Twenty-six students from Thomas Jefferson High School, International Leadership of Texas (ILTexas) Garland High School, ILTexas Keller-Saginaw High School and ILTexas Arlington – Grand Prairie High School recently completed a study abroad trip to China as part of the annual Chinese Summer Immersion Program, where they received college credit through Richland College.
While this study abroad trip has been available annually to college students, this is the first time the dual credit study abroad experience has been offered to high school students. During the month-long trip, students took culture and language classes at schools in various cities in China, stayed with host families and visited many of China’s historical and famous locations.
“The China Summer Immersion Program is, I think, one of the best experiences a high school student can have,” said Margaret Hong, director of international programs for ILTexas. “I know all the students from the International Leadership of Texas and Thomas Jefferson High School had a great time interacting and learning from their Chinese peers. Richland College enhanced this experience even more by offering an International Business dual credit class to our students in China. Their contribution made this program an even more enriching experience by helping our students attain real-world knowledge about international business that they can apply in their future careers.”
This study abroad trip was part of an elective class called Introduction to International Business and Trade that counted for Richland College credit and ILTexas credit. Part of the course involved weekly sessions that included case study analysis and discussion, monitoring the news as it relates to U.S. and China relations and a visit to the U.S. embassy in China to get a business briefing from the U.S. Commercial Service in Beijing.
“Studying abroad gives students the opportunity to see how other people live and how it compares to home,” said Lorraine McCord, adjunct instructor in the School of Business at Richland College. “It challenges as well as confirms beliefs about how the world works. And it helps put the news into context, as well as make friends from other cultures and improve language skills.”
While traveling, the students visited Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Zhongshan and Zhengzhou and saw many cultural and historical locations in each city. Some of the things they saw include the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, Shaolin Temple, the Beijing Ancient Observatory, the Forbidden City and the Yellow River.
“From this trip, I gained perspective of the world beyond North America,” said student Regina Nguyen. “Many aspects of Chinese pop culture are like that of the U.S., and the two countries don’t feel as different from each other as one might think. I also learned to be more open-minded to the differences in the culture, which let me look past what was unfamiliar and learn about the culture and history. Lastly, I would like to think my language skills improved while we were there. Overall, I gained a lot from this trip, and I’m very thankful for it.”
The International Leadership of Texas incorporates leadership and education in the classroom for all students. Education is taught from a global perspective so that students will graduate with knowledge of the language and the tools needed for future leadership and success. The mission of ILTexas is to prepare students for exceptional leadership roles in the international community by emphasizing servant leadership, mastering the English, Spanish and Chinese languages, and strengthening the body, mind and character. Students have the opportunity to become trilingual, graduate with an associate’s degree and study abroad. ILTexas currently serves more than 17,000 students with 15 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Houston.
The Richland College Dual Credit program provides an opportunity for bright, capable and motivated high school students to receive college credit while still in high school. It is open to any 9-12 grade student at a participating charter school, home school, private or public school.
For more information about ILTexas, visit iltexasdistrict.org. For more information about the Richland College Dual Credit program, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/dual-credit.
The Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program is expanding its bus trips program this fall semester, allowing participants ages 50 and older to keep their minds and bodies active while experiencing some of the best events and locations the DFW metroplex and state of Texas have to offer.
“The trips in the Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program allow the participants to experience activities, educational opportunities, and historical locations that they might not otherwise be able to do, because of limited budgets and driving capabilities,” said Cindy Berry, Emeritus program director. “These activities provide an opportunity for the participants to interact socially with people from different walks of life in a safe, secure environment.”
There are currently several trips planned for this fall. On Sept. 9, Emeritus will be taking students to see the Texas Rangers square off against the New York Yankees at Globe Life Park in Arlington. On Oct. 7, students will be going on an educational bus trip to historical sites in Dallas facilitated by the legendary Rose-Mary Rumbley, who has written several books on the history of Dallas.
Some tentative trips that are planned include a visit to LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, and the LBJ Ranch and National Historic Park in Johnson City, Texas, on October 24 and 25. On November 4, there is a trip planned to see the Top O’Hill Terrace in Arlington—a Texas Historic Landmark that was a famous hangout for celebrities, entertainers and gangsters to gather and gamble—and a chance to see the Fort Worth Museum District. More details will be posted online once the trips are confirmed.
The Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program provides affordable classes to people ages 50 and older to help them stay intellectually challenged, physically fit and socially connected. Dallas County residents 65 years old and older who have lived in Texas for at least one year may receive free tuition for up to six college credit hours per semester. The fall 2017 semester will begin on August 21.
For more information and the full list of events and class schedules, visit richlandcollege.edu/emeritus.
Richland College and Amazon Web Services announced a partnership Monday to bring a new apprenticeship program to Dallas to train and hire veterans.
Through the program, veterans complete a 16-week certification program at Richland College, where they learn about cloud-based solutions and get practice using Amazon Web Services features. Upon completion of the courses at Richland College, students will then transition to one-year paid internships with Amazon, after which participants are guaranteed interviews for full-time positions with Amazon.
“Embarking on this new strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services will indeed enhance economic growth in the north Texas region, equip a skilled Texas workforce in information technology fields with emphasis on training and hiring veterans and expand Amazon’s growing presence and tremendous potential as a major employer in the Metroplex and beyond,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., president of Richland College.
At Richland College, highly trained and experienced computer information technology and cybersecurity faculty will provide certification preparation training in A+, Net+, Linux and more. Amazon has already selected 15 local veterans to participate in the first class.
Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the City of Richardson and Associa representatives participated in a check-signing ceremony Thursday afternoon at the Associa Shared Services Center in Richardson to award Richland College with a $707,696 Skills Development Fund Grant by the TWC.
The grant will be used by Richland College to train 549 new and current Associa employees that will advance their skills and improve the North Texas workforce.
From left to right: Chelle O’Keefe, executive vice president and CHRO, Associa, Inc.; Paul Voelker, mayor of Richardson; Texas State Rep. Linda Koop; Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., Richland College president; John Carona, chairman of the board and CEO, Associa, Inc.; Ruth R. Hughs, commissioner representing employers, Texas Workforce Commission; Shellie Heard, dean of resource development, Richland College; and Ron Clark, vice president for business services, Richland College. Photo by Paul Knudsen.
For the fourth year in a row, Richland College partnered with Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, to host the first segment of a four-week summer camp for girls in grades 8-12.
While the camp originally started for middle schoolers, it has expanded to allow girls the opportunity to return for up to five years to continue their educational journey and to encourage college and career awareness among young women.
The Girls Inc. “Eureka!” camp empowers campers to see themselves as important parts of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) workforce of the future. Richland College hosted the first week June 5-9, during which the focus was on robotics each morning and art, dance and personal development each afternoon.
Upon completing their first week of camp at Richland College, the girls are being hosted by Imagine Science, followed by the University of North Texas at Dallas. The camp concludes at Cedar Valley College.
The camp is sponsored in part by High Tech High Heels, SAP Labs, ExxonMobil, Lockheed Martin, Program for Excellence and a grant from State Farm that is specifically funding the first week of camp at Richland College.
Associa, the industry’s largest community management company, in partnership with Richland College, is proud to accept its largest educational grant from the Texas Workforce Commission.
The $707,000 training grant will provide the unique job training opportunity for more than 500 employees from the company’s north Texas region, including its Client Shared Services Center, home office and local management affiliate. The resources will be used to expand Associa’s employee education programs and specific job training that will advance employees’ skills and improve the North Texas workforce.
The courses are scheduled to begin this month and will continue throughout 2018. The curriculum will cover many facets of Associa’s core business, including accounting and financials, customer service and business communications.
“We are excited to accept this generous grant from the Texas Workforce Commission as it will provide our employees the opportunity to improve their skillset, advance their knowledge base and complete their jobs to the very best of their abilities,” stated Chelle O’Keefe, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Associa. “We are focused on providing a positive employee experience at Associa so that our employees choose to build their careers with us. By using this grant to expand our current educational programs, it will not only help strengthen Associa but also contribute to the continued success of the Richardson business community and local economy.”
“Richland College is pleased to partner again with Associa in advancing the skills of its workforce and the economic base of Richardson and North Texas,” stated Dr. Kathryn K. Eggleston, Richland College president. “Richland College appreciates the ongoing confidence that the Texas Workforce Commission and Associa place in us as an experienced, high-quality, results-focused training provider.”
Associa and Richland College will be holding a check ceremony in honor of receiving the grant. The ceremony will be held at Associa’s Client Shared Service Center in Richardson, Texas, on June 15 at 3 p.m.
(Courtesy of Associa)
RealPage Inc. has partnered with Richland College to provide job training using a $1,323,223 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The grant will benefit workers in the Greater Dallas area.
“This partnership focuses on specialized technical skills training needed to support this high-demand industry in the Richland area,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “We are pleased to make this grant to RealPage and Richland College, which will provide technology training and help maintain a highly skilled workforce.”
This grant will be used to provide customized training for 700 new and incumbent workers for emerging information technology (IT) technologies with focused instruction on virtualization and cloud software, software supporting web-based application, project management and process control instruction. Trainees will include IT project managers, computer analysts, network support engineers, software engineers and technical writers. Upon completion of training, the workers will receive an average wage of $31.16.
Since its inception in 1996, the Skills Development Fund grants have created or upgraded more than 342,428 jobs throughout Texas. The grants have assisted 4,238 employers with their customized training needs. The Legislature allocated $48.5 million to the Skills Development Fund for the 2016-17 biennium. Employers seeking more information about the Skills Development Fund may visit the TWC website at
Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., was one of nineteen presidents/campus CEOs awarded the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention in Nashville, Tenn., Apr. 6-8.
College presidents and campus CEOs are selected for this award based on outstanding efforts in promoting the goals of Phi Theta Kappa at their institutions. Nominees must have served as president at least five years at the current institution and demonstrated a strong level of support for Phi Theta Kappa during their tenure.
The award is named for the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors chair. Gordon was named Phi Theta Kappa’s Most Distinguished College President in 1984.
Following acceptance of the award, Eggleston said, “I am honored to be recognized as a national recipient of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s 2017 Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction for advancing the goals of academic scholarship, leadership and service among Richland College’s outstanding honor students. I am proud to note that Richland’s Alpha Alpha Xi Chapter continues to sustain annually its Five Star Chapter rating, the highest level of accomplishment by college chapters.”
In addition to the Shirley B. Gordon Award, Eggleston was also recently inducted into the Texas Hall of Honor for Chief Executive Officers for the Texas region of Phi Theta Kappa for her and Richland College’s outstanding support of Phi Theta Kappa.
Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for community colleges. Founded in 1918 to give prestigious recognition to students with excellent scholarship and character, Phi Theta Kappa has always maintained fidelity to its founders’ commitment to provide enrichment in four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. Phi Theta Kappa features some of the nation’s finest educational programs for community college students.
Richland College’s Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Alpha Xi Chapter was recognized as a 2015 Top 100 Distinguished Chapter at the International Level, was the 2015 8th Most Distinguished Chapter in Texas Region and was the 2015 Most Distinguished Chapter for Honors in Action Theme 3: Quest for Human Expressions. In 2017, chapter secretary Elizabeth Mareesa won a “Distinguised Member” medallion at the Phi Theta Kappa Texas Regional Conference.
For additional information about Phi Theta Kappa at Richland College, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/phi-theta-kappa.
Richland College executive vice president for academic affairs and student success Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D., was recently selected for the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a highly selective leadership program aimed at developing a new cadre of outstanding leaders capable of transforming student success at community colleges across the U.S. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC.
Blankenbaker was one of only 40 fellows selected nationwide for this honor and will embark on a year-long fellowship beginning July 2017. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative and top community college leaders, the program focuses on a new vision of leadership and aims to guide new and aspiring community college presidents to change dramatically student outcomes in several areas: learning, completion while in community college, completion of bachelor’s degrees after transfer, employment and earnings after graduation and equitable access and success for underrepresented minority and low-income students.
“As a community college leader with a personal commitment to providing equity, I am delighted with the opportunity the Aspen Presidential Fellowship will provide to prepare me with the exceptional leadership knowledge, skills and abilities to design the desired, holistic learning experiences necessary for students to complete their educational goals with the creative talent requisite to solve problems of the 21st century,” said Blankenbaker.
The selection criteria for the fellowship included Blankenbaker’s abilities in taking strategic risks, leading strong teams, cultivating partnerships and focusing on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.
According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 365 presidents left their posts during the past year. This rate of turnover is happening while increasing numbers of students—including growing numbers of minority, low-income and first-generation-to-college students—are attending community colleges.
The 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 24 states and 38 community colleges. For information, visit http://as.pn/1ky.
The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Kresge Foundation.
Richland College will once again be the site of incredible beats and rhythms when it hosts the 14th annual Carnival of Steel festival from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 22.
A premier world music event in Dallas-Ft. Worth, this year’s Carnival of Steel festival will feature steel bands, percussion groups and jazz bands from around the U.S. performing a variety of music styles from Caribbean to Latin to classical and even rock. Special guests include world-renowned steel drum artist Jeff Narell and steel drum artist, festival tuner and massed band leader Shelly Irvine.
Carnival of Steel will begin with daytime performances from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. that are free and open to the public. At 5:30 p.m. Narell will host a guest artist performance demo clinic, and at 8 p.m. will be the guest artist evening concert. Tickets to the performance demo clinic are $5, and tickets to the evening concert are $10. All performances will take place in the outdoor breezeway on the east side of the Richland College campus.
Also available at the Carnival of Steel will be a steel drum tuning service provided by Irvine, in addition to various Caribbean food and clothing vendors.
Tickets to Carnival of Steel may be purchased in advance by contacting Derrick Logozzo at 972-238-6254, or they may be purchased in person at the event.
Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road. Additional information is available at richlandcollege.edu/carnivalofsteel.