Category Archives: News
Richland College and Amazon Web Services announced a partnership Monday to bring a new apprenticeship program to Dallas to train and hire veterans.
Through the program, veterans complete a 16-week certification program at Richland College, where they learn about cloud-based solutions and get practice using Amazon Web Services features. Upon completion of the courses at Richland College, students will then transition to one-year paid internships with Amazon, after which participants are guaranteed interviews for full-time positions with Amazon.
“Embarking on this new strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services will indeed enhance economic growth in the north Texas region, equip a skilled Texas workforce in information technology fields with emphasis on training and hiring veterans and expand Amazon’s growing presence and tremendous potential as a major employer in the Metroplex and beyond,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., president of Richland College.
At Richland College, highly trained and experienced computer information technology and cybersecurity faculty will provide certification preparation training in A+, Net+, Linux and more. Amazon has already selected 15 local veterans to participate in the first class.
RealPage Inc. has partnered with Richland College to provide job training using a $1,323,223 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The grant will benefit workers in the Greater Dallas area.
“This partnership focuses on specialized technical skills training needed to support this high-demand industry in the Richland area,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “We are pleased to make this grant to RealPage and Richland College, which will provide technology training and help maintain a highly skilled workforce.”
This grant will be used to provide customized training for 700 new and incumbent workers for emerging information technology (IT) technologies with focused instruction on virtualization and cloud software, software supporting web-based application, project management and process control instruction. Trainees will include IT project managers, computer analysts, network support engineers, software engineers and technical writers. Upon completion of training, the workers will receive an average wage of $31.16.
Since its inception in 1996, the Skills Development Fund grants have created or upgraded more than 342,428 jobs throughout Texas. The grants have assisted 4,238 employers with their customized training needs. The Legislature allocated $48.5 million to the Skills Development Fund for the 2016-17 biennium. Employers seeking more information about the Skills Development Fund may visit the TWC website at
Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., was one of nineteen presidents/campus CEOs awarded the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention in Nashville, Tenn., Apr. 6-8.
College presidents and campus CEOs are selected for this award based on outstanding efforts in promoting the goals of Phi Theta Kappa at their institutions. Nominees must have served as president at least five years at the current institution and demonstrated a strong level of support for Phi Theta Kappa during their tenure.
The award is named for the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors chair. Gordon was named Phi Theta Kappa’s Most Distinguished College President in 1984.
Following acceptance of the award, Eggleston said, “I am honored to be recognized as a national recipient of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s 2017 Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction for advancing the goals of academic scholarship, leadership and service among Richland College’s outstanding honor students. I am proud to note that Richland’s Alpha Alpha Xi Chapter continues to sustain annually its Five Star Chapter rating, the highest level of accomplishment by college chapters.”
In addition to the Shirley B. Gordon Award, Eggleston was also recently inducted into the Texas Hall of Honor for Chief Executive Officers for the Texas region of Phi Theta Kappa for her and Richland College’s outstanding support of Phi Theta Kappa.
Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for community colleges. Founded in 1918 to give prestigious recognition to students with excellent scholarship and character, Phi Theta Kappa has always maintained fidelity to its founders’ commitment to provide enrichment in four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. Phi Theta Kappa features some of the nation’s finest educational programs for community college students.
Richland College’s Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Alpha Xi Chapter was recognized as a 2015 Top 100 Distinguished Chapter at the International Level, was the 2015 8th Most Distinguished Chapter in Texas Region and was the 2015 Most Distinguished Chapter for Honors in Action Theme 3: Quest for Human Expressions. In 2017, chapter secretary Elizabeth Mareesa won a “Distinguised Member” medallion at the Phi Theta Kappa Texas Regional Conference.
For additional information about Phi Theta Kappa at Richland College, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/phi-theta-kappa.
Richland College executive vice president for academic affairs and student success Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D., was recently selected for the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a highly selective leadership program aimed at developing a new cadre of outstanding leaders capable of transforming student success at community colleges across the U.S. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC.
Blankenbaker was one of only 40 fellows selected nationwide for this honor and will embark on a year-long fellowship beginning July 2017. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative and top community college leaders, the program focuses on a new vision of leadership and aims to guide new and aspiring community college presidents to change dramatically student outcomes in several areas: learning, completion while in community college, completion of bachelor’s degrees after transfer, employment and earnings after graduation and equitable access and success for underrepresented minority and low-income students.
“As a community college leader with a personal commitment to providing equity, I am delighted with the opportunity the Aspen Presidential Fellowship will provide to prepare me with the exceptional leadership knowledge, skills and abilities to design the desired, holistic learning experiences necessary for students to complete their educational goals with the creative talent requisite to solve problems of the 21st century,” said Blankenbaker.
The selection criteria for the fellowship included Blankenbaker’s abilities in taking strategic risks, leading strong teams, cultivating partnerships and focusing on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.
According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 365 presidents left their posts during the past year. This rate of turnover is happening while increasing numbers of students—including growing numbers of minority, low-income and first-generation-to-college students—are attending community colleges.
The 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 24 states and 38 community colleges. For information, visit http://as.pn/1ky.
The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Kresge Foundation.
Richland College has recently been designated as a Tree Campus USA College by the Arbor Day Foundation. This designation recognizes college and university campuses that effectively maintain campus trees, connect with the community to foster healthy urban forests and strive to engage their students in service learning forestry projects.
There are many benefits to being a Tree Campus USA College. A commitment to trees can greatly reduce the amount of energy the campus needs to generate; planting and maintaining trees on campus reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; and green spaces give students and faculty a place to relax with others. The Tree College USA program helps colleges and universities establish and sustain healthy community forests.
“We in facilities services are extremely excited that Richland College has been presented the designation of Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation,” said Ken Dunson, facilities director at Richland College. “With Richland College’s history of participation in Arbor Day events, the practice of honoring 20-year employees by designating existing trees on campus with their name plaques beneath them, the annual practice of planting new trees and the time and care our landscaping services professionals spend with all trees on campus, it was only natural we apply for this great honor. We are pleased to be chosen and will devote the resources and energy necessary to maintain this distinguished designation.”
Richland College had to meet five qualifications to be recognized as a national Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA College. These standards are: establishing a campus tree advisory committee, giving evidence of a campus tree care plan, verifying dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree plan, hosting an Arbor Day event and implementing a service learning project that is designed to engage students.
Texas has the most Tree Campus USA schools in the nation. Other Dallas Community College District colleges have made this distinguished list in previous years, including Brookhaven College, Eastfield College, North Lake College and Mountain View College.
Tree Campus USA is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and administered locally by the Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS). The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization. It has one million members, donors and partners who support its programs to make the world greener and healthier.
Since 1915, TFS has been protecting and sustaining forests, trees and other natural resources. The organization also offers programs and services to help others make the most of their land for future generations.
For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation, visit arborday.org. For more information about the Texas A&M Forest Service, visit tfsweb.tamu.edu.
Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Garland Chamber of Commerce and local business representatives were present at a check-signing ceremony April 13 at Richland College Garland Campus to award Richland College with a $804,845 Skills Development Fund Grant from the TWC.
The grant will be used by Richland College to create or update 430 jobs at nine Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association companies, including Aloe Vera of America; Altronic Controls; Ecolab; General Dynamics; Hatco; Marlow Industries; Sherwin Williams; Unity Manufacturing; and VEKA South, Inc.
Training under the grant includes AutoCAD, electrical basics and troubleshooting, hydraulics, ARC Flash, motor controls, Lean Manufacturing, CPR, Microsoft Office, project management, Six Sigma Green Belt and leadership.
“Richland College Garland Campus appreciates the ongoing confidence that the Texas Workforce Commission and area manufacturers place in us an experienced, high-quality, results-focused training provider,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., president of Richland College. “We remain ready to anticipate and exceed expectations in training delivery for these business partners and other business partners in our Garland community and beyond.”
“Garland is extremely proud to be a manufacturing community,” said Paul Mayer, CEO of the Garland Chamber of Commerce and DCMA.
Event speakers included Eggleston, Mayer, Richland College Garland Campus Associate Dean of Workforce Development Kimberly Wilkins, TWC Chairman and Commissioner Andres Alcantar and Unity Manufacturing CEO Richard Buferd.
Richland College will host a day of family fun when Dia de la Familia comes to the campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 6. This free annual event is presented by the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) and will feature free food, entertainment, children’s activities, tours of Richland College facilities and more.
Entertainment for the event will include performances from Folklorico, a dance group from Lake Highlands High School that performs traditional Mexican folk dances, top winners from Richland College’s So You Think You Can Dance contest, a dance party with Richland College’s mascot R. Mobius Thunderduck and more.
Activities will include a children’s coloring station, and visitors will be able to decorate their own traditional sugar skulls at a booth sponsored by the Richland College Achieving Latino Academic Success student organization. Richland College representatives will also be providing tours of the gaming and interactive simulation facilities, including the motion capture lab, and the Richland College Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center.
Exhibitors, including DCCCD colleges, local organizations, businesses and Richland College departments, will be on hand to provide information and services to families who attend.
Dia de la Familia was initiated in 1986 at Eastfield College in response to high dropout rates among Latino students during their transition to college. In 1990, the event was adopted as a DCCCD event hosted at Mountain View College. Since 1997, the event has been held on a rotating basis at each DCCCD campus.
More information is available by calling 972-238-6194. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas.
The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at El Centro College is expanding to become the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at El Centro College and Richland College.
Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academies are innovative co-enrollment partnerships developed to address the state’s growing need for engineers. Qualified students will be admitted to the Texas A&M University College of Engineering, complete the first two years of coursework at El Centro or Richland and finish their engineering degrees in College Station. All A&M engineering classes for students enrolled in this academy will take place on the campus of El Centro College in downtown Dallas.
“We are excited about offering our unique pathway to an Aggie engineering degree to even more Dallas-area students by expanding the Engineering Academy at El Centro to include Richland,” said Dr. Cindy Lawley, Texas A&M Engineering assistant vice chancellor for academic and outreach programs. “The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy program is the only engineering transition program of its kind in the United States, and students admitted to this academy are part of the Texas A&M College of Engineering from day one.“
Richland College president Dr. Kathryn K. Eggleston said the partnership strengthens an already strong engineering transfer program.
“This partnership expands Richland College’s strong transfer engineering focus by offering greater accessibility and a structured pathway to a bachelor’s degree with guaranteed admission to tier-one Texas A&M University,” she said. “We are grateful for the support of Chevron toward this important student success initiative.”
The expanded academy is one of five Texas A&M-Chevron Academies across Texas. Texas A&M-Chevron Academies at Austin Community College, Houston Community College and Texas Southmost College in Brownsville are currently accepting student applications, and Alamo Colleges in San Antonio will begin in fall 2018. Texas A&M also has successful engineering academies at the Blinn College campuses in Brenham and Bryan.
“Chevron is excited to be able to continue our longstanding relationship with Texas A&M through support of the engineering academy initiative, which will help provide opportunities in the field of engineering for many underrepresented and first-generation college students,” said Shariq Yosufzai, Chevron vice president of diversity, ombuds and university partnerships. “Partnering with Texas A&M, a top source of engineering hires for Chevron, to help provide opportunities in the field of engineering will support our efforts to help build the diverse workforce of tomorrow that will be required to meet the energy needs of the future.”
A 2012 report by the President’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology projected that 1 million more STEM degrees would be needed in the next decade. In Texas alone, the projected need for engineers in the workforce is 62,000 by 2022. To meet this need, universities and two-year colleges will need to work together to bridge the gap, and attract and retain students who are interested in STEM fields.
“Successfully transitioning from a two-year to four-year institution can be a daunting experience for students,” said Dr. Greg Morris, vice president of academic affairs at El Centro College. “This academy eliminates that barrier for our students—increasing their likelihood of completing a four-year engineering degree.
“The need for innovative STEM pathways that lead to high-paying engineering careers is vital to the Texas economy. The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at El Centro College and Richland College blends accessibility with academic rigor and helps chart a path toward student success in the fields of engineering, Morris said.”
By enrolling in the academies, students can save up to $15,600 in tuition and fees over two years while still being taught by Texas A&M faculty on the El Centro campus.
“El Centro and Richland students admitted to the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy can take their freshman and sophomore engineering classes right here in downtown Dallas, and the classes are taught 100 percent by Texas A&M faculty. It’s a win-win for our students,” said Morris.
The partnership with El Centro College began admitting students in 2016, and several of the students in the program are looking forward to attending the Texas A&M campus in College Station. Luis Gonzales, one of the academy students who was also recently selected as one of NASA’s Community College Aerospace Scholars, is the first member of his family to go to college.
“I chose to apply for the engineering academy because it was an affordable option for me and my family,” he said. “I was accepted into the engineering program at Texas A&M in College Station and at other big universities, but I chose to go with the more affordable option.”
(Release courtesy of Texas A&M University Engineering)
Richland College students traveled to Austin to attend Community College Day at the Texas State Capitol on Feb. 7. Through meetings with legislators and panel sessions with key policy makers, students had the opportunity to voice their opinions about how a community college education has impacted their lives. Front row (left to right): Bel Khuu, Zahara Wadud, Domenica Barboza, Michelle Callahan, Seth Sotelo. Second row: Greg Weasah, Daniel Vargas, Edward Sesay, Riyan Edris, Juan Molina, Yoselyn Diaz, Alejandra Rivera. Third row: Essence Provost, Clifton McVea. Photo by Keenan Cobb.
The Dallas County Community College District always has been defined not by whom we exclude, but by whom we include. We do not know the impact on our students of the recent executive order regarding immigration to the United States by residents of certain countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). We do know that at least 47 DCCCD students are from these countries.
Undoubtedly, enormous confusion has occurred around the world, in our country and within the higher education community regarding the implications of this executive order. Let me be clear: the network approach to higher education makes it necessary for us to connect our students to the resources they need as they encounter barriers to their future success. While we do not know what the impact will be on our students, we stand ready to provide and/or direct them to the resources that will help them make the most informed decisions about their personal situation.
This immigration situation is evolving and changing and, because of the many lawsuits that have been filed, it is impossible to know how it will be resolved. In spite of uncertainty, we have put in place several strategies to help expedite sharing information with students who potentially could be affected.
To help provide information in a timely fashion, I have asked that we set up a dedicated email to address questions or concerns. We will do our best to guide any questions we receive at firstname.lastname@example.org to the appropriate resources.
We are actively assisting a number of community organizations that are both willing and able to provide support to our students or employees. We have provided a list of these resources to each college office that is responsible for international student admissions and advising. I want to thank these individuals for their willingness to meet with and listen to the concerns of our students.
We continue to monitor developments related to the order, and we are working with peer institutions, universities and national associations to understand and best address its implications and any changes that may result from pending litigation. That being said, all colleges and universities are in exactly the same situation – we are learning as we move forward, and there is no precedent for a situation of this nature.
For more than 50 years, we have welcomed students, faculty and staff from around the world. That culture of diversity and inclusiveness has become an essential component of the DCCCD community, and it is reflected in our policies, which prohibit discrimination in any form. When I arrived at DCCCD in 2014, I began immediately to talk with our leadership, faculty and staff about the importance of integrating global learning into our curriculum, noting that today we live and work in an international economy.
I want to assure you that I value the diversity of our faculty, staff and students and that DCCCD is committed to fully engaging the wealth of thought, purpose, circumstance, background, skill and experiences shared in this community.
Although the current environment related to immigration is unsettled, I remain focused on our purpose: to equip students for effective living and responsible global citizenship. We stand with you as we continue to build a community of teaching and learning through integration and collaboration, openness and integrity, and inclusiveness and self-renewal.
Chancellor Joe May