The Richland Collegiate High School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering (RCHS) at Richland College recently received the “Tech Titan of the Future” Award at the Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC) Gala Fri., Sept. 26. The award recognizes higher education institutions that foster and support students to choose careers in engineering and tech-related fields. MTBC, the largest technology trade association in Texas, presented the award to RCHS because of its innovative approach to “closing gaps in the K-16 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) student pipeline into our region’s engineering technology-related workforce.”
“Three years ago Richland College (RLC) worked with area chambers of commerce, business leaders, public and private schools, home schools, universities, civic leaders, and organizations like MTBC assessing area workforce needs in the engineering and technology fields,” explains Dr. Stephen Mittelstet, RLC president and RCHS superintendent. “In response, RLC applied for and received the first and, to date, the only charter school in Texas held by a community college. RCHS has exceeded our highest expectations and we are thrilled and honored that MTBC has recognized this innovative approach with the 2008 Tech Titan of the Future Award.”
Along with a trophy, RCHS will receive more than $20,000 in scholarships to help those RCHS graduates who haven’t completed their engineering course sequence when they receive their RCHS diploma. Once they graduate from RCHS, their enrollment at Richland College will no longer be tuition-free. Scholarships will also be available to other RLC engineering students.
“Receiving the Tech Titan Award was a thrill for me and the RCHS staff,” says RCHS principal Dr. Kristyn Edney. “There were several quality universities with outstanding programs that were up against us. The award is a true testament to the innovative spirit of both Richland faculty and administration and the incredible accomplishments of the students who choose to attend RCHS.”
Other 2008 finalists included the Institute for Innovations and Entrepreneurship (UTD), the George A. Jeffrey NanoExplorers (NanoTech Institute at UTD) and The Guildhall (SMU). Previous college and university finalists of the Tech Titan of the Future Award include UTD, UNT, UTA, UT Southwestern, SMU, Collin College, and the DCCCD LeCroy Center for Educational Technology. RLC’s articulated engineering associate degree program won the award in 2005, the first year MTBC offered the university-level recognition.
RCHS was created in 2005 as a unique dual-credit charter high school designed to provide a “rigorous academic experience” for up to 200 high school juniors and 200 seniors, housed on the Richland College campus. Students can complete their last two years of high school at Richland by taking college courses and earning college credits with a focus on mathematics, science, and engineering. In the first graduating class last spring, all but seven of the 129 RCHS seniors received their high school diploma and college associate degree simultaneously.
These students transferred this fall as juniors to various in-state and out-of-state colleges and universities, both public and private, with more than $2.5 million in scholarships. RCHS also boasts an “Exemplary” rating from the Texas Education Agency in 2007 and 2008, the only charter high school in Texas to achieve this highest rating for both years.
For more information, contact Anitra Cotton at 972-238-6022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional details can be found at www.richlandcollege.edu/rchs.