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)
Expect the unexpected when the Richland College dance program stages its spring dance concert, “Serendipity,” with performances at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. March 31.
Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Serendipity” will feature students, faculty members and guest performers in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop.
“’Serendipity’ is sure to tickle your fancy with unexpected twists and turns,” said Sawyer. “The dance performances embrace creative thinking and art-making.”
Dance faculty choreography and film work will include original pieces by guest performer Darrell Cleveland and faculty members Nadia Dosal, Christie Nelson, Lauren Schieffer and Sawyer. Additional guest performers and choreographers include Keira Leverton and the Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project.
Darrell Cleveland is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor with 20 years of experience in ballet, jazz and modern dance forms. His experience includes teaching at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, dancing with Toni Braxton and En Vogue, eight seasons with the Dallas Black Dance Theater and choreographing and starring in statewide Texas Lottery commercials.
Keira Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.
The Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project (TMJDP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uses the art of dance to promote community outreach, cultural awareness, social consciousness, art in education and the preservation of live performance art. Its mission is to support the welfare of underserved communities through the creation and implementation of art and culture programs that are rooted in the principles of humanity. The TMJDP professional company is a collective of performing artists that engages audiences with choreographic works that are socially conscious, critically engaging and aesthetically pleasing.
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.
“Serendipity” 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. Additional information is available at richlandcollege.edu/dance.
Richland College students traveled to Austin to attend Community College Day at the Texas State Capitol on Feb. 7. Through meetings with legislators and panel sessions with key policy makers, students had the opportunity to voice their opinions about how a community college education has impacted their lives. Front row (left to right): Bel Khuu, Zahara Wadud, Domenica Barboza, Michelle Callahan, Seth Sotelo. Second row: Greg Weasah, Daniel Vargas, Edward Sesay, Riyan Edris, Juan Molina, Yoselyn Diaz, Alejandra Rivera. Third row: Essence Provost, Clifton McVea. Photo by Keenan Cobb.
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 email@example.com.
Garland Can Academy is located at 2256 Arapaho Road in Garland. Information on the academy is available at texanscan.org/schools-and-programs/garland.
The Richland College wrestling team recently defeated the University of North Texas 41 to 12 at a dual match hosted at the Richland College gym Jan. 20. After UNT forfeited three matches to Richland, Richland won five of the eight contests remaining. Richland will be competing in a national tournament in St. George, Utah, on Jan. 28. Afterward, the team will return for the state duals and qualifier for the National Collegiate Wrestling Association tournament to be held in Allen, Tex., in March.
Richland College and State Farm recently partnered up to offer Richland students the opportunity to join a mentor program with mid- and senior-level employees at State Farm in Richardson. The program is designed in a multifaceted manner that pairs students with likeminded individuals, allowing the students the opportunity to interact and engage with State Farm employees and receive guidance on future educational goals and career options.
To apply, fill out the application located here.
Richland College invites the public to attend a community forum regarding Senate Bill 11, also known as “Concealed Carry” and “Campus Carry,” at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 in Sabine Hall, room SH118. The intent of this public forum is to seek feedback regarding potential gun-free zones at Richland College and answer questions community members may have about Concealed Carry on the Richland College campus.
Information collected at the forum will be communicated to the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Concealed Carry committee and assimilated into recommendations to the DCCCD chancellor, who will work with the DCCCD Board of Trustees to set the policies and procedures for DCCCD colleges and locations.
The Concealed Carry legislation permits a Licensed to Carry (LTC) holder to carry a concealed handgun on or about his or her person on the campus of an institution of higher education in Texas. Signed by the governor in June 2015, the law went into effect for four-year colleges and universities on Aug. 1, 2016, and will go into effect for DCCCD and other Texas community colleges on Aug. 1, 2017.
The law allows institutions to consult with students, faculty, staff and the community to establish reasonable rules or regulations that prohibit LTC holders from carrying concealed handguns on certain areas of campus, in a building or a portion of a building as long as the rules and regulations do not have the effect of generally prohibiting a license holder from carrying a concealed handgun on campus. Effective notice must be provided anywhere handguns may not be carried.
“While Concealed Carry remains a contentious topic, the initial phase of the debate has yielded to complying with the passed legislation,” said Scott Branks del Llano, Ph.D., coordinator for the Richland College Institute for Peace and Human Rights. “We are now confronted with implementation and the task of recommending gun-free zones on each of our campuses.”
The law does not allow Open Carry on college campuses and does not allow the carry of rifles or shotguns on college campuses. A handgun is a pistol, revolver or other firearm for which the length of the barrel, which, not including the revolving, detachable or magazine breech, does not exceed 12 inches.
Additional information about Concealed Carry is available at richlandcollege.edu/police-department/concealed-carry. Questions and concerns can be emailed to ConcealedCarry@dcccd.edu.
Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas.
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 bandofthewest.af.mil. For more information about the Richland College music department, visit richlandcollege.edu/hfp/music.
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.
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 realpage.com. For more information about Richland College Garland Campus, visit richlandcollege.edu/garland-campus.
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 studentpress.org/acp. For more information about the Richland College student media team, visit richlandcollege.edu/worldlanguages/mass-communications-journalism/student-media.