Category Archives: News

Texas A&M Engineering Partnership with El Centro College Expanding to Include Richland College

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 Participate in Community College Day at Texas State Capitol

Students posing in front of the Texas State Capitol buildingRichland 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.

DCCCD Statement on Immigration Executive Order

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 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.

Best regards,

Chancellor Joe May

Richland College Offering AEL-ESL and GED Courses at New Texans Can Academies Campus in Garland
Multiple people standing in front of a ribbon at Arapaho Road Baptist Church

Representatives from Richland College, Texans Can Academies, Lionheart Children’s Academy, Arapaho Road Baptist Church, Garland Chamber of Commerce and the local community participate in the official Garland Can Academy ribbon cutting ceremony Jan. 25, 2017. Photo by Paul Knudsen.

In keeping with its mission of teaching, learning and community building, Richland College recently became a partner with the new Garland Can Academy at Arapaho Road Baptist Church by offering Adult Education and Literacy/English as a Second Language (AEL-ESL) and GED courses in the school’s classrooms at the church.

These AEL-ESL and GED courses are free and open to the community, and they are taught by Richland College continuing education faculty members.

“Through these AEL-ESL and GED courses offered by Richland College, individuals seeking to acquire English language skills, enhance literacy, expand employment opportunity and open doors to future college access and degree and certificate completion now have guided pathways to achieve dreams of better, more prosperous lives for themselves, their children and our community,” said Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D., Richland College’s executive vice president for academic affairs and student success.

“Our partnership with Garland Can Academy is an extension of the programs we offer on our main campus,” said Gary Hensler, Richland College’s dean of continuing education and workforce training. “We are excited to extend our offerings to groups in our community beyond the physical confines of the campus so we may better serve our constituents.”

The Garland Can Academy, a Texans Can Academies campus, provides students the opportunity to pursue their dreams while removing barriers that may keep them from attaining an education. It is the sixth Dallas-area Texans Can Academies campus with a current enrollment of 165 students and room to grow to 300 students.

Texans Can Academies has a network of 13 charter schools across Texas that are tuition-free, open enrollment, public high schools of choice, welcoming students of all walks of life. The organization’s mission is to provide the highest quality education for all students, especially those who have struggled in a traditional high school setting, in order to ensure their economic independence.

People interested in taking AEL-ESL or GED classes taught by Richland College at Garland Can Academy can contact Richland College Continuing Education at 972-238-6972 or

Garland Can Academy is located at 2256 Arapaho Road in Garland. Information on the academy is available at

U.S. Air Force Band of The West To Perform at Richland College
U.S. Air Force Band of the West performs music.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force Band of the West.

The United States Air Force (USAF) Band of the West is coming to Richland College to perform as part of its Holiday in Blue tour. This performance will take place at 7 p.m. on December 3 in the Fannin Performance Hall. This concert is free and open to the public.

“At this time, the U.S. federal government is considering a severe reduction in U.S. military band travel, and we will be able to experience the tremendous benefit of the program before such a decision is made,” said Derick Logozzo, Richland College director of instrumental music. “Also, the interaction that Richland students will be able to have with these career musicians on the day of the event in separate sessions is very valuable. Our students will get to hear and see the level of ability of experienced competitive symphonic music professionals and learn more about how to reach such a goal.”

The USAF Band of the West has been presenting Holiday in Blue concerts for more than 40 years as a way of bringing the community together to celebrate the holiday season and our veterans through music. This 90-minute concert will include a variety of works, styles and genres featuring the excellent display of musicianship from the symphonic concert band and soloists.

For more information about the USAF Band of the West, visit For more information about the Richland College music department, visit

Richland College Garland Campus Receives $1,323,223 Texas Workforce Commission Grant

The Texas Workforce Commission recently presented Richland College Garland Campus with a $1,323,223 Skills Development Fund grant to train 213 new hires and 487 incumbent employees at RealPage, Inc. During an 18-month period, 39 courses will be offered for a total of 26,200 hours of training to RealPage employees.

“Through our partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission, we have expanded our capabilities to provide training in some of the newest IT tools and emerging technologies to RealPage and other local companies,” said Nicole Reed, Skills Development Fund grant and corporate liaison for the Richland College Garland Campus. “We are very pleased to be working with RealPage, in addition to fulfilling our mission to serve the business community by developing lifelong learners through workforce training.”

More than 56 percent of this grant training will focus in specialized and emerging IT technologies, including virtualization and cloud computing software, software frameworks for supporting web-based applications developed by RealPage object-relational database management systems and queries, business intelligence and performance management software, data integration from multiple sources for query and analysis and object-oriented programming.

There are also 13 new IT courses included in this project. These courses include training in .NET 4.5, Agile: Effective User Story Writing, Cognos Basic, Cognos Report Development, Cognos Administration and Metadata Modeling, Data Warehousing, Javascript for Modern Web Development, MySQL, PostgreSQL DBA Foundations, PowerShell, SQL Queries, VMware and Technical Data Presentation.

Other training sessions that will be offered include accounting for non-accountants, C#, CPR, financial spreadsheets, Lean Office, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project, project management, root cause analysis, statistical process control, total quality management, business writing, collaboration, conflict management, motivating your team, setting performance expectations and time management.

RealPage, Inc. is a leading provider of software solutions for real estate property management. Its software solutions products and services assist approximately 11,000 customers in managing the operations of more than 10 million rental housing units and more than 200 million square feet of commercial office, retail, industrial and mixed use properties. Relocating its headquarters to Richardson accommodates more than 600 new positions and an anticipated additional employment growth of approximately 2,000 employees by 2018.

Richland College Garland Campus is an award-winning community campus focused on workforce training and development for those entering the workforce and those currently employed who want to enhance their skill set.

For more information about RealPage, Inc., visit For more information about Richland College Garland Campus, visit

Richland College Student Media Receives Newspaper Pacemaker Award

The Richland College student media team recently received a 2016 Newspaper Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) for its student-run paper, Richland Chronicle. In addition, Richland Chronicle staff cartoonist Abraham Igene won second place in the Comic Panel/Strip competition.

“Our students can compete and succeed on a national stage,’” said Erica Edwards, Richland College lead faculty and coordinator of journalism and student media. “The Pacemaker Award recognizes the best of collegiate journalism. It is, frankly, an honor just to be nominated. This year’s finalists include some of the best journalism schools in the country, and for our students’ work to be rewarded for excellence, especially in that company, is a wonderful accolade. I expect this win to propel us toward future accomplishment for both our individual students and as a team.”

This award, which recognizes the general excellence and outstanding achievement done by a college newspaper, was presented at the ACP National College Media Convention in Washington D.C. The Richland Chronicle was one of 30 finalists announced earlier this year and one of only a select few two-year programs in the nominations. Other winners in this category included the University of Georgia, UCLA, Syracuse University, Northwestern University and University of Oregon.

The Pacemaker awards are given in the following categories: newspaper, online, yearbook/magazine and broadcast. A team of professionals judge the entries based on coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics. All ACP member publications are invited to enter the contests every year.

“Winning the Newspaper Pacemaker Award reflects the excellent instruction that our students receive, both in the classroom and in the instructional laboratory environment; in our case, the newsroom and about the dedication and hard work of our students,” added Edwards. “Each entry includes several issues from over the span of the academic year. To be recognized for work that consistently meets those high standards speaks volumes about our students, our team, our program and our college. And while our goal is excellence in journalism rather than awards, it is immensely gratifying!”

As a division of the National Scholastic Press Association, the ACP is a nonprofit association that provides journalism services to students, teachers, media advisers and others in the United States and in other countries. Memberships are open to all student media at public and private schools at an annual membership fee.

The Richland College student media team runs the Richland Chronicle, KDUX Web Radio and KDUX-TV. The Richland Chronicle is published daily online and weekly in print, and many of its former student staff members have moved into editor positions at several four-year institutions and have become staff members at the Fort-Worth Star Telegram, The Dallas Morning News and the Plano Star.

For more information about the ACP, visit For more information about the Richland College student media team, visit

Richland College Dance Program Raises Environmental Awareness with ‘Fire and Ice’ Fall Concert
Two students dancing in sync

Richland College students audition for “Fire & Ice.” Photo by Paul Knudsen.

The Richland College dance program’s movements will go green as it raises awareness of the environment during its fall dance concert, “Fire & Ice,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Fire & Ice” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“’Fire & Ice’ is about creating a greater awareness for our environment through dance performance,” said Sawyer. “The Richland College dance program is collaborating with Richardson Recycles to promote sustainability within our community.”

Each audience member who attends the afternoon show will receive a blue recycle bag from the city of Richardson. The bags can be used as a reusable grocery bags and later can be repurposed into cleaning cloths.

Dance faculty choreography and film work will include original pieces by Claire Augustine, Christie Nelson, Lauren Schieffer and Sawyer. The program will also feature guest performers and choreographers Matt Rivera, the Big Rig Dance Collective and Rhythmic Souls, which is under the direction of Katelyn Harris.

Rivera’s professional experience includes theatrical performances such as “Mamma Mia!” in Las Vegas and the first national runs of “Swing!” and “Movin’ Out.” He also has performed with a variety of dance companies, including Twyla Tharp’s THARP, Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago, Cirque du Soleil and more.

The Big Rig Dance Collective is based in north Texas and produces contemporary dance works that investigate questions big and small through physical experience. Since 2010, the Big Rig Dance Collective has been creating a myriad of dance experiences in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and has presented at many regional and national festivals throughout the United States.

Rhythmic Souls, under the direction of Harris, is a small company of rhythm tap dancers known for their unique blend of style, charisma, innovative choreography and rapid-fire footwork. Rhythmic Souls strives to bring the spirit of tap dance back to the stage and continues the legacy of this American art form. Their cross-genre repertoire infuses rhythm dance with body percussion, sand dancing, contemporary movement, flamenco, swing dance and anything else that might lend itself to rhythmic persuasion.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

Richardson Recycles encourages people to recycle common items such as paper, cardboard, plastic and glass  not only to save landfill space, but  also to help the environment. The City of Richardson offers blue bag collection twice per week for single family homes and annually collects an average of 5,500 tons of recyclable material.

“Fire & Ice” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.

Richland College Early Voting Locations

American flagRichland College and Richland College Garland Campus have been authorized as official Dallas County Early Voting Locations from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. according to the following schedules:

  • Garland Campus – Monday, October 24, through Friday, November 4
  • Richland College – Wednesday, November 2, and Thursday, November 3, (Guadalupe Hall – Main Floor)

These locations provide our students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding communities we serve the convenient opportunity to exercise one of the basic fundamentals of our national democracy, our right to vote.

Minority Serving Institution Convening at Richland College
Mark Mitsui addressing a crowd from the stage.

Keynote speaker Mark Mitsui, former deputy assistant secretary for community colleges at the U.S. Department of Education and current Portland Community College president, addresses the audience at the MSI Convening at Richland College Oct. 14, 2016. Photo by Paul Knudsen.

Richland College recently hosted the Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Convening, “Minority Student Success: Using Data to Effect Change,” during which higher education administrators gathered to discuss collecting and analyzing quantitative data; evidence-based program development; and research methods, best practices and innovations to impact the academic success of minority student populations.

“Richland College’s inaugural MSI Convening engaged key leaders and practitioners from 61 U.S. Department of Education Minority Serving-designated colleges and universities from throughout the nation to advance a shared narrative aimed at achieving greater minority student success through effective use of data,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., Richland College president. “Richland College’s pivotal, multi-year convening lead college role will help shape future advances toward greater minority student equity and success.”

This year’s conference focused on using existing research evidence to develop more robust methods for determining the success of minority-serving programs. With these improved methods, college and university representatives can return to their respective institutions to introduce new initiatives, obtain funding and effect positive change.

Presenters at this year’s MSI Convening included keynote speaker Mark Mitsui, former deputy assistant secretary for community colleges at the U.S. Department of Education and current Portland Community College president, and plenary speaker Robert Teranishi, Ph.D., a UCLA professor of social science and comparative education, recently appointed by President Obama to the board of directors of the National Board for Education Services.

The MSI Convening was made possible in part through a grant from the AANAPISI program of the Department of Education and by State Farm®, Presenting Sponsor.

Holding two designations by the U.S. Department of Education as an AANAPISI and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS), Richland College is one of only nine higher education institutions in the U.S. awarded the AANAPISI grant in fiscal year 2015. With 15 percent of Richland College’s student population comprised of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AAPI) students and at least half demonstrating financial need, AANAPISI funding impacts many of the college’s underserved students. The program helps Richland College to increase the three-year graduation rate for AAPI students who have one or more risks to success and completion, such as financial need or academic challenges.

For more information on the MSI Convening, visit