Welcome from the Chancellor
Hello and Welcome Back HCC Students, Faculty and Staff,
The 2011-2012 school year was a year of challenges we faced together with determination, hard work and ingenuity. Houston Community College has demonstrated that we are the most relevant community college in the country, the opportunity institution for every student we serve. We are truly essential to our community’s success as the largest institution of higher learning in the Greater Houston Area, educating 75,000 students a semester. HCC is ranked #1for awarding the most associate degrees of any college or university in the state of Texas. More than 5,000 students completed their associate degrees or certificates of completion, and almost 1,000 students earned their General Education Development (GED) certificate this past year.
We are proud of our growth, but the demographics and expansion patterns of our community show a dire situation if we do not adequately plan for what is ahead. Since 2007, the college has grown by 40%, and is currently operating at 92% capacity. To continue to meet the expected demands of our community, the institution must make significant investments in facilities, technology and operational efficiencies. HCC must anticipate and meet the needs of its students and the community or the college will be unprepared to support Houston’s future.
In preparation for that future, HCC has conducted an extensive review of its facilities, needs and finances. In fact, this is the first time in the college’s history that the institution has developed a Master Plan. At community forums held last spring throughout the HCC District, HCC’s Master Planner met with and talked to many key stakeholders, administrators, community leaders, students and others in order to develop HCC’s Long-Range Facilities and Finance Plan. Our Long-Range Plan, which has been reviewed by the entire HCC Board of Trustees, will ensure each college will have new or renovated facilities and technology. This is necessary to meet the learning demands and address the critical infrastructure needs in high-demand areas such as health sciences, where we are currently at 275% capacity.
The institution is positioned to continue to serve our community as an integral partner and critical asset. As a guide to further this objective, HCC has developed its “2012-2015 Strategic Plan: Creating Opportunities for Our Shared Future.” This plan provides our students with the quality education and collegiate environment that will reinforce their dedication to their education goals. HCC’s Strategic Plan prepares the college for new opportunities and is essential to the future of the college and the city.
To help secure that future, the Houston Community College Foundation supports HCC’s efforts to attract and educate dedicated Houston-area students, including many non-traditional students and those facing barriers to higher education. The HCC Foundation awarded $560,000 in scholarships throughout the 2011-2012 academic year.
As one of the largest community colleges in the country, our top priority and mission remain serving our students. Students must graduate to acquire the skills needed to compete in today’s marketplace. They are more likely to persist and successfully complete courses when they attend classes from the beginning of the term; consequently, late registration has been eliminated. Also, HCC has redefined the roles of student advisors and counselors. Advisors assist students with their educational planning from prospective student through graduation. They assist students with the interpretation of policies and procedures to meet educational and career goals and objectives. As part of the reorganization, all students with fewer than 12 college level hours will be assigned a senior advisor. The senior advisors are linked to the student success courses and work in partnership with the faculty. The students enrolled in the success courses comprise their caseload. Counselors, on the other hand, assist students to identify, mitigate or remove barriers that impede their ability to reach their educational, career and personal goals. Counselors provide personal, academic, career, crisis and disability counseling and must hold or be working towards state licensure. Your assistance is needed to begin using the correct terminology when referring to advisors and counselors.
In this new school year, I am asking you to join me in affirming our shared commitment to making HCC a welcoming, safe, respectful and healthy place to work and learn. Almost daily, national and local media report incidents involving workplace and school violence. As role models for our students and community, we must be vigilant in maintaining our high standards for conduct and decorum on campus. These principles must continue to guide our interactions with students, the internal and external communities we serve and each other. These principles give focus to our primary purpose of serving students and facilitating their success as citizens in a free and prosperous society. I encourage you to take a moment to review our Employee Standards of Conduct on MyHCC and to incorporate them in your daily work.
HCC is a 40-year institution with a rich history of academic education and vocational training excellence recognized globally. We intend to continue that tradition with your help and support. Our current and long-term academic success and workforce readiness are essential to the economic growth of the Houston region. That we are successful in reaching our goals, in realizing our vision, is due to the outstanding faculty and staff of this institution. So, let’s get started and have another great year!
Mary S. Spangler, Ed. D.