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Texas Library Association Awards EPCC’s Northwest Campus for Library Learning Initiative

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) – Northwest (NW) campus faculty received the 2018 Library Project of the Year Award during the 2018 Texas Library Association Annual Conference.

The Library Instruction Project of the Year Award is presented annually by the Texas Library Association’s Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT). This award recognized an innovative or creative library instruction project or initiative in Texas.

“The project, led by Lorely Ambriz and Michael Duncan, was impressive because of the evidence they provided showing how their collaboration has positively impacted their students,” Joshua Wallace, LIRT Chair said.

The project, Improving College Students’ Literacy Skills Through Embedded Librarianship and Faculty Collaboration for Lifelong Learning was led by Lorely Ambriz, Head Librarian, and Michael Duncan, English Discipline Coordinator at the NW campus. The project involves embedding library skill into course curriculum.

Developed as a hypothesis by Ambriz, the project became an actual action research project as part of her participation in the EPCC Teachership Academy under the leadership of Dr. Lydia Tena, EPCC Northwest Campus Dean and Teachership Academy Coordinator. The Teachership Academy is an EPCC faculty development program focusing on teaching and learning.

Since the implementation of the project to embed literacy and library skills into course curriculum, out of the average student population of 2,800 students at the NW Library, the project has been able to outreach to 82% of the student population. The students, having attended at least one library session becoming aware of library services, learned how to perform basic library research, how to evaluate information sources and how to properly cite them.

Overall, faculty have seen the average score on -and quality of -the students’ annotated bibliographies and papers go up significantly over the past few semesters thanks to the literacy skills they have built, which leads to overall student success.

The 2018 Texas Library Association Annual Conference was held April 3-6 in Dallas.


EPCC Selected to Host NJCAA Half Marathon National Championships

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has announced that El Paso Community College has been chosen to host the NJCAA’s men’s and women’s half marathon championships in 2019 and 2021.

“EPCC is honored to be selected to host the 2019 and 2021 NJCAA National Half Marathon Championships,” EPCC President Dr. William Serrata said.  “We look forward to welcoming athletes to our great city to give them the best hospitality and race experience possible.”

These championships will put the spotlight on the Sun City and allow the public see EPCC’s nationally ranked Half Marathon athletes compete.

Felix Hinojosa, Director of Athletics and head cross country coach at El Paso will serve as tournament host.

“EPCC and El Paso, Texas is an ideal site to host the NJCAA National Championships with fantastic fall racing weather and an excellent race venue,” Hinojosa said.  “We have many exciting surprises in store, including a well-designed course for athletes that can also safely accommodate media and spectators.”

The first event will be held on November 23, 2019

More information on the NJCAA can be found at

Story in Many Pictures: EPCC’s Tejanos, Tejanas Take on Midland, Clarendon

The beautiful green diamonds on the Valle Verde Campus for El Paso Community College were busy places this weekend, as both the Tejanos and the Tejanas were battling for wins.

The Tejanos were taking on Midland, while the Tejanas took on Clarendon College.  While battling first place Midland, the Tejanos took the series opener 9-8, but then dropped the next two games.  Right next door, the Tejanas fought the good fight, but dropped the series to Clarendon.

EPCC, UTEP Enrollment Services Available for Socorro ISD Seniors at High Schools

Socorro Independent School District seniors will be able to finalize the enrollment process to attend El Paso Community College and The University of Texas at El Paso at their own high schools in an SISD Operation College Bound special event in April.

Via a news release, SISD officials say this will be the first time both institutions provide on-site enrollment services directly to the students in any school district in the region.

The registration days at the SISD high schools are in partnership with EPCC and UTEP to provide seniors the ease and convenience to enroll in college in a familiar environment with assistance from representatives from the college and university. Giving students the time and help to easily complete the enrollment process for EPCC and UTEP is among the endless opportunities provided by Team SISD to ensure students are prepared for success in college, careers and life.

“Our focus in Operation College Bound is always on providing opportunities and removing obstacles for our students to attend colleges and universities,” said SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza. “This partnership is an excellent approach to ensure every graduating senior is on their way to post-secondary education and to show them that we are behind them 100 percent in fulfilling their college aspirations.”

The seniors at every high school in Team SISD will attend an enrollment day at their school. They will be led through the enrollment process, which will be set up in the gyms, classrooms and computer labs at the schools. The EPCC and UTEP staff will guide the students through the process and answer questions. SISD high school administrators and counselors also will assist with the events.

“EPCC is committed to creating a college-going culture in our region and partnering with SISD and UTEP on the College Bound Initiative is just one example of this work,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said.  “By helping students register for classes as seniors in high school, we ensure that students in our community have the knowledge and confidence to pursue their educational, career and life goals.”

UTEP will be available to talk with students about the transition from high school to college, answer any questions that students may have, and offer information about New Student Orientation, financial aid, housing, student life and student engagement.  The event also will include a showcase of UTEP programs to highlight exciting academic opportunities that students may pursue while attending UTEP.

“For decades, UTEP has worked to promote college-going aspirations among all young people in this region through steady and strategic collaboration,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio. “We know that building a strong and streamlined educational pathway with local school districts and the El Paso Community College is key to the prosperity and quality of life of this region. We all have a shared interest in ensuring that young people reach their full potential by achieving their highest educational goals, and we applaud the Socorro Independent School District’s innovative and proactive efforts to engage their students in preparing for a successful future through education.”

The Operation College Bound registration days will be:

April 3 at El Dorado High School

April 5 at Socorro High School

April 17 at Eastlake High School

April 20 at Pebble Hills High School

April 24 at Americas High School

April 26 at Montwood High School

“Every parent wants to see their children succeed after high school. So do we! That is why we treat and educate our students as if they are our own children and go above and beyond to provide many avenues for them to get on the right path to college,” Dr. Espinoza said. “These registration days will be an exciting time for our seniors and our partners at EPCC and UTEP! We’re eager to help our seniors move forward to a lucrative future.”

EPCC Endowment to Remember Beloved Administrator

El Paso Community College (EPCC) instated a new endowment to benefit students and to honor a long-time educator and administrator.

The Dr. Ernst Roberts II Endowment honors this 40-year EPCC veteran. Roberts’ career included years as a professor, dean, administrator and Interim President.

Known to his colleagues and friends as Ernie, Dr. Roberts was remembered as a man who was always in a good mood and who helped anyone that asked. “Dr. Ernie Roberts has done so much for our community,” Aliana Apodaca of the Gifford Foundation said.

“He was just a good man with a good heart.”

With the generosity of the Gifford Foundation, the Roberts Family and donations made from EPCC students, faculty and staff, this endowment will assist students to obtain their educational goals through scholarships.

Over the past 10 years, EPCC has awarded over two million dollars in scholarships.

The Dr. Ernst Roberts II Endowment was announced during a ceremony on March 26, 2018.

El Paso Small Business Development Center to Celebrate National SBDC Day Wednesday

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at El Paso Community College will celebrate the second annual SBDC Day on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

SBDC Day is a national movement to help raise awareness about the service offering and impact of America’s SBDCs – the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) largest business assistance program.

As part of the local celebration, the staff at the Small Business Development Center (9050 Viscount Blvd., Bldg. B – B520) will hold a meet and greet beginning at 11:00am.  Visitors can grab a light snack, meet with SBDC office staff, and then attend a free webinar by Constant Contact -Digital Marketing Trends for Small Businesses in 2018 from  12:00pm – 1:00pm

With nearly 1,000 centers across the country, SBDCs provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States.

Job growth for SBDC clients nationally is nearly 10 times greater than job growth for average businesses, and SBDC clients’ sales growth is nearly four times greater than sales growth for businesses in general.

In 2016, America’s SBDCs provided 1.24 million hours of business advising to 188,602 clients businesses, resulting in 96,095 jobs created; $6.4 billion in sales growth; $5.16 billion in capital investments;  and 17, 174 new businesses started.

Locally, 2017, the El Paso SBDC assisted 53 business start-ups, 37 business expansions, resulting in the creation of 518 new jobs
and 565 job retentions. Total capital infusion into the local economy was $15,578,000.

For more information, call the SBDC directly at (915) 831-7742 or visit their website.

El Paso Commission for Women to Induct Nine Women into Hall of Fame

The El Paso Commission for Women will host its annual Hall of Fame Induction, with nine honorees set to be inducted into the El Paso Commission for Women Hall of Fame.

“The nine women that will be recognized are truly impressive leaders, and we are excited to honor them with the help of other outstanding business and philanthropic leaders in attendance,” said Lily Limon, Chair of the El Paso Commission for Women.

“In addition, all proceeds from this important event goes towards our scholarship fund, so participants will also help secure a brighter future for our youth – and in turn, our community.”

The event recognizes area women who have made a significant long-term impact on the El Paso community.

This year’s inductees and the categories in which they will be recognized are:

Josette Shaughnessy, Business

Tracy Yellen, Civic Leadership

Marty Reyes, Education

Christina Ford, Professional

Karen Larose, Public Service

Sandra Gonzalez, Science/Healthcare

Marina Monsisvais, Social Media/Public Relations

Gloria Estrada, Sports/Athletics

Patty Tiscareño, Volunteer

The event includes a social hour, catered reception by the El Paso Community College Culinary Arts Program, a silent auction and features students who have benefitted from the El Paso Commission for Women Scholarship Fund.

The social hour will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch from noon to 2 p.m. on March 24, 2018 at the El Paso Community College Administrative Services Center Auditorium, 9050 Viscount Boulevard, Building A.

Tickets are $50 per person. Tickets are available by calling 915-253-1616 or at the door.

El Paso Community College Honors Trailblazing Women

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) Diversity Programs celebrated Women’s History Month with its annual Diamond Awards. The theme for this year’s event was Nevertheless, She Persisted: Women Who Fight Against All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The ceremony consisted of a panel discussion, luncheon and honoring Diamond Award inductees.

“Women’s History is important to remember the milestones women have achieved,” Olga Chavez, Director of EPCC Diversity Programs, said. “The goal of the Diamond Awards is to honor the commitment and hard work of women employees at EPCC.”

Shoshana Johnson was the Keynote Speaker. The former POW and EPCC graduate spoke on how her journey through life has transformed her today.

The EPCC Diamond Awards are in their 10th year of honoring EPCC staff for their hard work mentoring students. The Diamond Awardees are the positive face of EPCC diversity.

As part of this event, a powerful panel discussion to take action on discrimination that occurs against women everyday was held. The event was moderated by Dr. Mozella Garcia and Arlene Alarcon with panelists Rebekah Bell, EPCC Faculty Association President; Dr. Xiomara C. Chianelli, EPCC faculty; Ouisa Davis, Attorney and Zahara Taki, former EPCC student.

Texas Mutual Awards $100K to EPCC’s Risk Management Institute

Texas Mutual Insurance Company is awarding a $100,000 grant to El Paso Community College’s (EPCC) Risk Management Institute, which provides workplace safety courses for community employers, workers and the general public.

Scott Bain, Texas Mutual’s regional manager of safety services, presented the grant on Wednesday, March 7, to the Risk Management Institute.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Texas Mutual, the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance, has given a $100,000 grant to the college to support the risk management program. The program was established with Texas Mutual’s first donation in 2015.

“Our Risk Management Institute has greatly complemented our job training programs available at EPCC, with a focus on workplace safety,” EPCC President William Serrata, Ph.D., said. “We’re grateful to Texas Mutual for this continued partnership, and our community has embraced the opportunity to make our city, its companies—and their employees—safer.”

Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President

Texas Mutual has awarded $6.6 million in safety education grants since 1999. El Paso Community College is one of 10 community colleges in Texas that provides safety classes via funding from Texas Mutual.

EPCC created its Risk Management Institute to offer seminars on workers’ health and safety for employers and employees. A wide range of courses relative to the El Paso area are available through the program, including back safety, ergonomics, fall protection, and OSHA standards, among others.

“Workplace safety education has always been and will continue to be a sound investment, and we are happy to partner with El Paso Community College again to make safety programs a priority in the area,” Bain said. “The courses that will be available to area employees, along with other safety institutes around the state, help workers across Texas be safer and more successful on the job. These grants and the other safety programs from Texas Mutual demonstrate our commitment to ensuring millions of workers get the education they need to work safely.”

For more information about the El Paso Community College Risk Management Institute, call (915) 831-7122 or visit the website.

Op-Ed: Why Public Schools Need Marketing Firms

A few months back on a local blog, the blog author and guests wrote and responded with some indignation about a local school district hiring a “marketing firm.” “Why would a school district need a marketing firm?” they asked with annoyance.

“Surely this money should be spent in the classroom! This is an outrage!” Grumble. Grumble. “Oh, and by the way the superintendent makes too much money and all administrators need to be fired.” Grumble. Grumble.

Being a blog that mostly caters to angry-at-local-politics folks, or people that are just angry in general for having to pay any taxes at all for anything, the echo-chamber cacophony of agreement crescendoed into a roar of annoyance and outrage. Soon, every response was based on agreeing the blog entry itself, with little or no reflection or critical thinking. Anyone trying to counter the argument was immediately branded a suck up, a traitor, or insulted as being “out of touch.”

Rational discourse was not welcome there. No need to respond if you disagreed or had an alternative point of view. The collective minds of the blog mass was already made up. The responses to the blog post went something like this:

“If those schools would just do their jobs, they wouldn’t need a marketing firm!”

“If the schools are losing students, so be it. If they were any good, they
wouldn’t be losing anyone!”

“They didn’t need marketing firms in my day! And look how well I turned

“Get off my lawn! And fire the superintendent!”

“Yeah, I agree with everything he just said. Ditto!

As EdChoice put it in an article about education marketing: “Shame on schools for trying to get students in their classrooms! Everyone knows those students should just show up, sit down and learn regardless of whether the learning environment is right for them.”

The original kernel of the blog post was actually a good question: “Why would a public school district would want to hire a marketing or “branding” firm?”

Actually, if you dive just a little bit deeper into the topic, “marketing” is not such a bad idea especially in these days of school districts that are under attack from a variety of forces: private schools, home schoolers, angry politicians, but mostly privately owned charter schools. For a public school district to hire a marketing firm to make sense however, you have to think critically about WHY a district would want to market it’s services. It comes down to the reason ANY business or organization would want to market itself: Getting more customers.

In many school districts across the nation, educators are faced with a multitude of forces aligning up in ways that school districts in the past 60 or so post WWII years probably would never have had to think about. Those include:

Loss of students:

In public schools, the students in the seats are the way that the schools make their money. More students mean more money. Less students mean less money.(link)

Think of students like a business thinks of customers. One district in the city has been losing students at the rate of about 1000 per year due to several reasons including major demographic changes in the city. As the oldest school district in the area, the base population is getting older and moving away from the city center towards the outskirts of town where the newer houses, stores, entertainment, and parks are.

Those “outskirts” also are home to other schools districts. Families moving to newer neighborhoods are moving away from the district. Older folks just don’t have babies plain and simple. The post WWII baby boom which fueled the rise of large urban school districts has given way to suburban sprawl and the relocation of younger families to less expensive outlying communities.

Legislative processes fighting against public education:

In the past, there was a strong bipartisan legislative ethic that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, to give it a Star Trek spin. Recently in Texas, along with quite a few mainly Republican, Tea Party controlled states like Kansas and Wisconsin, the legislature has decidedly become anti-public education. The needs of the well heeled few and corporations are becoming more important than the many.

A recent Texas Tribune article sums up the ed funding battle this way:

“The funding challenge facing districts like Kelton, as well as the unique pot of money they are set to lose in three months, stems from decisions by state officials made over a decade ago. In 2006, the Legislature compressed tax rates by a third, after the Texas Supreme Court ordered them to alleviate the high property tax rates in local school districts. They also created a state aid program to make up the extra revenue districts lost by lowering tax rates.”

In their Tea Party fueled fervor, the Texas legislature (along with MANY other GOP controlled state legislatures) has cut funding for students, cut taxes that paid for education, added funding for charter schools, made raising taxes much more difficult than in the past, and generally have decided that public education is not the investment in the future as they once viewed it, although the vast majority of them are products of the exact public school system they say is “broken.”

The idea of the collective good in education has gone on life support and with it, equitable funding. Districts are left with trying to pull funds from an ever increasingly smaller pot. Rich districts in rich suburbs of Houston and Dallas thrive, while those in the Valley, along the Rio Grande and rural areas have to try to succeed using an increasingly smaller pot of funds to draw from.

Charter schools:
Charter schools, no matter what anyone might say otherwise, take funds from public schools by taking students from public schools. (Books have been written about whether charter schools are academically better or not, but in terms of simply sucking money from traditional public school districts, they are poison.) A student that goes to a charter school takes their funding with them.

In El Paso, not only brick and mortar but online charter schools will dig into the “butts-in-seats” funding that is the life blood of public education. The math is simple: If a student is attending an online school, or another school outside your district, you don’t get money for that student.

Charter schools, many backed with not only public funds as well as private funds, can afford to market themselves and have done so aggressively using professional marketing firms, also know as “branding firms.”

How does a school district fight back against demographic changes, a hostile legislature, and a new opponent that does not have to play by the same rules that you have to?

One way would be to just sit back and think that the issue will correct itself over time and go away. This is a poor strategy, much like allowing your opponent to run up the score in the first three quarters thinking you will be able to outscore them in the fourth.

That strategy rarely works. As poor a strategy as it may seem, it is one that many school districts seem to think is viable. Do nothing. Just teach. It will all be fine.

The problem is that while you sit back and do nothing, your competition is advertising about how good they are, with slickly produced ads that beckon parents to give that shiny new charter school a chance.

Consider this ad for Odyssey Charter Schools:

Slick, modern, and tempting. Ads like that are done, for Charter schools, by marketing companies, or branding companies. One should ask, why is it okay for charters, who use public funds, to create marketing, but not for public school districts?

One study in Pennsylvania found that charter schools spend on average, $48 per student per year on advertising.
IDEA Public Charter Schools are in the El Paso area.

They are not shy about advertising:

Another way is to create a series of strategic moves that by themselves seem disparate, but when put together make a cohesive plan to bring students back into the district.

The first step is, of course, to have a strong academic program, and to provide services to students that might not be found elsewhere. In El Paso for instance, the EPISD is addressing that issue by bringing in several programs that are unique to the area: International Baccalaureate schools at the middle school level, as well as becoming the largest New Tech High district in the US. The district is also becoming a 1:1 in all secondary campuses, among other things, like having a dual language program at all 54 elementary campuses across the city.

Open Enrollment:
Another step is to allow students from anywhere to come to your district. This is called “open enrollment” and it allows students from anywhere to enroll. Surprisingly enough, in Texas, public schools default to a “closed enrollment” model where students only living in the boundaries of the school district are allowed to attend.

A district has to declare itself “Open Enrollment” to allow other students to attend. Once you have good academic programs in place (that is the most difficult and takes the most time by the way), and you have declared yourself an “open enrollment” district, the students will just start piling into your schools right?


Like any business, you need to advertise. You can have the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, no one will buy it.

You no doubt have been in a business that has great “word of mouth;” that mystical advertising method where people tell their friends who tell their friends who tell their friends about it. That is a great strategy at first, but after a few months, that business, if it relied solely on people telling their friends how wonderful it is, probably is on financial ropes and is headed for disaster.

They have to advertise some other way, otherwise they will fail. The “build it and they will come” mentality for business and now public schools only works in the movies with ghost baseball players and Kevin Costner.

An article in Forbes Magazine stated exactly why school districts need to market themselves:

“For generations, the thought of a school district hiring outreach help was anathema. Especially during the Baby Boom, educators had one constituency to court: parents. With half the homes in many communities having school age children, the need to fund public schools was obvious. Now, however, it’s not unusual for many districts to have fewer than 30% of households with children in the public schools. Losing their core parental constituency has forced school boards and administrators to embrace social media and move beyond traditional newsletters to explain their value to the broader community.”

That is exactly why school districts need to market themselves. What is the point of creating modern learning spaces, having great academic programs, and not telling your larger community or people looking to move into your area about it?

And telling your community is more than just sending out tweets and posting on Facebook. It is an entire broad based strategy that encompasses every type of media available; something marketing firms do.

The educational landscape has changed. And with it, the need to tell the community about their services has changed as well. School districts can no longer afford to be in a passive role when it comes to marketing their wares.

The idea of marketing education is not a new one. Public universities have been marketing their programs for years and no-one bats an eye.

Here is an example of my local university marketing it’s athletic programs:


Even publicly funded community colleges, market themselves because they know that they are in competition with tech and trade schools as well as with universities:

As an article in Public School Review stated last year:

“Ultimately, the trend towards public school marketing signals an important recognition on the part of schools that students and their families have choices, and they are increasingly able to have a say in their own educations. In a prescient 1999 report on privatization in education, the MacKinac Center for Public Policy noted that “in an era of expanded educational freedom, families must now be treated as customers with choices and not as captive audiences.”

Families must be treated as customers with choices and not as captive audiences.

Public schools, if they plan on growing, or even just staying where they are, must advertise and market themselves, like any business. Advertising requires marketing, and good marketing requires hiring people or companies with those exact set of skills. School district are mostly made up of educators, not marketers.

Large scale marketing is a separate set of skills that most educators or school districts, simply do not have.

The irony of all this, especially on the blog that I mentioned earlier, is that those same angry anti-everything commenters will be the first to say something to the effect that “school districts need to be run like businesses.” When a school district does EXACTLY that, the same angry readers get even angrier.

Marketing is no longer a “nice to have.” It is a “need to have” for public school districts. To think otherwise would be a fool’s errand.


Author: Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback. Feel free to leave a comment.  Read his previous columns here.

Magazine Ranks EPCC #1 Nation for Awarding Associate’s Degrees to Hispanic Students

El Paso Community College (EPCC) was ranked number one in the nation for granting associate degrees to Hispanic students by two-year schools in the current issue of The Hispanic Outlook on Education magazine.

“EPCC is focused on engaging students, growing community partnerships and fostering a culture of excellence with measurable outcomes,” said EPCC President, Dr. William Serrata.

The publication annually surveys two- and four-year institutions in their serving of Hispanic students. This is the 11th year in a row that EPCC has been recognized with this honor.

For over 25 years, The Hispanic Outlook on Education magazine has been a top information news source and the sole Hispanic educational magazine for the higher education community.


EPCC to Host Forums for Upcoming Primary Election

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) Political Forums Committee will hold primary debates and town halls for the March 6, 2018 primary elections.

“Most people don’t worry too much about the primaries, so they save their voting power for the general elections.  We think it is crucial for voters to elect the best nominee from each party,” EPCC SGA Secretary and Political Forums Chair, Bryan Mena said. “We hope to mobilize both our students and the general public.”

The largest of these events will be a Super Thursday debate with the candidates for the 16th Congressional District seat, 6:00 p.m., Thursday, February 15th at the EPCC Administrative Services Center Building A Auditorium, located at 9050 Viscount Boulevard.

EPCC Political Forums Committee will collaborate with EPCC, United Advocacy of El Paso, Paso del Norte Children’s Development Center, The El Paso Leadership Institute, and REV UP Texas for Super Thursday. The moderator will be Abel Rodriquez of Dialog Radio Network.

The Political Forums Committee is made up of EPCC students, staff and faculty. The committee is spearheaded by EPCC SGA Secretary and Political Forums Chair, Bryan Mena, who invited like-minded EPCC community members to take part in the committee’s mission of increasing voter registration, boosting voter turnout, educating the El Paso county electorate and bringing candidates face to face with their community.

Additional debates or forums:

State Representative, District 75 Democratic Primary
Venue: EPCC Mission del Paso Campus, Building A Cafeteria
10700 Gateway Blvd. East
Time and Date:  5:30 p.m. Thursday, February 1st

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Democratic Primary
Venue: EPCC Transmountain Campus, Forum Theater
9570 Gateway Blvd., North
Time and Date:  10:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 7th

El Paso County Judge Democratic Primary
Venue: EPCC Transmountain Campus, Forum Theater
9570 Gateway Blvd., North
Time and Date:  noon, Wednesday, February 7th

For more information, please call (915) 831-2096 or visit their Facebook page.

EPCC to Host Texas Tribune’s ‘A Conversation with Mayor Dee Margo’

Community members are invited to a Conversation with Mayor Dee Margo, hosted by EPCC and moderated by Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith on February 7th.

The discussion will be followed by an audience Q&A session, and the entire conversation will be livestreamed at and The video will be available for viewing afterward at the Texas Tribune site.

Margo was elected mayor in May 2017. Previously, he represented District 78 in the Texas House and served as chairman of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. Margo also helped found the Regional Economic Development Corporation and served as president of the El Paso ISD Board of Managers.

Complimentary visitor parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to the building.

This event is supported by the Texas Municipal League, Pearson, the Law Office of Carlos Eduardo Cardenas, P.C. and Southwest Airlines, the official airline of Texas Tribune Events. It is hosted by El Paso Community College. Foundation support is provided by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation.

This event will be held in the Building A Auditorium at the El Paso Community College Administrative Service Center (campus map). The event is free and open to the public and includes a light lunch.

WHAT: A Conversation with Dee Margo, Mayor of El Paso, hosted by The Texas Tribune

WHO: Dee Margo, Mayor of El Paso and Evan Smith, CEO of The Texas Tribune

WHERE: 9050 Viscount Blvd., Building A Auditorium at the EPCC Administrative Services Center.

WHEN: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 7. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Conversation and livestream begin promptly at noon.

Tribune events are also supported through contributions from our founding investors and members. Though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite The Texas Tribune events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning.

EPCC Honored Once Again for ‘Excellence in Financial Reporting’

On Friday, El Paso Community College (EPCC) officials announced that the college was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).

“The CAFR provides a wealth of information to the Federal, State and local agencies, the bond rating agencies and the College’s accreditating bodies about the its vital role in the local, state and national economy,” Josette Shaughnessy, EPCC Vice President of Financial and Administrative Operations said.

This is the 21st year that the College receives this award which is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.   The award is for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2016.

The CAFR highlights not only the College’s financial results but also its achievements in every area of the District such as any new initiatives related to student success, technology and the various services provided to the El Paso community.

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award recognizes state and local governments that go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles by preparing comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFR) that evidence transparency and full disclosure.

The 2015-2016 CAFR for EPCC is available to the public on the College’s Financial Transparency website.

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