During the annual State of the College Address, Dr. William Serrata, President, shared El Paso Community College’s successes and vision for the future with students, faculty, staff and the community.
Dr. Serrata highlighted many programs and faculty that successfully prepare students to transfer to university or enter the workforce; recognized multiple staff members and departments; described the college’s healthy financial trajectory with sound fiscal management and the strategic plan that will guide EPCC into the future.
“We will continue our focus on EPCC—Engagement, Partnerships & pathways, College-going culture and Completion,” Serrata said to a live audience of more than 500 people at the Administrative Service Center along with hundreds of others streaming it online or watching it at one EPCC’s five campuses.
Throughout the address, Serrata spoke of EPCC’s numerous accomplishments throughout 2016-17 school year. He proudly spoke of some of EPCC’s national recognitions including being named #1 for the number of degrees awarded to Hispanic Students by Hispanic Outlook Magazine.
He also spoke about EPCC’s mention in the New York Times for being ranked 5th out of two year colleges for students moving up two or more income brackets after completing their degrees
In 2017 EPCC awarded nearly 4,500 degrees and certificates, had a 6.2% increase in full-time graduation rates and made advancements in finding innovative ways to keep students on their pathway to graduation.
Dr. Serrata also talked about EPCC’s growing Early College High School Program where there are now 12 throughout the city at each of the large school districts. “Our Early College High Schools are remarkable because the national graduation rate is 24%, we are far exceeding that rate with 74.2% of EPCC’s Early College High School students completing their Associate’s Degree at 74.2%,” Serrata said.
Some of the faculty, staff and programs from across the district for their roles and impact, just a few examples were:
- The opening of EPCC’s Architecture Building, an $8.3 million state-of-the-art facility and innovative program between EPCC and Texas Tech
- Olga Valerio, whose students were one of 10 finalists for the National Science Foundation Renewable Energy Program Award
- Maria Alvarez, whose successful RISE program has resulted in EPCC graduates successfully continuing their education with nearly 90 students getting B.S. degrees, 17 Master’s degrees, 7 PhDs and 4 MDs
- Tony Ayub and Emergency Medical Technician Dual Credit students earned first place and other awards at the Health Occupation Student of America International Leadership Conference
- The Men’s Half Marathon Team named Academic Team of the Year by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and all six EPCC teams had a combined GPA of 3.0.
- Athletic Director Felix Hinojosa was named Coach of the Year after the Women’s Cross Country Team won 3 National titles in 4 years.
- Librarian Lorely Ambriz was named Librarian of the Year by the Border Regional Library Association
Finally, the presentation wrapped up with a look to the future of EPCC. Serrata described innovative construction projects at each of the campuses which will begin in the upcoming months. He restated EPCC’s commitment to helping more students complete their degrees and certificates.
EPCC will continue to offer affordable, high quality education that will meet the job demands of the 21st century where the majority of new jobs will require some sort of certificate or degree. “College is the only way to the middle class,” Serrata said. “EPCC students are amazing and they can compete anywhere.”