by Wendy DiBenedetto, Contributing Editor
Houston Community College unveiled its focused-vision for the immediate future during an April 13 breakfast at the Bayou City Event Center in Houston. HCC’s Chancellor Dr. Cesar Maldonado addressed the large crowd of dignitaries and industry leaders from around the surrounding area.
HCC educates 113,000 students annually and is the top developer of workforce candidates in Houston. With that in mind, HCC is committing to provide its students a relevant and cost-effective education while increasing the number of ready-to-work job candidates in Houston and its surrounding areas.
“For every 10 students in Kindergarten, seven of them make it to the ninth grade; five of those will actually graduate high school with only two moving onto college; and, of those – only ONE will graduate with a degree,” explained Dr. Maldonado.
The result of these CoEs should provide Houston with a well-educated and experienced candidate pool aligned with key industries. Students will be able to remain in and contribute to the community from which they came.
HCC also places an importance on the arts.
“When you add the arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), it results in STEAM which creates energy and moves innovation forward,” Dr. Maldonado added.
With the future of HCC focused on education and innovative programs, the college is poised to move both Houston and its students forward in the right direction.
“Our role is to teach, motivate, inspire, connect, innovate and expand our reach.” -Dr. Cesar Maldonado
HCC’s future direction has shifted the primary focus of their staff and facilities to the creation of Centers of Excellence (CoE) across nine industry corridors located in Houston.
Currently, HCC is planning 12 CoEs with four additional slated for future development. Students will benefit from areas of concentration including global energy, public safety, manufacturing, media arts and technology and health sciences. Previous investments in technology and infrastructure by HCC will certainly benefit students. Students specializing in health sciences will earn hands-on experience in HCC’s working operating room. Those seeking a degree or certification in manufacturing can experience what it’s actually like to work in a manufacturing facility.
Students will be able to receive the same level of education from any of the HCC campuses. However, once a student elects his/her specific area of specialization, they will attend the appropriate CoE where assets are strategically concentrated to foster the sharing of common interest, promote communication and create synergy.
“Students first – on the way in and on their way out.” -Dr. Cesar Maldonado