Category Archives: Technology
Science and technology have merged in the anatomy and physiology classes at Richland College, and health professions students are taking advantage of the opportunity to perform digital dissections on an Anatomage Table.
The Anatomage Table is a 6-foot-long 3-D visualization tool that is fully interactive and features the most accurate human anatomy and patient data of any technology currently available. Its touch-screen display allows students to use a finger like a scalpel to make an “incision” anywhere on the “cadaver” to examine its physiological structures. To create realistic images, CT and MRI scans were taken every few millimeters on four cadavers, two men and two women, whose bodies had been donated for this project.
“The Anatomage Table is great for identification of bones, muscle, blood vessels and more,” said Jackie Reynolds, professor of biology at Richland College. “It also shows spatial relationships among organs. In addition, it is great for case studies because it allows students to see the MRI or CT scan and the 3-D image that has been produced from the scans side by side.”
Richland College students have been using the table in classes for approximately two years, and Reynolds has already received many positive responses to the machine from students, many who can see the real-life value of learning on the table.
Kassandra Agundizandmy has been working with the Anatomage Table for two semesters and has found it a useful tool as she prepares for a nursing degree.
“The Anatomage Table has been beneficial for me as the 3-D images with different views give me a better understanding of the anatomy of the human body,” said Agundizandmy. “This table has helped prepare me for my future, as it allows me to view positions of organs, vessels bones and more. My most memorable experience was when we did a case study about a man who was shot in the head and were able to learn about him through the Anatomage Table. I felt like I was a real forensic pathologist examining the skull of the man.”
Experiences like Agundizandmy’s showcase the value of offering digital dissection as an option to health professions students because it allows them to learn about unique conditions or abnormal structures that may not be available on standard cadavers. It also allows students instantly to compare the abnormalities to a normal example.
“Students really enjoy using the Anatomage table,” said Reynolds. “We don’t have real cadavers in a classroom, but this is as close as you can get. It makes studying anatomy and physiology more fun. Having this machine makes Richland College more advanced than some four-year universities in the area that don’t have the same technology as we do.”
Mildred Garcia is also pursuing a nursing degree and has worked with the Anatomage Table for two semesters. “I really find the Anatomage Table beneficial,” Garcia said. “We get to see an entire body from skin to blood vessels, bones and organs. I think it’s a great for everyone to use, especially visual learners.”
The Anatomage Table provides a multi-faceted learning experience for students with a variety of tools allowing users to visualize structures of the body. The virtual cadaver can be peeled back in layers for users to learn about muscles, organs and bones, or students can study individual systems such as the cardiovascular or nervous systems. The cadaver can be viewed and worked on from any angle, such as on its back or sitting up, to simulate potential positions a patient may be in. Specific body parts can be highlighted or removed from view, and more than 1,400 pathology images are also available on the table for students to examine. By allowing students also to revert to a previous view of the structure, layer or system on which they are working, it also gives students the chance to approach their learning from an angle of discovery and curiosity without the threat of costly mistakes such as an accidental cut.
As part of the setup for the Anatomage Table at Richland College, a double screen was added to the wall of the anatomy and physiology lab classroom to ensure that all students in a class would be able to view the work being done by peers at the table.
Anatomage is a medical device company that has been developing creative, leading-edge products for the medical and dental industries since 2004. For more information about the Anatomage table, visit anatomage.com. For more information about the health professions programs at Richland College, visit richlandcollege.edu/cd/instruct-divisions/rlc/mshp/hp/pages/default.aspx.
Richland College computer information technology faculty members Rod Lamb and Rich Park were recently honored by Cisco Networking Academy with the Expert Level Instructor Excellence Award, a distinction that recognizes Lamb and Park as being in the top 10 percent of the academy’s instructors globally.
Lamb, also the computer information technology program administrator, has more than 18 years of experience as a Cisco Networking Academy instructor and has been previously awarded the Expert Level Excellence Award in 2014, 2015 and 2017. In addition, he has also twice received the Advanced Level Excellence Award, recognizing the top 25 percent of instructors globally.
Park also has more than 18 years of experience as a Cisco Networking Academy instructor and was previously awarded the Expert Level Excellence Award in 2013, 2016 and 2017. He also has twice previously received the Advanced Level Excellence Award.
“It’s nice to get the recognition,” said Lamb. “I think it shows the quality of the instructional faculty we have here, and I think that’s what spoke to me the most when I got it: the level of knowledge and expertise we have at Richland College.” Lamb went on to explain that very few other colleges had more than one instructor on the list of Expert Level Excellence Award winners.
Cisco Networking Academy program awards are determined using an instructor recognition score based on several factors, including participation in regional instructor online groups; participation in Cisco professional development opportunities; attention to student needs, measured by satisfaction with lab facilitation and student interest in the courses; student performance on the first attempt of the final exam; and instructor use of Cisco resources such as assessments.
Richland College offers courses that prepare students for the Cisco Certified Networking Associate and Cisco Certified Networking Professional exams. In this training, students learn how to design, build and secure intelligent networks while developing other skills such as leadership and collaboration. The CCNA certification is a foundation-level networking certification, while the CCNP is more advanced and shows that the certificate holder has the networking expertise to meet the needs of varying IT and networking job roles.
Cisco Systems, Inc. develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment and other high technology services and products and is the largest networking company in the world.
Cisco Networking Academy program began in 1997 when Cisco donated networking equipment to a local school, but it sat unused because no one was trained on it. Realizing this gap, Cisco stepped in and trained the staff to build their network, and Cisco Networking Academy Program grew from a single school to an ever-expanding community of students, educators, employers, non-governmental organizations, Cisco employees and customers. Cisco Networking Academy has impacted more than 7.8 million students in 180 countries, partnering with 22,000 educators and instructors at 10,400 academies.
Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), City of Richardson and local Richardson information technology industry representatives participated in a check-signing ceremony March 22 at Argo Data Resource, Inc. Richland College was awarded a $523,089 Skills Development Fund grant by the Texas Workforce Commission to train 197 IT employees, totaling more than 8,334 training hours, for Richardson’s first IT Consortium, consisting of Richardson employers Argo Data Resource, Inc., a financial and healthcare software company; GXA Network Solutions, an IT help support company; and the Wilkins Group, a telecommunication support company.
Training under the grant includes business technical, general technical and non-technical training in subjects ranging from specific software applications to accounting to customer service and more. In addition to training incumbent employees, this grant will add 21 new jobs to the IT Consortium companies.
“This training, delivered by Richland College Garland Campus, empowers employees through enhanced skill development and provides the companies with a competitive edge in an ever-changing global IT market,” said Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D.
At the ceremony, Eggleston also spoke about the impact this training will have on their employers and the local economy, as well as applauding each company involved for their dedication to enhancing the skills of their workforces and expanding the economic base of Richardson, the North Texas region and the state of Texas.
“Richland College appreciates the ongoing confidence the Texas Workforce Commission, the Richardson business community and company partners place in us as a dependable, experienced, high-quality, results-focused training provider,” Eggleston said. “We remain ready and willing to serve.”
“Everything requires IT. That’s what makes what you’re doing here so impressive,” Texas Workforce Commission commissioner representing labor, Julian Alvarez, said. He addressed the gathered crowd and discussed technology’s rapid growth and change and how businesses statewide in all sectors require employees with IT skills, noting that Richland College has been listening to the local business community and providing customized training to fit the needs of these employers.
“The regional impact of this training, and the commitment by our three entities today, is $4.4 million in the local community, and that’s just one grant that we’re doing,” said Alvarez.
At Argo Data Resource, Inc., GXA Network Solutions and the Wilkins Group, training is already underway, with additional courses to be taught during the coming months.
“We’ve gained skills that we’re going to use to implement better IT projects and better IT solutions that will help build stronger Texas businesses,” said George Makaye, president of GXA Network Solutions.
Upon completion of this training, Richland College hopes to continue working with the Texas Workforce Commission to receive additional Skills Development Fund grants to offer training opportunities to additional Richardson-based IT businesses every six months.
“We are very thankful for the continued partnership between Richland College and the Texas Workforce Commission,” said Richardson mayor Paul Voelker. “During the past several years, their combined efforts have created millions of dollars in training opportunities for Richardson businesses, and this latest investment will serve as another prime example we will use to retain and attract jobs to our Telecom Corridor® area.”
The Richardson Economic Development Partnership, a joint initiative established by the City of Richardson and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce dedicated to building a vibrant and thriving local economy, has now assisted Richland College in facilitating Skills Development Fund grants totaling nearly $3 million to five Richardson companies since 2014.
“We’re thrilled that connections made through the chamber helped bring together Richardson businesses with this highly technical training,” said Richardson Chamber president Bill Sproull. “We’re proud of Richland College’s partnership in preparing our workforce for the valuable technical opportunities we continue to attract to Richardson.”
For additional information about the Skills Development Fund program with Richland College and the TWC, visit https://www.richlandcollege.edu/aboutrlc/garland-campus/pages/skills-development-fund.aspx.
When Richland College was awarded the $3.25 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in Sept. 2014, the potential impact on local industry was evident. The funds from this grant, along with multiple partnerships with employers in Dallas, Richardson and Garland, would equip Richland College with the tools and technology needed to train local veterans and others seeking to enter or re-enter the high-demand technology job market. In turn, local companies would receive qualified employees ready for immediate employment and trained on industry-recognized equipment.
Richland College’s Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center is a very tangible result of the TAACCCT grant funds. The space is fully equipped with leading edge, industry-quality technology that allows engineering and manufacturing students to have relevant, hands-on experience and career-focused training. It features an advanced manufacturing center, electronics engineering equipment, a robotics training lab and multiple classrooms for additional technology training.
It is in this innovative, technologically advanced place that the other tangible results of the grant have been taking shape as students prepare to enter the workforce.
Cisco Iturbe is an electrical engineering technology student at Richland College and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He has been attending Richland College for several semesters and is looking forward to graduating soon with one course remaining. His immediate goal is to get a job in the electrical engineering field, and he hopes eventually to own his own business.
After completing four years of active duty and two years in the reserves, Iturbe came to Richland College because of the equipment he saw set up in the labs, which he felt allowed students the opportunity to learn in an industry-standard environment and gain vital hands-on experience. As a student, the variety of equipment available has also provided Iturbe the opportunity to enhance his electronics technology education with experience in other areas that may help him in the future, such hydraulics, manufacturing and robotics.
“For me, doing things hands-on is very important,” said Iturbe. “Once you get your hands on something, it makes a world of difference because if you’ve never touched it, you don’t know what it feels like or what it does. If you don’t know that, then how are you going to do anything with it? So Richland College gives me the opportunity to learn and embed it as a muscle memory, not just an educational memory.”
“I would recommend Richland because of the different areas they teach you,” said Iturbe. “I’m here for electronics, but I’ve learned a few other things that have helped. Richland is here to help in a lot of ways—so many people want to help you. The staff is really uplifting, and the professors really know their stuff.”
According to Garth Clayton, Ph. D., Richland College’s dean of resource development, Iturbe is one of approximately 50 veterans who are now involved in the advanced manufacturing or electronics technology programs in the TEAM Center.
“One of the things we offer here is the replication of the real experience,” said Clayton. “We have invested a great deal of our resources in offering different brands of the same equipment that people use in real life. And what happens is that [the students] learn to do everything here to walk into the job, able to work with whatever the employer provides. So they are hitting the ground running whenever they obtain one of our degrees or certificates.”
Advanced manufacturing student Monica Lee has watched the TEAM Center develop around her and become a thriving learning space as she has studied at Richland College during the past three years.
“I was looking to do something with 3D modeling and design, things like AutoCAD and industrial design. I live here in Dallas, and I was doing research and saw that Richland had those classes offered here,” said Lee. “I came down and checked out the campus and was really impressed with what was available. Even though the lab wasn’t finished when I started, I got to see it come to fruition, and it’s just an amazing facility.”
To prepare Lee and other advanced manufacturing students, the program at Richland College teaches them each step of the process, starting with designing a part on a computer that will later be manufactured. From there, students design how the machine will cut the part, and once that is complete, they simply walk down the hall to the lab and actually create what they designed, cutting the metal and setting up the machines themselves. Lee describes this start-to-finish education as hands-on support to what students learn in the classroom, which to her is key to understanding what goes into the technical requirements of manufacturing.
Lee will graduate this May with not only her class experience, but also on-the-job training through an internship obtained via Richland’s corporate partnership with Raytheon Precision Manufacturing, where she hopes to continue working and growing in her career after graduating with an associate degree.
“All the technology at this internship was the same, and all the skills that I learned here [at Richland College] were immediately used from day one,” said Lee. “It helped me be able to shine in the job because I knew firsthand what was going on. So it was actually really seamless to go from Richland to my internship.”
While Iturbe and Lee are studying in different programs and have different goals, both of them, along with many other students, have benefited from the TAAACCCT grant and Richland College’s TEAM Center.
“Cisco [Iturbe] is a great example of someone who likes our program and can see a future for himself in it, and Monica [Lee] is also an example of the way that our students are able to transition into the workforce very quickly and very easily,” said Clayton. “As part of this community, which includes a very vibrant advanced manufacturing and electronics technology group of corporations and shops, we are pleased to be able to support them in this way.”
As a direct result of the grant, Richland College’s accomplishments to date include: 14,500 square feet of renovated space; $1.3 million worth of capital equipment and $400,000 worth of minor equipment, all installed and now operating since 2016; three additional faculty members and three additional staff members hired; two credit certificate and one continuing education certificate offerings added; 37 Associate of Applied Science degrees and 39 certificates in electronics and manufacturing awarded; 32 Associate of Applied Science degrees and 136 certificates in computer information technology awarded since that program’s inclusion in the grant; 292 students enrolled in electronics and manufacturing programs and 464 students in computer information technology programs in the 2018 spring semester; and 277 passed NIMS credentials in eight different credential exams. In addition, Richland College has also completed a cognitive task analysis and received new courseware for wire EDM, another common manufacturing process.
Even though the grant has ended, Richland College will continue to offer the curricula that were promised in the grant; offer credit for prior learning; add and replace additional equipment such as hydraulics, motor controls, modular assembly systems and programmable logic controllers; and will be adding new automation courses for aerospace, defense and communication needs.
Prior to installing the new equipment in the TEAM Center, Richland College donated all its previous, usable equipment to the Richardson Independent School District and the Garland Independent School District. Richland College also has technology-based early college high school programs with Dallas Independent School District’s Hillcrest High School and Emmett J. Conrad High School, giving high school students the opportunity to earn both their high school diploma and an Associate of Applied Science degree in just four years.
A recent event at Richland College celebrated these accomplishments and the student success that came as a direct result of the TAACCCT grant funds. At the event, Richardson mayor Paul Voelker spoke about the impact the grant had upon Richland College, and as a direct result, the impact of those workforce-ready students entering the local job force, specifically in Richardson’s Telecom Corridor.
“I’m keenly aware of what you’re doing here and the value added,” Voelker told the crowd. “It’s so important today that our employers know that their talent is here, and if it’s not here, we can create it here, or we can reinvent it here because we are always constantly learning.”
“Coming full-circle and seeing the advanced manufacturing capabilities that we can do right here, not only in the USA, but in north Texas, is pretty cool. We can compete with anybody in the world, at any level, because we have the talent and what it takes to make those businesses successful.”
For more information about Richland College’s School of Engineering and Technology or the TEAM Center, visit richlandcollege.edu/et.
Richland College has two upcoming Amazon Web Services (AWS) Academy curriculum classes, beginning March 19 and May 14, designed to prepare students for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification exam.
Taught by Richland College information technology and cloud computing faculty member Juli Hart, AWS solutions architect students will develop technical expertise in cloud computing and will have access to course manuals, online knowledge assessments, hands-on labs, a free practice certification exam and a discount voucher for the actual certification exam.
The classes are Monday and Wednesday evenings at 5:30 and last for eight weeks each.
“Cloud technology is the future,” said Hart. “Having familiarity with it, in some degree, is going to be a requirement for anyone wishing to be successful in IT.”
Cloud services platforms such as AWS provide rapid access to flexible and low-cost IT resources. Using cloud services allows companies to avoid the large, upfront expenses associated with servers, storage and applications, in addition to the heavy lifting and high cost of managing and maintaining that hardware. Cloud computing offers easy access to servers, storage, databases and a broad set of application services over the Internet, allowing users to retrieve and use resources they need almost instantly and only paying for what they use.
With AWS being the industry leader in cloud computing, AWS certification holders are extremely relevant and valued in today’s IT job market. According to the Global Knowledge 2017 IT Skills and Salary Survey, the average salary of AWS-certified professionals is 27.5 percent higher than those without an AWS certification.
For Hart, creating a rapport with her students at Richland College is easy. Hart used to be a Richland College student herself before becoming an instructor. Since then, she has alternated teaching at Richland College with consulting, all the while amassing an impressive list of software certifications, including but not limited to AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate, Linux+ and Network+, in addition to multiple certifications from Microsoft, VMWare, Cisco, Sonicwall, Citrix and Novell. Through this extensive experience, Hart is able to offer her students a real-world perspective as to how the class curriculum will assist their careers in the future, providing first-hand examples of real situations and tying together theories with practical experience.
Hart also recently taught an AWS apprenticeship program, in which military veterans learned about cloud-based solutions while also completing paid internships with Amazon. Through Hart’s instruction and guidance, every student in the first cohort successfully passed the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification. Hart will be soon teaching a second cohort of veterans, scheduled to start later this spring.
To register for classes at Richland College, visit richlandcollege.edu.
The Richland College Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center had its grand opening yesterday, advancing the college’s mission of teaching, learning and community building. The new TEAM Center also addresses the need to contribute to the growth of the current and future Dallas economy by developing human capital success of key regional industries and employers.
With leading edge, industry-quality technology, the Richland College TEAM Center offers students hands-on learning experiences and delivers career-focused training leading to high-demand jobs in engineering, electrical engineering technology, electronics technology and advanced manufacturing.
Funding for the TEAM Center design, renovation and equipment was made possible through the $1.5 million portion of equipment funding provided by a $3.2 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor; more than $2.7 million from the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Chancellor’s Career Ladder Funds; $1.6 million from Richland College’s institutional funds; and a gift of $500,000 from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) to fund the newly-redesigned electrical engineering technology programs at Richland, Eastfield and Mountain View colleges.
“The TEAM Center is fully equipped to provide students exceptional hands-on, industry-specific, degree-focused, problem-based learning experiences and career training with stackable industry-recognized certifications,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., Richland College president.
President Eggleston and Dr. Joe May, DCCCD chancellor, presided at the open house and ribbon cutting, with special guests including Dr. Peter Balyta, president of Texas Instruments Education Technology, and Edgar Garcia, Workforce Development Specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor.
“The leadership of Dallas County Community College District Chancellor Dr. Joe May has been paramount in the success of the significant public-private partnerships necessary to make this TEAM Center possible,” said Eggleston. “Chancellor May is deeply committed to improving the Dallas economy by helping to grow middle-class jobs to jump start new economic investment and job creation.”
The TEAM Center was designed by Aaron Farmer, Yvette Jarvis and Fred Peña of Booziotis & Company Architects. Also involved in the design and construction process were David Boon and Ken Fulk, project engineers with Reed, Wells, Benson and Company; Jacob Williams, project manager, and Danny Purselley, project superintendent, with Byrne Construction Services; Judy Lembke, construction manager with Lemco Construction Services; and Clyde Porter, DCCCD associate vice chancellor/district architect, and Jean Hill, DCCCD project manager.
The advanced manufacturing program at Richland College prepares students for entry-level manufacturing positions through an associate degree, three certificates and two skills achievement awards. The electrical engineering technology degree and electronics technology degree prepare students for technician-level employment in semiconductor, electronics and related industries through an associate degree or a certificate.
Motion capture technology specialist Vicon recently announced that it has partnered with Richland College’s Interactive Simulation and Game Technology department to provide all students in the department’s motion capture (mocap) class with industry-standard Blade software. Designed for a future where motion capture and live-action shooting become indistinguishable, Blade will enable Richland’s students to capture performances effortlessly and deliver robust, reliable data that enables creativity.
The Interactive Simulation and Game Technology program at Richland gives students the opportunity to work with the current software programs and sophisticated gaming technology that professionals use. The motion capture class gives students hands-on experience in everything from organizing a shoot with multiple actors and a shot list to post processing the data, using Blade software for capturing, labeling, tracking/cleaning and solving.
“Vicon is a leader in motion capture systems—you get better quality data, cutting-edge hardware and software, and good customer service,” said Richland College’s motion capture instructor, Brian Mckee, who has used Vicon systems throughout his career at top studios including Gearbox Games, Blur Studios, and House of Moves. “The ability to work with and learn Blade will give students a major advantage as they try to enter a small and competitive industry.”
“Richland College is located in the heart of Dallas, which is considered one of the top cities for game development,” said Jeffrey Ovadya, sales and marketing director, Vicon. “By partnering with Richland, we’re helping future generations of mocap professionals on their path to success in their real-world careers.”
Academy Award®-winning Vicon is the world’s largest supplier of precision motion tracking systems and match-moving software. It serves customers in CG animation, engineering and life sciences industries. As well as those in film, visual effects, video games and broadcast television sectors.
Vicon is a subsidiary of OMG (Oxford Metrics Group – LSE: OMG), plc., the technology group providing Computer Vision products and services for the entertainment, life science, engineering industries and consumer electronics markets. Other holdings include: OMG Life, our IP licensing business; and Yotta, a provider of software and services for infrastructure asset management.
Among many others, Vicon global clients include:
- Engineering: European Space Agency, BMW, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – South Africa, ETH Zurich, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, NRL, UPENN GRASP, MIT, Ford and General Motors
- Entertainment: Framestore, Audiomotion, The Imaginarium, Quantic Dream, SEGA, Konami, Activision, Sony, Dreamworks, ILM and USC
- Life Sciences: Imperial College – London, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre – Oxford, Headley Court, University of Western Australia, Adidas, Digital Human Research Centre – Japan, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Shriners, Marquette, UMich and Red Bull
The technology, created by Organic Motion, allows users to use the lab without the need of reflective markers at their joints like traditional motion capture labs require. The Organic OpenStage2 system has 18 cameras that surround the user and capture motion, feeding the data into a computer algorithm that detects the skeletal resemblance of human motion.
This technology was recently used in the creation of the “Batman: Arkham Origins” video game, released in 2013 by Warner Bros.
“The technology is very similar to the Xbox Kinect, but on steroids!” said Dan Dao, Richland College multimedia lead faculty member. “When a person moves, it’s not just about hands and wrists. It’s about all of you: arms, legs, knees, waist, and hips.”
In the motion capture lab, students are able to calibrate the machines in just a few minutes, allowing for a low-maintenance system and the ability to do independent work.
“Students don’t have to worry about wearing special suits,” said Dao. “Within just a few minutes, students can work by themselves and do self-recording.”
Dallas is considered one of the top cities in the U.S. for game development and currently has more than 30 game companies employing 1,000 workers. Dallas is also home to Bottle Rocket Apps, a large mobile app and game developer, that has produced more than 50 apps and is ranked number five in the top 100 places to work in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Being situated so close to the industry gives Richland College students an advantage in providing gaming students special opportunities to visit companies to playtest games soon to be released, industry tours and interaction with industry leaders in the gaming and interactive simulation fields. The growing industry provides an array of employment opportunities for Richland College program completers.
Richland College will begin teaching classes in motion capture technology during the spring 2015 semester, with additional classes being added in subsequent semesters. For more information on Richland College’s Interactive Simulation and Game Technology program, click here.
DALLAS – Richland College, of the Dallas County Community College District, is one of only two Texas institutions awarded a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor during a ceremony hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in Washington, D.C., on Mon., Sept. 29.
This $3.25 million grant will help equip Richland College train Texans who require new job skills for immediate employment. By leveraging Richland’s existing manufacturing and electronics technology programs, partnerships with 14 Dallas employers, the City of Garland, the City of Richardson and the Metroplex Technology Business Council with TAACCCT grant funds, the Veterans-Focused Engineering Technology Project (VFETP) will meet the needs of local veterans and others who seek training to enter or re-enter the local job market.
The VFETP offers associate degrees (with credit-applicable education or experience) in manufacturing and electronics technology. The program also will offer certificates in electromechanical maintenance, advanced design for manufacturing, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). The curricula will follow national credentialing standards from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) and the International Society of Certified Electronic Technicians (ISCET). Richland College’s employer partners include Alexandria Industries; Atlas Copco; the City of Richardson, Texas; DW Distribution; Garland Power & Light; Kenney Industries; Oncor; QT Manufacturing; Raytheon; Romeo Engineering; Smart GeoMetrics; Texas Instruments; the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; the North Texas chapter of the National Tooling & Machining Association; and the Metroplex Technology Business Council. Richland College will collaborate with Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas to identify potential students, including veterans, as well.
The employer partners have committed to hiring program completers, supporting curriculum development, offering internships and providing on-the-job training for students.
Dr. Kathryn K. Eggleston, president of Richland College, said, “With TAACCCT funds, Richland College is strategically positioned to bridge critical gaps of two kinds: one between the workforce and specialized employment training and the other between that workforce and local employer needs. The VFETP is designed to help Texans access training, to help them succeed in completing training and to match program completers with jobs in growing industries.”
Dr. Joe May, DCCCD’s chancellor, said, “The Dallas County Community College District focuses on job-driven training and and partnerships that can help rebuild America’s middle class. The grant received by Richland College means that we can train students – veterans, in particular – in fields that will continue to grow and which offer jobs now in the fields of advanced manufacturing, mechatronics and electronics manufacturing. We support economic and workforce development, and this grant enables Richland College to involve industry partners, support our communities and assist veterans as they seek good jobs and re-enter the workforce.”
Richland College’s grant funding is part of the larger TAACCCT competitive grant program co-administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the U.S. Department of Education. ETA announced 71 new grants under this program to single-institution applications and intra-state consortiums across the nation. The purpose of TAACCCT grants is to close educational gaps between potential employees and employers in growing industries, such as advanced manufacturing.
“Community colleges play a vital role in training Americans to meet the needs of employers today,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “As our economy continues to rebuild, businesses are looking for employees with the skills their company needs to stay competitive….These grants help meet those demands, providing critical investments in education and supporting key partnerships.”
Watch the grant announcement ceremony:
For more information about Richland’s manufacturing and electronics technology programs, visit http://www.richlandcollege.edu/engineeringtech/ and http://www.richlandcollege.edu/certs/manufacturingTechnology and or contact Martha Hogan, executive dean, Richland College School of Engineering, Business and Technology, by email at email@example.com or by phone at (972) 238-6210.
Students need role models, whether they are enrolled in K-12 or college. Often, students don’t realize that they themselves can be role models, but that’s what happens when a select group of Dallas County Community College District students are named LeCroy Scholars every year. Those individuals, who are campus leaders among the seven colleges in the DCCCD system, also serve as role models for their peers, volunteers in their communities and organizers who work to serve others.
Some have served as mentors, team captains, officers in academic honor societies, band members, tutors, student ambassadors for their colleges, and volunteers for church and community-based organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Family Place.
They have inspired other students, as well as DCCCD faculty, staff and administrators; as a result, eight students have been named 2014-2015 LeCroy Scholarship recipients by the DCCCD Foundation for their outstanding leadership and academic achievements.
The program honors one of DCCCD’s former chancellors, Dr. R. Jan LeCroy, who served in that capacity from 1981 to 1988. Students selected as LeCroy Scholars receive full tuition and books for up to four semesters. All recipients may attend any of the seven colleges in the DCCCD system: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake or Richland.
The LeCroy Scholars fund was established with a grant donated by Mike A. Myers and the Mike Myers Foundation in 1988 to honor his longtime friend, Dr. Jan LeCroy, who passed away in 2013. The program was the first major student recognition and incentive scholarship created for DCCCD.
Myers, who currently serves as chairman and president of Myers Financial Corp., took an active role with LeCroy, when he was still living, in the selection process. Myers will continue to carry on his personal involvement with the program: he will interview finalists and help with the selection of the scholarship recipients, as well as personally mentor those students throughout the year – providing valuable insight and advice to help LeCroy Scholars succeed in school and in their communities. Myers and LeCroy previously hosted a number of events during the year that provided opportunities for scholars to network with other recipients, including a yearly gathering of former and current LeCroy Scholars. Myers plans to continue that tradition as well.
The scholarship recipients, the colleges they attend and their chosen fields of study are:
- Taryn Allen of Rowlett, Eastfield College, general studies;
- Kym Gonzalez of Dallas, Mountain View College, business and Spanish;
- Michael Heggie of Garland, Eastfield College, psychology;
- Benjamin Kellogg of Flower Mound, North Lake College, electrical engineering;
- Joseph Marble of Dallas, Richland College, criminal justice;
- Rachel Quiroga of Dallas, Eastfield College, nursing;
- Elisabeth Tuttass of Flower Mound, North Lake College, psychology; and
- Brian Weidinger of Rowlett, Eastfield College, general studies.
Five DCCCD students are returning LeCroy Scholars for 2014-2015:
- Edith Barajas of Garland, Richland College, accounting;
- Tiffani Coleman of Dallas, Richland College, social work;
- Cody Dziak of Mesquite, Eastfield College, biology/kinesiology;
- Victoria Livingston of Dallas, El Centro College, science; and
- Itzel Ruiz of Dallas, El Centro College, criminal justice.
For more information, contact Kathye Hammontree in the DCCCD Foundation office by phone at (214) 378-1536 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.