Fifty years ago, a visionary Board of Trustees – including Dallas leaders R.L. Thornton II, Mrs. Margaret McDermott and the Dallas County Community College District’s founding chancellor, Dr. Bill J. Priest – set a daunting goal: create the best community college district in the United States. In 2015-2016, DCCCD celebrates its 50th anniversary, which includes five decades of growth and progress that are a credit to the vision of Dallas-area citizens.
The District continues to be among the largest community college systems in Texas, with the addition of dual credit and flex courses throughout the year. DCCCD reaches more than 72,000 credit and 25,000 continuing education students every semester.
DCCCD provides leadership for seven colleges, five community education campuses, and a number of locations that support the district. Those colleges are: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland, plus its virtual campus, Dallas Colleges Online.
In south Dallas, DCCCD’s Mountain View and Cedar Valley colleges provide credit and continuing education offeriings that support workforce and economic development. Those needs are critical to the livelihood of south Dallas residents, businesses, the Dallas Mayor’s Office and DCCCD. Traditional students can earn a degree or a professional certificate that will help them build a new career. Others who need job training that will enable them to find employment and earn a living wage can find programs through DCCCD in south Dallas, too.
Two DCCCD education campuses in the south Dallas area offer residents a chance to take classes close to home and get a taste of college or job training: the West Campus of El Centro College (located on South Hampton) and the Pleasant Grove Campus of Eastfield College.
Additionally, the Bill J. Priest Campus of El Centro College, located south of the Dallas Convention Center, also provides students with job training and offers a business incubator. The North Texas Small Business Development Center is housed at the Bill Priest Campus, too. Faculty members there also teach the instructional modules for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program for entrepreneurs — a program brought to Dallas by DCCCD and the Dallas Mayor’s Office to help small business owners succeed.
DCCCD has researched and decided to focus on three key areas that affect student success: poverty, economic and workforce issues and demographic changes. The district is addressing those areas across Dallas County, including south Dallas.
Plans and priorities now include those issues as the district moves forward on innovative approaches to student success and higher education partnerships that support them, such as Goldman Sachs, Texas Instruments, JPMorgan Chase, and other business and corporate leaders.
The District’s national reputation for innovative initiatives and programs continues to grow and to be acknowledged in the areas of leadership, academic programs, workforce development and community outreach. The DCCCD system takes issues that affect everyone, especially students, and works collaboratively to find real-time solutions.
For more information, visit www.dcccd.edu.