is a contributing partner to the safety initiatives and efforts of the USHCA. A national schedule of touring safety conferences is being finalized by the USHCA and will be released in the near future.

Richland College Receives STARS Silver Rating for Sustainability Achievements

Richland College has achieved a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of their sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a new program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

Through its educational programs, services, processes and practices, Richland College is actively committed to the triple-bottom line of social equity and justice, economic viability and environmental vitality. Richland College students, faculty and staff are involved in instructional, service learning, social justice, recycling and waste minimization initiatives that help empower students to achieve their educational goals and become lifelong learners and responsible global citizens, building sustainable local and world community. The U.S. Green Building Council recently awarded LEED Platinum certification for Richland’s Sabine Hall science building and LEED Gold certification for Richland’s Garland Campus. It is Richland College’s intent that the systems and operations of these buildings function in ways that produce minimal impact to the environment and carbon footprint and provide daily, measurable lessons from which students, faculty, staff, and community visitors can learn and teach how a building can function in ways that are friendly, neutral, and sustaining to the environment.

“Richland College actively participates in AASHE STARS as an efficient, encouraging method for us to measure and track our performance excellence in various aspects of sustainability, as well as to benchmark data, processes and programs with other higher education institutions. Ever committed to our college vision to be the best place we can be to learn, teach and build sustainable local and world community, we are committed to modeling practices that promote a robust natural environment and an abundant quality of life for future generations,” stated Dr. Kay Eggleston, Richland College interim president.

AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: 1) education & research, 2) operations, and 3) planning, administration & engagement.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland. “Richland College has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, and the criteria that determine a STARS Rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.

“Completing our STARS assessment let’s us see both how far we’ve come and what distance we still have to go. And the ability to compare with other colleges helps us determine whether where we are is where we should be. Best of all, we can learn from other colleges as we move forward,” said Dr. Mary Jo Dondlinger, Richland College director of institutional effectiveness.

About AASHE:
AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit

For more information about the STARS program, visit