This week’s RLC update

Institutional Effectiveness – At its national convention in Philadelphia last week, AACC announced two new publications that included prominent references to Richland. President Steve Mittelstet was among the authors hosted for a book signing event at the AACC Exhibit Hall booth. Richland is one of 13 community and technical colleges featured in the Roueches’ The Creative Community College: Leading Change Through Innovation. Chapter six, “Richland College: Whole People, Whole Organization, Whole Lot of Fun,” was authored by Dr. Mittelstet. Jones-Kavalier and Flannigan’s The Hiring Game: Reshaping Community College Practices describes 30 innovative hiring strategies at eight community colleges (Cascadia, Central Piedmont, Cuyahoga, DCCCD, Humber, Richland, Springfield, Valencia), based in part on interviews conducted by Richland Executive Dean of Humanities Sherry Dean of Steve Mittelstet (Richland) and historical perspective from earlier DCCCD leaders Don Rippey (El Centro), Byron McClenney (Eastfield), and Monique Amerman (Mountain View). Featured in the winning strategies are the DCCCD Visiting Scholar program and Richland’s getting the right people on the bus cultures/values interview strategy and hiring non-negotiables approach.

Community and Economic Development – At Sen. Florence Shapiro’s request, Dr. Mittelstet gave testimony earlier this week in San Antonio to the Joint Select Committee on Public School Accountability. Dr. Mittelstet reinforced the value of dual credit as an important strategy in closing student retention/success gaps in seamless P-16 education. He stressed the need for business-chamber-university-K-12 partnerships with community colleges to address not only accountability for student retention and transfer but for offering what the community and workforce need. Dr. Mittelstet’s two partnership examples were the community partnership which led to the creation and early successes of the Richland Collegiate High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering (RCHS) to meet local workforce needs for engineering, computer science, and other engineering-related careers; and the community partnership now underway in the creation of the new Richland College Garland Campus, which will also house Chamber of Commerce and Dallas County Manufacturing Association partners (and related conversations about a potential Career Pathways ISD High School Academy that might be housed at Richland’s new Garland Campus, benchmarked off RCHS successes and linked to Garland’s workforce development needs).

Student Success
– Richland’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Chapter took numerous honors at the recent AACC convention in Philadelphia, including being named to the Distinguished Top 25 Chapters and Leadership Hallmark for outstanding leadership programs. Richland international student Dharmesh Patel was one of 20 students named to USA Today’s All-USA Community College Academic First Team for which he received a $2,500 cash award. His application also judged Best in Texas earned him a $2,000 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar scholarship, and he was also awarded the $5,000 Guistwhite Scholarship. Richland PTK member Keome Rowe was first runner-up in the PTK International Presidential election and was named Distinguished Regional Officer. Richland PTK Advisor Aliene Pylant won the Paragon Award for new PTK advisors, and Richland PTK Advisor Larry Polk was elected Secretary of the Association of PTK Chapter Advisors.

Employee Success – Board Trustee Kitty Boyle and former Trustees Jerry Gilmore and Pattie Powell joined in Richland’s recent Exalted Order of the Snowy White Fillet festivities to celebrate the longevity of the order’s newest inductees. Twenty-three Richlanders were honored for their 10 years of service; six for 15 years; 8 for 20 years; five for 25 years; one for 30 years; 10 for 35 years; and Vice President for Business Services Ron Clark was honored for his 40 years of service to Richland and El Centro.  Snowy White Fillet members Sandy Hawkins and Helen Noble each delivered a testimonial roast describing how being a member of the Exalted Order of the Snowy White Fillet has changed their lives. Former Trustee Powell delivered her testimonial in a commemorative poem she composed.

Sen.Florence Shapiro, accompanied by DCCCD Chancellor Wright Lassiter and Justin Lonon, spent nearly two hours last Friday interacting with Richland Collegiate High School (RCHS) students, parents, and staff, after a tour of facilities by Superintendent Steve Mittelstet and an introduction of staff by RCHS Principal Kristyn Edney. Sen. Shapiro was very attentive in hearing from RCHS students, PTA members, and high school leaders about the differences between Advanced Placement and Dual Credit and the need for the legislature and TEA to “even the playing field” regarding incentives to high schools for offering Dual Credit, at least equivalent to the incentives currently provided for offering Advanced Placement. She was enthusiastic about what she learned and indicated she would assist community colleges in the next legislative session regarding dual credit offerings.