“This trip will also highlight a developing collaboration with NASA’s GLOBE program with the University of Helsinki and EPCC,” John Olgin, EPCC Physics Instructor said. “Now students in STEM education and teachers in our region can become official GLOBE teachers through EPCC workshops and actively participate in submitting earth science data to NASA.”
The students will gain insight on how these countries implement successful educational practices, and will incorporate this experience in their classrooms.
Finland is a leader in collaborative learning, student well-being and hands-on approach to learning. NASA GLOBE program collaborators in Finland will show how to engage students in studying environmental changes.
“My goal for this trip is to soak in as much information on teaching practices, culture, and experience as I can and use it to help people,” Myca Nguyen, EPCC Education Student said.
By 2030, West Texas is predicted to be 5,162 registered nurses short of meeting demand, according to the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies. Thanks to a new partnership between El Paso Community College (EPCC) and the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, both sides are committed to meeting that need independently, as well as collaboratively.
In an effort to ease that shortage of nurses in West Texas, EPCC and the Hunt School of Nursing have announced a concurrent enrollment agreement.
The collaboration offers students an efficient way to pursue a nursing education by tying together early-college coursework in high school, the associate degree in nursing program at EPCC and the Bachelor of Science in nursing program at the Hunt School of Nursing.
“This partnership between EPCC and the Hunt School of Nursing not only provides students a solid academic experience that prepares them for a rewarding career in nursing, but it also ensures our region will have skilled nurses that can meet the health care needs of our community,” said Gail Meagher, EPCC dean of nursing.
The program will create a seamless pathway allowing EPCC students to make a smooth transition into the Hunt School of Nursing’s bachelor’s program. “But even more importantly,” said Hunt School of Nursing Dean Stephanie Woods, Ph.D., R.N., “The new agreement is part of a holistic, collaborative approach that can help guide students from high school to their bachelor’s degree and on to master’s and doctoral degrees. In short, it gives graduates improved career mobility.”
With the concurrent enrollment agreement, students working toward their Associate Degree in Nursing (A.D.N.) at EPCC can now begin to earn credit toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) at the Hunt School of Nursing.
Students at EPCC can complete up to six credit hours of the Hunt School of Nursing’s R.N. to B.S.N. program while they are enrolled in the community college’s associate degree program.
With agreements and assistance from area magnet high schools, EPCC, Project Arriba, Workforce Solutions Borderplex and hospitals, students have guidance and help along the path toward becoming nurses.
“This is not just simply an agreement with EPCC; it’s that all the pipelines that feed EPCC are now pipelines that feed the Hunt School of Nursing bachelor’s program,” Dean Woods said.
“This is a wonderful example of how we’ve tied the ends together across the community to benefit students and employers. If a student is advised early and moves through these well-articulated pathways, it conserves their financial aid and helps get them all the way through school without wasting time or money taking courses they shouldn’t. It’s about comprehensive support to get students all the way to a bachelor’s degree.”
Tonie Badillo, dean of Dual Credit and Early College High Schools at EPCC, said, “We are excited about this collaboration. One of the pathways our students will have starts in high school. By developing a very structured dual-credit crosswalk for motivated high school students, we have ensured all the college credits apply toward the B.S.N. This will save our students and their families time and money.”
Manny Santa Cruz, D.N.P., R.N., M.B.A., assistant dean of undergraduate education at the Hunt School of Nursing, said the collaboration between all levels of education will provide a clear road to becoming a nurse.
“This collaboration allows an interested student seeking a nursing career to begin their pathway as early as high school or community college,” Santa Cruz said.
“In high school, the student can begin taking college prerequisite nursing courses via dual-credit with El Paso Community College. And the community college student can take Hunt School of Nursing baccalaureate courses while simultaneously pursuing their associate nursing degree. The student no longer has to wait to graduate from high school or a community college to pursue their dream of becoming a baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse.”
On Monday, El Paso Community College officials announced the winners of this weekend’s student competition The Lights at EPCC.
The second annual The Lights at EPCC was held at the Valle Verde Campus Americana Village, and featured teams of students that constructed light sculptures.
“The Lights at EPCC is a festival of creative art light structures representing the inspirational culture of El Paso,” Dr. Kenneth Gonzalez, EPCC Vice President of Student and Enrollment Services said.
“EPCC wants to reach out to the community and be a major hub for community gatherings and events.”
This year’s Best of Show went to “Stardust.” This wonderful display was created by Architecture students Jerod Booth, Sofia Dominguez and Tristan DeAnda.
Attendees of the festival not only received information about EPCC, but were entertained by the student-produced light show.
The Lights at EPCC highlighted approximately 80 designs created by EPCC Art and Architecture students as well as students from area schools.
The festival, which was held on Saturday April 27, included live music, food, family fun and games.
Dr. Ron Stroud, El Paso Community College (EPCC) Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Blood Donation Director, was recognized for his 100th blood donation by Vitalant, El Paso’s blood banking organization.
According to Vitalant, the College is currently the No. 1 blood donor in the region.
“Every blood donation is critically important, and achieving 100 donations is incredibly rare”, Dr. Julie Penley, Vice President of Research, Accreditation & Planning said, “Dr. Stroud’s donations have helped countless individuals in our region, and are great examples of EPCC employees’ commitment to and involvement in our community. His is a goal every eligible donor should strive to achieve.”
Fifteen years ago, Dr. Stroud was appointed by the President of EPCC to turn the blood program around. Historically, the college of about 28,000 students was only contributing about 700 pints of blood to the community yearly. Now, the college has consistently increased blood donations and averages now 2,500 donations annually.
EPCC has contributed 1,762 donations in the 2018-2019 year thus far which helped as many as 5,286 people in need, as one donation can often help as many as three people.
In 2014, Dr. Stroud was selected as the recipient of the Donor Recruiter Volunteer Coordinator of the Year and was awarded the Best School Blood Drive Award for his effectiveness in spearheading the blood drives at EPCC.
Dr. Stroud was “pleased to have the opportunity to donate [his] 100th pint of blood and help as many as 300 people especially being a universal donor with type O negative blood of which there is always a shortage of in El Paso.”
He plans to continue to donate for the rest of his life, donating every 2 months or 6 times a year, and hopes that the EPCC faculty, students and community will follow in his footsteps.
ORLANDO, FL. — During the national conference of the American Association of Community Colleges annual conference, EPCC President Dr. William Serrata was elected to serve as Chair-Elect for the organization’s board of directors.
“It is an honor to be selected by my peers to serve as Chair-Elect for the Board of Directors of the Association of American Community Colleges (AACC). I look forward to working with Dr. Bumphus and his team to continue AACC’s commitment to advance the recognition and importance of community colleges,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said.
“EPCC, like community colleges all across our nation are the pathway to the American Dream and the premier developers of the workforce. I am proud to continue the important work of advocacy, leadership and service for community colleges.”
The AACC is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges representing nearly 1,200 2-year associate degree-granting institutions and more than 12 million students.
“Based on the work he has done, especially for us in the El Paso area and what he’s done for the region, he will be a great advocate for community colleges across the nation,” Brian Haggerty, EPCC Board Chair said. “On behalf of the board, I’d like to congratulate Dr. Serrata on this great achievement.”
AACC is governed by a 32-member Board of Directors. The board represents member community colleges, maintains a vision and performance standards for AACC.
24 members are elected by the AACC membership three institutional at-large members and three public at-large members, representing constituencies such as boards of trustees, business or government, are elected by the board itself.
The chair is elected by the Board and serves one year as chair-elect, one year as chair, and one year as past chair.
Serrata was originally nominated and elected to the board in 2017 and has served on the Executive Committee since 2018. On the Executive Committee, Serrata chaired the Committee on Community College Advancement.
As part of as part of the Operation College Bound Initiative, officials with El Paso Community College and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) partnered with Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) to assist seniors in registering for college.
“EPCC is proud to partner with the school districts and UTEP to ensure graduating seniors in our region go to college,” EPCC President Dr. William Serrata said. “Operation College Bound helps students enroll and receive the information they need to make a successful transition from high school to higher education.”
Operation College Bound day at the YISD high schools provided seniors the ease and convenience to enroll in college in a familiar environment with assistance from representatives from the college and university.
“The success of our students is of paramount importance at the Ysleta Independent School District,” said YISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre.
“It is our privilege to partner with UTEP and EPCC to host Operation College Bound Days at our high schools, which supports our work to provide students with the opportunity, academic skills, and access toward realizing their dreams of postsecondary education. This allows our students to begin the transition from high school to college in a setting that is familiar to them, with resources for one-on-one assistance that they might not otherwise seek out on their own.”
Operation College Bound took place for Parkland High School on April 15th, the remaining YISD schools will be visited during April.
Starting Friday, April 19, the El Paso Museum of History will be honoring El Paso Community College’s half century of contributions to the area via a very special exhibition.
El Paso Community College’s 50th Anniversary: Honoring the Past, Building the Future at the museum will give visitors an opportunity to see memorabilia and learn about important milestones in the college’s history.
“We are excited to host such a commemorative event in honoring this momentous occasion. Knowing how well established EPCC is within the community, this exhibition highlights not only the institution’s successes, but the importance of education made accessible to the El Paso community and beyond,” said El Paso Museum of History Director Dr. Vladimir von Tsurikov.
The exhibit highlights all aspects of college’s history from its beginnings at Logan Heights at Fort Bliss to all the growth and accomplishments that have helped more than 80,000 students earn degrees.
“El Paso Community College has a legacy of excellence and a real commitment to serving students,” said El Paso Community College President Dr. William Serrata. “I am proud of the work that our board of trustees, faculty and staff have done throughout the past 50 years to facilitate this success which is celebrated in this exhibition. EPCC has a long history of serving this community, serving the state, and ultimately serving the nation by helping students in our region earn the degrees and certificates that they need to achieve their dreams.”
“We invite the community visit the exhibition, to explore the vibrant past of EPCC as well as to look forward to the future we will build together,” said External Relations and 50th Anniversary Co-Chair Associate Vice President Keri Moe. “This is a real opportunity for us to honor the great work that has been done and to understand the power of education in our community.”
Established in 1969, EPCC is a nationally recognized community college that offers a variety of academic programs, continuing education classes and workforce training.
Today, EPCC serves more than 28,500 students and offers 145 degree and certificate programs.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) recognized El Paso Community College (EPCC) President, Dr. William Serrata with the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction during PTK Catalyst 2019, the Society’s annual convention.
EPCC Phi Theta Kappa students nominated the president for this distinction.
“It is an honor to be recognized for supporting student success, it is even more meaningful to be nominated by students,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President, said. “Ensuring students have the support to enter college, graduate and achieve their dreams is our focus at El Paso Community College.”
This recognition is given to college presidents who have shown strong support of student success on their campus by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students at their colleges.
Students nominate recipients and presidents are only eligible to receive the award once over the course of their career.
“He’s so inspirational, everything he does, he’s always leading by example and he’s always very supportive,” EPCC student and Phi Theta Kappa President Rachel Williams said.
Named in honor of the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors Chair and a founder and long-time president of Highline Community College in Washington, The Shirley B. Gordon Award is Phi Theta Kappa’s most prestigious award for community college presidents.
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders.
More than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 nations make up the Society; to learn more, visit ptk.org.
On Thursday, the Border Regional Library Association (BRLA) named Kristin Sanchez its Librarian of the Year for 2019.
“I am very honored to receive the BRLA Librarian of the Year award.” Kristin Sanchez said. “The students inspire me to continue to learn and grow as a librarian so that I can help them on their path to success.”
Sanchez is an El Paso Community College (EPCC) Professor/District-wide Library Coordinator and Rio Grande Campus Head Librarian.
“Kristin is generous with her time, her talents and her willingness to help and do for others.” Paula Mitchell, Interim AVP Instruction and Student Success said.
“She is most definitely service oriented and makes me and other librarians feel good and proud to be part of a profession that helps so many who present diverse and unique informational needs.”
The Border Regional Library Association (BRLA) is an organization founded in 1966 for the promotion of library service and librarianship in the El Paso/Las Cruces/Juárez metroplex.
Current membership includes over 100 librarians, paraprofessionals, media specialists and library friends and trustees from all types of libraries in the tri-state area of Trans-Pecos Texas, Southern New Mexico and Northern Chihuahua.
On Wednesday, officials with El Paso Community College (EPCC) and Marathon Petroleum announced a new partnership between the two organizations for workforce development.
In addition to the new partnership, Marathon Petroleum presented EPCC officials with a $167,000 grant, that will go to support Welding and Machining Technology programs housed at it Advanced Technology Center on the Valle Verde campus.
“Education and ongoing training are required for today’s workers and the success of our community,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said. “EPCC fills a vital role for our region’s employers to ensure that their employees have the skills they need to be successful in the workplace.”
With the grant, EPCC will expand its Welding and Machining Technology programs, offer additional credentials for students to receive advanced certifications and fund the latest equipment to train students in these high-demand fields.
“At Marathon Petroleum, we value the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and are committed to collaborating with our stakeholders to create cleaner, safer, well-educated communities where we operate,” Billy McClain, Marathon Petroleum Vice President of Refining said.
“One way we believe we can make a difference is to invest in initiatives that better prepare career/technical education (CTE) students for professional and academic success by increasing access to high-quality educational resources and instruction. We are pleased to partner with El Paso Community College toward this objective.”
EPCC officials added, “Certified graduates will also expand the skill base of our regional workforce, by being prepared for work with training in the professionalism and safety required in modern industry.”
On Thursday, El Paso Community College (EPCC) held a grand opening celebration for its new First-Year Experience Center.
EPCC officials said the center is designed to help “college students from the beginning of their college experience and guide them to a successful graduation.”
“Student success is our goal,” Sandra Lujan, Early Alert Coordinator said. “As a result, students will develop essential career skills, such as team work, study skills, public speaking and oral presentations in an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary fashion.”
Students visiting the center will also receive the assistance of academic advisors and peer academic coaches. The peer academic coaches are students who provide mentoring support to help students successfully navigate the demands of college life.
The center will have access to state-of-the-art technology, resources, and multimedia equipment.
“The First-Year Experience Center provides innovation and an abundance of resources that makes our students successful,” Diana Villegas said. “As a peer coach, I am present in classroom settings, assisting instructor, providing stress management workshops, and am able to coach a cohort of students.”
Early Alert helps address obstacles students face in an outside of the classroom so they can stay in and excel in their classes.
The Early Alert Program and the First-Year Experience Center at EPCC rests on the collaborative efforts of faculty, counselors, advisors and academic support services working together.
The First-Year Experience Center is located at EPCC Valle Verde Campus, room A2433.
Students, faculty, staff, administrators and board of trustees attended the opening of this innovative center which operates in conjunction with EPCC’s Early Alert Program.
New York – The Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine has once again ranked El Paso Community College (EPCC) on its Top Community Colleges for Hispanics list.
“Being ranked #1 for 2-year degrees awarded to Hispanic students exemplifies EPCC’s role as a national higher education leader and our reputation for student excellence,” said EPCC President Dr. William Serrata. “It reflects our commitment to open admissions with high expectations for the students we serve, and as a result, EPCC is strengthening our community, the state, and the entire nation.”
For the 14th year in a row, EPCC has earned the nation-wide distinction of being the #1 granter of associate degrees by 2-year schools.
The College also ranks #2 among the Top 25 Community Colleges with the most Hispanic enrollees, with a Hispanic population of 24,537 students totaling 85% percent of the total student enrollment.
These rankings are just one of EPCC’s many national recognitions that EPCC President Dr. William Serrata is particularly proud of earning.
Serrata credits the work of faculty and staff for facilitating student success that helps students cross the stage at graduation and earn that degree or certificate. As a first-generation community college student himself, he says it is extremely important help all students, including Hispanic students, and others underrepresented in higher education get degrees since higher education is the only path to the middle class.
The annual ranking is based on several factors, including the percentage of Hispanic students in attendance, total student enrollment, two-year schools awarding the most associate degrees to Hispanics, and the percentage of Hispanics awarded associate degrees by two-year schools.
“The capability of our students is exemplified by this ranking and we are especially proud of their dedication and success,” Steve Smith, Vice President of Workforce and Continuing Education said. “This is evidence of our commitment to affordable and high-quality education, and is also testament to the efforts our excellent faculty, staff and administration who strive every day to provide our students with powerful educational opportunities.”
Data for the rankings is from the NCES IPEDS Database for community colleges granting the most associate degrees in 2017.