Category Archives: Uncategorized

Teen and Adult Driver Education Courses Available
Richland College now offers teen and adult driver’s education courses through Virtual Drive


This 100% Online Parent Taught Teen Driver’s Education Course uses the Texas state approved concurrent learning method. Each module consists of a main lesson, topics and support material. The full-narrated course helps drivers with understanding the rules of the road, state laws and safe driving techniques. At the conclusion of each module there is a 6 to 10 question knowledge exam and a full comprehensive material review at the conclusion of each chapter. At the end of the course the student will complete the final assessment. This 50-question exam only covers materials learned in the course and the student can take it as many times as they need to pass. Successful course completion of this approved course fulfills your written DPS exam requirements.

Once a student registers with the State of Texas to take the Parent Taught Program (form DL-92) and finishes Module 1 of Virtual Drive of Texas, he/she will be prepared to apply for a Learner’s Permit through his/her local DPS office. Please be aware that the student and parent/guardian must bring the required documents to the driver license office. The forms needed are provided inside the course and an easy to follow video is available to help the parent prepare these forms. Once the student is 16, has held the permit for 6 months, and has completed the Virtual Drive of Texas course, he/she is eligible to apply for an unrestricted Texas Driver License through your local DPS office. Due to new State laws, the student will now be required to take a driving test administered by the DPS. This is a new requirement for all first time drivers in the State of Texas. Don’t worry; there is a supplemental video available that helps the student prepare for the driving test. No other course has anything like this. After the student obtains his/her license, it is recommended that he/she checks with his/her Insurance Agent for reduced rates on insurance. The Virtual Drive Certificate of Completion qualifies for a 10 to 15% discount with most agencies.

Included in the Teen Driver’s Education course is a parent’s section. This section is short, yet informational. The parent (instructor) will be provided with his/her own course that will explain the method of teaching and a review of the material for each of the 7 one-hour lessons. This brief yet informational review will prepare the instructor for the upcoming lesson. After reviewing the information that will be taught, the instructor will be provided with a printable lesson guide that will serve as a reminder of the topics to teach, as well as a record of completion. This instructor disk will also include all of the answers to review questions and worksheets. This will aid the instructor when mentoring each question period.

The cost of the Teen Driver’s Education course is $75.00.


Texas requires first time drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 to complete an approved Adult Driver’s Education course.  This course is approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) as course number #C2636 through Virtual Drive of Texas. Most only take a day to complete this six hour Adult driving course, but students have up to three months to complete the course. Virtual Drive of Texas not only provides the TDLR-recognized ADE-1317 certificate of completion, but also experienced staff to answer any questions you have as you go through the class.

This six hour interactive Texas Adult Driver Education course includes short modules designed to help accelerate your learning and includes end of module practice tests to help you determine how  well you are retaining your knowledge. The Adult course also includes the DPS written test online. Upon completion of the six hours of online training, students have immediate access to their ADE-1317 certificate of completion. Students are able to take their certificate to their local DPS and complete the in-car test in order to obtain a Texas Driver License.  Quick, easy, and timely – you can’t beat it!

The cost of the Adult Driver’s Education course is $38.00.

Please click here to register and pay for the Teen Driver Education or the Adult Driver Education course through Virtual Drive.

During the more than 15 years in which Virtual Drive has provided driver’s education in Texas it has been their pleasure serving the new drivers of Texas, their parents and families. They continue to grow their programs to enhance driving skills for all drivers throughout the state. Since Virtual Drive is state approved you are guaranteed to receive the correct certificate of completion whether you are completing a Parent Taught Teen Drivers Ed course or a Texas Adult Drivers Education Program.

For class questions, please contact Heather L. at 972-238-6918.

For technical questions, please contact the Virtual Drive Help Center at 1-806-352-9558 or 888-83V-DRIVE. 

"It's Election Day, Vote!" and an image of a mouth. Go Vote! Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6!

Make your voice heard! If you didn’t vote early, cast your ballot on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018!

Below is a compilation of information you may find useful. The below information is for Dallas County residents.

First, find your precinct polling location so you know where you need to go on Election Day! You can also use this link to look up your sample ballot.

Once you know where to go and have your sample ballot, research your candidates so you know who you want to vote for and why! Here are a few good, nonpartisan resources: 

Okay, so now you know who you’re voting for and you’re heading to the polls! Here are a few frequently asked questions:

Do I need to bring an ID?
Yes. Identification is required for voting in person, so make sure you bring a driver’s license, Texas personal ID card, passport or one of the other acceptable forms of ID listed here:

I have difficulty walking or standing for long periods. Can someone help me?
Yes! Dallas County offers curbside voting for those who have disabilities that make it difficult to vote inside a polling location. If someone is with you, just have that person notify an election official when you arrive at the polling location, and an official will bring your ballot to your car. If no one is with you, call 214-819-6338 ahead of time and notify the election day clerk that you would like to do curbside voting.

I have another question. Who should I contact?
You can visit for additional information, or you can contact the Dallas County Elections Department at 214-819-6300.

Paige Lehmann plays the guitar Former Richland College Student Launches ‘Restore the Joy!’ Kickstarter Campaign to Give Local High School Students a Boost

Former Richland College student Paige Lehmann has always loved making heartfelt music and helping her local community. Recently, she had an idea to combine these two passions, and the resulting project will be her first music album, “Restore the Joy!”, a project that will include the help and work of Mesquite-area high school students to give them real-world experience and a scholarship for future academic endeavors.

“I hope to give the students opportunities they can’t even imagine,” said Lehmann. “I hope they walk away from ‘Restore the Joy!’ with new friends, opportunities and a sense of joyful accomplishment in their lives. I hope the music itself opens them up to new possibilities.”

To make her idea a reality, Lehmann launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise necessary funds. Kickstarter is an online platform that helps artists, musicians and other creators find resources and support necessary to make their ideas a reality by allowing donors to provide financial backing to projects such as Lehmann’s album.

This timed Kickstarter campaign has a goal of raising $7,040 by 5:57 a.m. Oct. 13. The money raised will go to producing, recording, mixing, mastering, packaging and printing the album, as well as copywriting each song, renting the Mesquite Arts Center for a show, marketing and photography. There will also be incentives given out for different pledge amounts, including digital downloads of the completed album, tickets to a planned performance of “Restore the Joy!” at the Mesquite Arts Center next March, one-hour virtual songwriting sessions and more. If the campaign does not reach its financial goal, the funds will be returned to the original donors.

“Restore the Joy!” will be a collection of instrumental and lyrical songs written in honor of Lehmann’s childhood. The concept for the album came from Lehmann’s memories of spending time with her grandfather, Thomas “Papaw” Lehmann. After he passed away, Lehmann discovered that he wrote hymns during his life. One of these was called “Restore the Joy,” which inspired Lehmann to create an entire album about joy as a tribute to him.

“I always describe the sound as Winnie the Pooh-meets-Mozart,” said Lehmann. “I use real memories from my childhood, like when I saved a Skittle in my hand all day in Kindergarten because I knew Papaw was coming to pick me up. I ended up with a sweaty green Skittle in my left hand and a new one in my right. I was surprised to find out Papaw wanted the non-sweaty red Skittle even though his favorite flavor was lime. Some of my sweetest memories are shared with him, and it is my greatest pleasure to turn those memories into stories and sound.”

Lehmann is working with Mitch Mitchell, local producer and owner of Piano Note 1 Productions in Mesquite, to create this album. The duo chose three students to help with the album: Haniston Halloway and Lilia Mease from Dr. John Horn High School in Mesquite, and Jonvieve Pelino from North Mesquite High School, who will be playing violin and cello for the album. In addition to giving these students experience producing an album, each one will also receive a $1,000 scholarship for future academic endeavors. The scholarship money was donated by Mesquite Chiropractic and Injury, the Mesquite Arts Council, Lehmann, Mitchell and individuals in the community in support of the project.

“During our first rehearsal, I knew this album would be unforgettable,” said Lehmann. “It’s a beautiful tribute to childhood, and these young ladies are already doing an incredible job bringing the sound to life. Everyone is excited about seeing the show and music come together. And, of course, these ladies are very excited for their well-deserved scholarships. Showing these young ladies that anything, literally anything, is possible is the best lesson I can give. Being featured on a full album before leaving high school is a pretty phenomenal item on your portfolio. One student has mentioned that this project will change her life for the better. I know it will for Mitch and me too; it already has!”

Lehmann is a composer who makes music inspired from the spirit of childhood joy. Her musical themes were developed while working as an au pair in Paris, France, and she wants to bring the joy she felt abroad to everyone around her. She attended Richland College in 2011 and transferred to Texas Tech University a year later. “Dr. Sherry Dean-Rovelo from Richland College was a huge influence in my life,” said Lehmann. “She exposed me to French culture and the possibility of working abroad. I always had an admiration for her humanitarian drive and ability to see a project through to fruition. She helped me see big picture ideas. I don’t know if I would have discovered my personal idea palette as quickly as I did without her signature ‘Keep Thinking and Probing’ line when signing off an email. I believed her and did it!”

Lehmann currently works as a marketing coordinator for her parents’ chiropractic business, Mesquite Chiropractic and Injury, and runs her own radio show, “Millennials in the Know,” on local radio station 88.5 KEOM. Lehmann paid 50 percent of the recording bill to help fund the project. For more information about Lehmann, visit

In addition to owning Piano Note 1 Productions, Mitchell is involved with the Mesquite community through serving as the head sound technician at the Mesquite Arts Center and being an active member of the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce. He has 10 years of production experience and has recorded musical styles from hip-hop to Cumbia. Mitchell purchased new recording equipment and software to help bring this project to a professional level. “I don’t know if there is another producer on this planet who has taken on a project like this one,” said Lehmann. “His dedication to integrity, transparency and connection is unlike anyone I’ve met.”

“I hope to give honor to my Papaw and give people a taste of what I experienced as a child with him,” said Lehmann. “He loved me very much and showed me the extraordinary within the ordinary daily items and tasks. This project feels exactly, 100 percent, authentically Paige. Being able to share music about someone I love and opening opportunities for others is my life dream.”

For more information and to donate to the Kickstarter campaign, visit

Four separate panels show a brick layer, warehouse manager, office administration class and forklift driver Training Programs in Garland and South Dallas

Get Skills to Pay Your Bills!

Richland College offers quick, entry-level job training programs in Garland and South Dallas. These programs are designed to get students in the workplace fast.

Grant funding is available to pay for scholarships up to 100% of the training cost to eligible young adults ages 18-24. Transportation assistance is available with these scholarships.

Upon completion of training, earned Richland College certificates and business/industry certifications will be provided to help get you hired!

Garland Campus

Office Administration (11 weeks)
Machine Operator & Forklift (6 weeks)

South Dallas Training Center

Office Administration (11 weeks)
Carpentry Construction (7 weeks)*
Masonry (Brick Laying) Construction (7 weeks)*
Logistics/Warehouse and Forklift (5 weeks)

*No High School Diploma or GED is required for carpentry construction or masonry construction.

For information on any of these programs, please call 214-360-1246 or email

Dr. Eggleston, Dr. Biden and Dr. Stone stand next to each other at the Dallas County Promise launch event, smiling. Richland College President and Richardson ISD Superintendent Greet Former Second Lady Jill Biden at Dallas County Promise Launch May 2

Richland College President Kathryn K. Eggleston, former Second Lady Jill Biden and Richardson Independent School District Superintendent Jeannie Stone connect at the Dallas County Promise launch at W.H. Adamson High School May 2. Richardson ISD schools Richardson High School and Lloyd V. Berkner High School will be part of the second cohort of Dallas County Promise high schools for 2018-19. Photo by Katie Storms.

Student Veterans in DCCCD Reflect on Veterans Day


Derek Cornelius

Derek Cornelius, like many other student veterans on campuses of the Dallas County Community College District, wants to give back to the community and help other veterans.

As he reflects on the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, the 46-year-old Army veteran, who is studying welding at Mountain View College, said he wants to go beyond honoring veterans’ service.

“It is a chance for me, as an individual, to recognize them for their service, especially Vietnam veterans,” Cornelius said. “That’s a group of veterans who really got the short end of the stick when they returned. As much as I appreciate people recognizing me and thanking me, it humbles me more than it makes me feel good.”

Cornelius, who deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq after the 9/11 attacks, said he hopes to help in the future with vocational rehabilitation at the Veterans Administration. “It’s about reaching out, giving back and getting with individuals with disabilities to help them out,” he added.

Christopher Gaytan

Christopher Gaytan

Christopher Gaytan, who served in the Marine Corps and who deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2007, shares Cornelius’ feelings.

“I know I’m a veteran, but I also look at folks who were in the Vietnam War or who were in Desert Storm. I really respect those veterans because they went through some stuff that most other folks can’t even imagine,” Gaytan said. “When I see somebody who is homeless and find out that he or she is a veteran, I wish I could do more for them.”

Serving those who have served

Ken Wisdom, who served in the Army from 1983 to 1988 and who now is studying to become a social worker, said some veterans are coming to back to the country from the Middle East and are having trouble adjusting.

“I would like to help, if I can,” said Wisdom, who did not deploy during his time in the military. “I had it so easy, so they should have it as easy as possible. I want to help them get the resources they need, whether educational, financial or medical.”

Wisdom added that many of his family members served in the military. His two grandfathers served during World War II, two of his uncles served in Korea, and one uncle served in Vietnam, he said.

“Veterans Day gives me a moment to reflect on my relatives who have served in the military. It gives me a moment to be proud of the fact that I’m part of what enables us to hold elections and have the greatest country in the world,” Wisdom said.

Janet Davis, vice president of the Student Veterans of America at Eastfield College, served in the Army from 1978 to 1984. She said she is studying business administration and hopes to transfer to a four-year university after she earns her associate degree.

Davis said she started in the medical field in the Army, and she hopes her degree will help her get a job in a medical office, where she could help other veterans.

“When someone says to me on Veterans Day, ‘Thank you for your service,’ it brings joy to my heart. I feel like I made a difference,” said Davis. “But I still want to give back to my country. I hope someday I can work in a military environment so that I can make a difference in veterans’ lives. I don’t care when they went in or out; we’re still veterans.”

Francisco De La Rosa, 53, retired last year as a sergeant first class from the Texas National Guard after serving in the Army for 31 years. He deployed to Iraq twice, once for Desert Storm in the early 1990s and a second time for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009, and he also served as a peace keeper in Kosovo.

De La Rosa said he had 17-year-old soldiers under his leadership, and he always promised their families that he would bring them back alive, which he did. He said he is honored that people in the U.S. recognize him for his service, but he would rather see other veterans receive the honors on Veterans Day.

“I’m appreciative and honored, but I didn’t do it for the pay or the benefits. I just wanted to serve,” De La Rosa said. “I didn’t want recognition when I joined. I wanted to do my job and help maintain our way of life in the U.S.”

De’Corian Land is majoring in general studies at Eastfield, but he said he hopes to transfer to North Lake College in the future to study logistics because that was his specialty while he was in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. The 24-year-old from Terrell, Texas, served in Afghanistan and is now in the Army Reserve. He said he is planning to go to the Veterans Day parade in Dallas on Friday to honor those who have served.

“Veterans Day is about remembrance – remembering and recognizing everyone who served before me,” he said.

Joshua Moreland, a disabled Navy veteran who operated weapons systems as a fire controlman, said he doesn’t consider Veterans Day a recognition of his service.

“I look at it as a recognition to other veterans, even those who are still on active duty,” said Moreland, who is studying internet development through online classes at both Richland and El Centro colleges. “I don’t consider it an honor to me. A big part of it is that, even as a disabled vet, I have my life, and I can’t help but feel blessed having all four limbs and being sound of mind.”

Moreland said people who go into the military do it selflessly and many give all for their country – and civilians should understand that. He added that he wants to start his own web development company after he finishes his studies and then use his business to help other veterans.

 Veterans Day: More than sales and discounts

 Naomi Zachery, who served in the Army from 2011 to 2015 and who now attends El Centro, said too many veterans are struggling. “Getting free food and discounts doesn’t help us. Too many saw combat, and they’re broken. It takes them years to get over that. Veterans Day should be about helping out those veterans,” Zachery said.

 Eastfield’s Gaytan said Veterans Day should be more about having respect for those who served before him. “It’s not so much getting a free meal. We should think about the folks who didn’t get back and who fought for us. Just remember those vets, the guys who are here. I want to try to take care of them,” he said.

 Veterans can take advantage of financial aid

 Jessica Jenkins, coordinator of the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success at Eastfield and a Navy veteran, said she helps veterans process and receive the military educational benefits they are entitled to receive.

 “As a veteran, I can relate to other veterans, and I understand the things that they may be concerned with,” said Jenkins. “I can help veterans fill out their education benefits application and help them understand the differences between the benefits they may be eligible for before they apply.”

Jenkins added that there are several types of financial aid that a veteran might be able receive, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Texas Hazlewood program and other assistance. But she said veterans have to make sure that they apply early because the VA can take up to six weeks to process their applications.

Richland College Compiles List of Resources for North Texas Tornado Victims and Volunteers

To assist its college community and greater service-area community, Richland College’s human resources office compiled a list of local resources not only to provide information to those displaced from their homes during the Dec. 26 tornadoes, but also to provide individuals looking to identify an outlet through which they can volunteer to help those individuals affected by the recent storms.

Potential volunteers can visit the following link for information on how to help:

Displaced citizens can access the following links for information about obtaining assistance in their recovery from the storms:

Recovery Needs and Assistance:

Resources for Lost Pets:

Resources for Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Employees:

DCCCD Employee Assistance Program, (registration code AWP-DCCCD-1622), 800-343-3822, 800-448-1823 (TDD)

Counseling Resources for Richland College Students and Student Employees:

Richland College Lakeside Resource Center, El Paso Hall room E082, 972-238-3771

Richland College Dean Appointed to Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Panel of Judges

Richland College’s executive dean of planning research, effectiveness and development, Fonda Vera, has been named as a judge for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence.

As one of 12 judges on the panel, Vera will be responsible for selecting which applicants receive site visits, and ultimately, which applicants are recommended to the U.S. secretary of commerce as Baldrige Award recipients. All applicants for the Baldrige Award are evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. Based on these assessments, the highest-ranking applicants are chosen for an on-site visit by a team of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in their applications.

Vera has participated in six Baldrige consensus review teams, leading four as a senior examiner. She has participated in four site visits, one visit as the lead examiner.

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. Awards may be given annually to organizations in each of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care and nonprofit. The award promotes innovation and excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations and publicizes successful performance strategies.

Having received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2005, Richland College remains the first and only community college in the nation to receive this distinguished performance excellence award.

For information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Baldrige Award application process, visit

Richland College Announces Membership in Initiative Aimed at Enhancing Undergraduate Student Learning in Texas

Leap Texas LogoRichland College is one of the founding members of a recently announced consortia of more than 60 higher education institutions in Texas called the Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP): Excellence for Everyone as a Nation Goes to College.

Created by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), LEAP is a national advocacy, campus action, and research initiative that champions the importance of a 21st century liberal education. LEAP Texas provides an opportunity for institutions across the state to collaborate on common issues and a shared purpose, such as upholding the commitment of faculty, providing a strong educational foundation for an increasingly diverse student population, adhering to the Texas Core Curriculum for Higher Education and embedding high-impact practices in the undergraduate curriculum.

“Richland College’s participation as a LEAP institution is consistent with our vision of being ‘the best place we can be to learn, teach and build a sustainable local and world community,’” said Zarina Blankenbaker, Richland College vice president for teaching and learning. “Our student success initiatives are focused on helping students cultivate lifelong learning skills which align with community and employer priorities.”

With such a high number of institutions involved in LEAP Texas, the initiative has great potential for growth and action, with the capacity to reach nearly 900,000 students.

Founded in 1915, AAC&U is considered the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career.

For more information about LEAP Texas, visit

Richland College to Host Dallas Children’s Theater with Performance of ‘Flat Stanley’

Richland College will host the Dallas Children’s Theater (DCT) in a special performance of the DCT’s “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley” on Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m. in Richland’s Fannin Performance Hall.Flat Stanley tour logo art

The performance at Richland College will be the final performance in Dallas before the DCT takes the show on the road, quite literally, on a national tour.

Based on Jeff Brown’s beloved children’s book, “Flat Stanley,” the musical comedy follows Stanley Lambchop, a boy just like everyone else, who makes a wish to be something special. When that wish comes true after a bulletin board falls on Stanley and literally flattens him, he discovers how easy it is to travel the world as a letter via the postal system.

“What I love about the show are all the teachable moments that don’t feel like lessons,” said guest director and Broadway veteran Michael Serrecchias. “It’s a fun, Broadway-style musical comedy about the value of being different and the importance of family.”

The Richland College performance of “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley” is an opportunity for the DCT to preview the show to an audience and begin the process of working in different venues as the cast and crew prepare for the national tour. The production is appropriate for children over the age of five and is free and open to the public.

The DCT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and was founded in 1984 to address a growing need for professional family theater. It is a forum for artistic collaboration, an educational resource for metropolitan schools and a vehicle of enrichment for the greater Dallas community. The DCT has been touring nationally for 17 years and has been designated as an American Masterpieces Touring Artist by the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about the Dallas Children’s Theater, visit