Ana Gonzalez/The Egalitarian
In a full house on a Wednesday morning, Houston Community College Chancellor Dr. Cesar Maldonado delivered a talk on HCC’s research on educational needs.
Other special guests and speakers include HCC Trustee and Board Chair Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, Dr. Stephen Klineberg, founding director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, HCC alumni Flor Dimassi, Faculty Senate President Darin Baskin, and Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis. All presenters delivered a keynote during the State of the College.
Houston is growing rapidly by the year, stated Dr. Klineberg, as he presented several graphs that pointed out the amount of students graduating from college today versus students graduating during the Baby Boomer period in the United States. In the coming years, with technology rapidly changing, employers may no longer hire individuals with only a high school diploma.
“For Texas to remain competitive in the global economy, 60 percent of them will need a degree by the year 2030;” stated Dr. Maldonado during his keynote, “innovation and creativity are no longer optional in education and in the workplace.”
Student success is shown greatly all over the Houston area. Flor Dimassi agrees, as she graduated several years ago, becoming an entrepreneur.
“Life is not hard, yet is not a big accumulation of experiences,” said Dimassi, an entrepreneur who recounted her experience as an HCC student, “we are looking for the next big thing, and there is no app for that.”
Dr. Maldonado announced several upgrades to some of the Centers of Excellence. One of them, at Northeast College, construction is planned for the brand-new Emergency Response Training Center at the Northeast Campus, in response to the past natural disasters Houston went through. The complex will train up to 4,000 first responders in water rescues.
In addition, the current relocation of the HCC Katy Campus is still ongoing, as it plans to expand westward, and provide opportunities for students to transfer to the University of Houston-Victoria at Katy.
The State of the College presented several promising statistics: graduation rates are still rising, as more and more students have opportunities to take classes in less time. University partnerships with several universities has also brought great result to students as well, with seamless transfer plans making it easier for students to obtain their four year degrees.