How transformation is shaping up

Alyssa Foley, Editor in Chief

It’s been almost a year since Houston Community College Chancellor Cesar Maldonado announced his plan for college transformation to faculty and staff.

The restructuring of the college’s academic department has been the most significant change.

“We had six different operating units running their own academic departments,” explained Dr. Maldonado in an interview, referring to how the system has been operating as six separate colleges—Central, Coleman, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest.

In phase one of the transformation, HCC has consolidated the leadership and the management. This allowed for more sharing of resources. Since last spring, instructors could teach at multiple HCC locations instead of just at one college. “We have more talent across the system at the same cost,” said the chancellor.

By the end of last summer, the college had restructured the academic departments. “It had a very positive impact on our budget,” said Chancellor Maldonado, “we were able to budget the salary increases that were recommended…without increasing our ask from taxpayers.”

Transformation is actually in month 14, the board’s updated vision statement in December 2014 was the real kick off of the changes.

Now, they college is looking at pedagogy studies by academic department to help make more dynamic improvements from an instructional perspective. The aim is to develop departmental strategies to make sure that students are taught “in a more uniform way across the system. It’s not going to be identical because instructors use different methods—different styles of teaching – but we’ll be shooting for the same goals.”

After spring break, HCC will start having a new face with a revamp of its communications and customer service.

Apps will be rolled out to help make student services more seamless and “far more accessible to students through mobile phones” including transferring from high school to college, changing majors, and registering for classes. Expect to see such apps in about a year from now.

“I’ve had a lot of complaints on the website,” admitted the chancellor, “I’m pretty tech savvy, and it’s hard for me to navigate.” HCC is seeking proposals from qualified firms to redesign the current HCC website.

A project committee is already in place to plan how should look and work in the future. Student representatives will be added to the committee after the election of new Student Government Officers this semester.

Many of the Centers of Excellence are falling into place as well. The Chancellor hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Alief-Hayes campus on Feb. 3 to celebrate new improvements to the campus. Improvements included opening the second, third and fourth floors of the building which now house the filmmaking, media and technology program. The campus was is in the transformation plan as being the center for engineering and media arts and technology.

The Stafford campus will become the center for manufacturing with the new 57 thousand square feet workforce facility on track to be completed this May.