Chancellor > Media > Helping Our Texas Neighbors

Helping Our Texas Neighbors

Please use the following links to jump to sections of interest on this page:

To the Dallas Community and Community Organizations:

Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017

DCCCD is poised to help the Texas Gulf Coast community as they evaluate and share their needs. DCCCD understands this is a strategically coordinated effort; therefore, if your organization desires DCCCD’s help in these efforts, please contact Iris Freemon at i.freemon@dcccd.edu or 214-378-1809.

Hurricane Harvey Information and Resources

Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has created a hub with information related to storm impacts on higher education, including guidance for institutions, resources and information for students at impacted schools, and instructions for student loan borrowers facing difficulty due to Hurricane Harvey.

Visit the THECB Hurricane Harvey Information and Resources page.

DCCCD Volunteer Helps With Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Friday, Sept. 15, 2017

by Debra Dennis

Tori Correll
Tori Correll volunteered to assist Harvey evacuees.

Days after Hurricane Harvey wrecked the Texas coast, sending thousands of families fleeing for safety, Tori Correll followed her heart. Using vacation time and working on weekends, she assisted families who sought refuge at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, which had been transformed temporarily into a shelter for evacuees.

“Many people left their homes with little more than the clothes on their backs,” said Correll, director of foundation and corporate partnerships for the Dallas County Community College District.

Correll knew she had to help. She registered online and handed out supplies to stressed-out families as they tried to adjust to their temporary home inside the convention center’s mega-shelter.

“We call them ‘guests’ because that’s what they are,” said Correll, who was a runner for the medical unit that assisted immobile patients; she also worked other jobs where she was needed. “It’s been an incredibly humbling experience. It’s all hands on deck, and you get addicted to it.”

While some of the young children viewed the shelter as a large sleepover, their parents and older siblings were visibly taxed as they wondered what their homes would look like post-Harvey, she said.

Along with other volunteers, Correll helped sort supplies and distribute clothes.

“One man who had started a job here only wanted clean, black socks. That’s all. Clean, black socks so he could wear them to work,” she recalled.

But more long-term problems prevail. The psychological impact of the hurricane and its aftermath hangs over families who have been displaced. It is a sobering reality, Correll said.

“I think they’re all wondering what happens next. They have their basics to make it day by day, but how do we — as a community — help them return to normalcy,” said Correll, who is planning to return to the shelter again as a volunteer. “There are so many needs. I encourage anyone interested in helping to join us because we’re going to have hundreds of guests for at least a couple more weeks.”

Dr. Joe May, the district’s chancellor, has partnered with several other higher education organizations to provide assistance to Texas Gulf Coast community college and university students through an emergency relief network, the Harvey HELP Fund, a GoFundMe effort to raise money.

For a list of places to volunteer and how DCCCD employees and students can contribute funds or items needed at local refugee centers, visit these links:

Return to top

Free October SAT Registration for Harvey-Impacted Students (Through Sept. 27) 

Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017

The College Board will offer a free October SAT registration and a CSS Profile fee waiver to students affected by Hurricane Harvey.

DCCCD Colleges Help Hurricane Harvey Storm Victims

Friday, Sept. 8, 2017


by Ann Hatch


Dallas County Community College District students and employees have been working hard to help Texas Gulf Coast residents who survived Hurricane Harvey. Knowing that fellow Texans have been left with damaged homes and need help, DCCCD colleges have organized several events, coordinated donations and assisted with online classes to assist people who are trying to rebuild their lives.

Brookhaven College

Brookhaven College decided to collect items for its local, long-time service partner Metrocrest Services, which has been assembling evacuee supply boxes filled with food, hygiene and household items for distribution as needed. The college community worked from a list of most-needed supplies and then donated hundreds of items in only two short days, delivering a vanload of necessities to Metrocrest Services last week.

The Brookhaven athletics department hosted the San Jacinto College Invitational Volleyball Tournament at the beginning of the month because damage from Hurricane Harvey made it impossible for SJC to manage its own event. In addition, the Brookhaven Bears basketball team collected items to donate to Trusted World, which sent those and other donations to Houston. The soccer team’s 9/11 Commemorative Soccer Match now will help raise funds for the Texas Association of First Responders, which is based in Houston. And the Bears baseball program’s assistant coach, Skylar Sillivent, is helping with relief efforts in south Texas.

Return to top

Cedar Valley College

As the college prepares to welcome and enroll students who are Hurricane Harvey evacuees (in flex classes), the student development and support division at Cedar Valley is providing care packets filled with necessary, Red Cross-sanctioned items, in addition to counseling and family support strategies for those individuals who need them.

The CVC Student Government Association met with Miyoshi Holmes, director of student programs and resources, to coordinate collecting items for infants and toddlers — because that’s the greatest need right now — and also to establish a group of student leaders who can serve as peer mentors for incoming evacuees attending the college.

Members of Crisis Response Ministries and Victim Relief Ministries are responding to disaster locations and supporting shelters in Dallas. Commander Anthony Williams, Gene Grounds and Dr. Edward Smith, police chaplain at CVC, helped form Victim Relief Ministries. Smith has been sent to Rockport to help with assessments. CVC’s Crisis Response Ministries and Victim Relief Ministries are supporting the district’s efforts, too.

Eastfield College

The Eastfield College community has donated more than 1,000 pounds of supplies to Trusted World for distribution to help Hurricane Harvey evacuees. Two large vans of donations were delivered to the Trusted World warehouse in Garland; the charitable organization added extra community warehouses in several areas of the metroplex to accommodate the huge amount of physical goods and supplies donated by North Texas residents and businesses. (Since then, they have discontinued taking donations in order to sort and distribute the large number of items they have received.) Monetary donations are still needed, as well as additional volunteers.

El Centro College

El Centro worked with one of its vendors, Chef Produce, to gather perishable items for hurricane victims. Chef Produce took a truck to Houston last week, filled with those items. The college also has been assisting with a school supplies and uniforms drive for the Dallas Independent School District. El Centro is helping community partner DISD collect uniforms (white polo tops; and khaki, black or navy bottoms — all sizes, for both genders). DISD also needs a variety of school supplies: markers, colors, pencils, spiral notebooks, backpacks and other items. Collections were bundled and delivered by El Centro to DISD on Friday, Sept. 8.

North Lake College

North Lake College held a campuswide blood drive last week to support Hurricane Harvey victims and evacuees. Students and employees went to Liberty Circle to donate. In addition, the North Lake Gay/Straight Alliance and Student Leadership Institute are collecting items for evacuees coming to Irving. Top requested items for donation include toiletries and hygiene products, new socks and underwear as well as baby items. Monetary donations can be made by texting “HARVEY” to 90999 or online at redcross.org. To drop off donations or to obtain a complete list of needed items, please come by Student Life in room H201 or call 972-273-3020.

Return to top

Richland College

The Professional Support Staff Association is working on a donation drive for Houston as well as a similar effort for Florida, which they discussed this week during the group’s first meeting of the academic year. In addition, Richland Collegiate High School is establishing a service learning project that will involve adopting a small town near Houston for the next year. RCHS students also will be collecting recovery items and doing other projects (to be announced during the year). 

Dallas Colleges Online

DCCCD’s LeCroy Center and Dallas Colleges Online are assisting two higher education institutions in the Texas Gulf Coast region which need the help and online resources that DCO can provide. Alvin Community College is reviewing a list of Ready2Go online courses with OER that they might want to offer their students during the fall semester. Alvin CC’s vice president of instruction wanted content help because students have lost all their textbooks; updates are coming.

Lamar University has decided to put all their courses online for the first two weeks of the semester to help students — especially more than 3,000 freshmen. They have asked DCCCD’s LeCroy Center to assist with help desk needs to support faculty who need assistance getting class information and assignments posted in Blackboard. DCCCD’s technical help desk, directed by supervisors Dan Luciani and Veraina Eskridge, worked quickly with several other people to set up a special telephone number to take calls from Lamar faculty who need extra help. 

Both schools are scrambling to help their students start the fall semester, despite Hurricane Harvey woes, and they are grateful for DCCCD’s quick response and help.

Harvey HELP Fund Raising Money for Community College, University Students

Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017


To Members of the DCCCD Family:

Relief efforts continue all across the Texas Gulf Coast, from Rockport and Corpus Christi, from Dickinson to Houston, from Port Arthur to Beaumont and beyond. We’ve seen on a daily basis how neighbors are helping neighbors, strangers are helping strangers, and the spirit of Texas continues to shine during one of its darkest times.

In addition to the loss of neighborhoods and lives, that region of the Lone Star State also is home to a number of two-year and four-year colleges and universities whose students have been displaced or adversely affected as well. Their future plans revolve around classes and credentials that will help them build good careers and promising futures.

With that fact in mind, last week I had the honor of partnering with a number of higher education organizations to organize a steering committee that resulted in the Harvey HELP Fund.  This is a GoFundMe effort to raise money for Texas Gulf Coast community college and university students to help them get back on their feet again.

We talk often at DCCCD about building a higher education network to help our own students succeed and to support our communities. This truly is a network effort led by  DCCCD, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), Austin Community College (ACC), Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT), the Council of Public Universities Presidents and Chancellors (CPUPC), Civitas Learning and Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), the parent of Educate Texas.

This crowd-sourced relief fund is dedicated to helping almost 500,000 students directly affected by Hurricane Harvey — that’s almost one-third of all college and university students in the state! — and HELP stands for Higher Education Learning Pathways. Harvey HELP will provide emergency funds that will enable students in southeast Texas to remain on or return more quickly to their education pathways.

You may have already given to another emergency relief effort or donated supplies, food, water or your time to help fellow Texans in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. I want to thank you for helping others in need during this disaster.

I also would urge you to consider a donation to Harvey HELP. In addition, the DCCCD Foundation plans to extend an invitation to the Foundation Board of Directors and the philanthropic community to consider supporting DCCCD in this network disaster relief effort. The higher education community — two- and four-year institutions alike — stand together to help students get a good education and pursue their dreams.

Now it’s time to help a half-million of those college students in southeast Texas who need to rebuild their lives, along with their neighbors and friends.

Your tax-deductible donation can be made through the Harvey HELP GoFundMe page at GoFundMe.com/HarveyHELPStudents or directly through the Communities Foundation of Texas.

Let’s expand our own higher education network in North Texas and extend our help through this emergency relief network — Harvey HELP — to assist college and university students when they need it the most.

Thank you!

Joe May


Return to top

Volunteers Needed at City’s Convention Center Mega-Shelter

Monday, Sept. 4, 2017

The office of emergency management for the city of Dallas continues to need volunteers who are willing to serve at the convention center mega-shelter to help Hurricane Harvey evacuees. Volunteer opportunities are available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., 3 to 11 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily.

DCCCD employees who would like to volunteer for a shift must have a valid DCCCD ID card and also should sign up at SignupGenius.com.

The link mentions CERT members, but the site will allow any district employee to sign up. DCCCD employees who volunteer will be processed more quickly because they already have background checks.

Norman Howden, who is part of the CERT team at El Centro College, has been working with the city of Dallas to coordinate this effort.

Please consider volunteering your time and sharing this information with other employees and CERT team members across the district.

DCCCD employees who volunteer at the mega-center are reminded by the district's legal office:

"Please understand that volunteer activity of this nature, while encouraged and supported by the district, is not being provided pursuant to a mutual aid agreement or request for mutual assistance under the Texas Government Code. Therefore, any employee who volunteers in this capacity will be required to use accrued leave in accordance with the applicable district policies and seek approval for such leave in accordance with those policies."

Once employees have completed the sign-up process and are notified by the city about their shift, those employees should report to the volunteer sign-in table at the Griffin Street entrance of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Volunteers should wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and also remember to bring her or his DCCCD ID card (or CERT ID).

Here's a parking map of the area (PDF – 328KB) for reference as well.

For more information, contact Howden at norman@dcccd.edu or Cassandra Wallace with the city of Dallas at cassandra.wallace@dallascityhall.com.

Hurricane Harvey and Texas Community Colleges

The Texas Association of Community Colleges is sharing hurricane information about affected community colleges; for details, visit tacc.org/pages/hurricane-info.


Return to top

DCCCD Ready to Enroll Hurricane Harvey Students

Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017

As more evacuees from Hurricane Harvey arrive in the Dallas area, the Dallas County Community College District welcomes students from the Texas Gulf Coast disaster area who would like to enroll in classes at any of DCCCD’s seven colleges.

Although a number of classes have already started for the fall semester, Hurricane Harvey students can enroll in flex classes that will start during the next few weeks, or they can register for spring 2018 courses this November.

“The lives and future of so many Gulf Coast residents in Texas have been totally disrupted, and we want to help college students who are concerned moving forward with school and classes,” said Dr. Joe May, DCCCD’s chancellor. “The Dallas County Community College District family will assist Hurricane Harvey students with classes and financial aid while they are in the Dallas area.”

Where?

Interested Hurricane Harvey college students can visit any DCCCD college — Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland — or they can sign up for classes through Dallas Colleges Online, the district’s virtual campus.

Students who need help paying for tuition will be referred to the district’s Financial Aid Office. DCCCD financial aid administrators will work with those students regarding their federal financial aid or through other sources for financial assistance so that they can enroll in flex classes that start later this semester or in courses for the spring 2018 semester. Registration for spring starts Nov. 20.

Requests for financial aid assistance from Hurricane Harvey students enrolling at a DCCCD college will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

How?

To get started, please visit or contact the Admissions/Registrar’s Office at one of our colleges.

When Hurricane Harvey students visit a DCCCD college to enroll in a class, they will be asked to:

  • Complete an online admissions application.
  • Self-identify as a Hurricane Harvey evacuee.
  • Provide information about financial aid they are receiving at another college or university.
  • Fill out either the exemption request form for the state’s mandatory meningitis vaccine or a DCCCD form that will ask them information about their meningitis vaccine and “home school” where they already have submitted the required paperwork.

If Hurricane Harvey students plan to enroll in classes for spring 2018, they will need to provide official transcripts from other colleges at that time, added Mays. If they enroll in flex classes for the fall 2017 semester, they can share online “unofficial” transcripts with an advisor to help determine class placement.


Return to top

A Message From DCCCD Chancellor Joe May

Monday, Aug. 28, 2017

To Our DCCCD Family:

Since Aug. 25, we all have watched a tragedy unfold for our Texas neighbors along the Gulf Coast, from Corpus Christi and Rockport to Victoria and Houston. Hurricane Harvey has changed lives forever, and we can only view the horrific conditions with sadness, empathy and the desire to help however we can to ease the pain and suffering of our fellow Texans.

We are poised to help our higher education colleagues on the Texas Gulf Coast once they evaluate and share their needs. In the meantime, I want to encourage our DCCCD family members to donate to the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army and also to support local shelters with donated items that they need as well.

For a list of where you can volunteer and how you can contribute funds or items needed at local refugee centers, visit these links:

blog.dcccd.edu/2017/08/ways-help-hurricane-harvey-victims/

Harvey Victims Need Food, Money -- How Can You Help?

Local TV and radio stations are conducting fundraising efforts (as noted in this story), but these links also contain details about donations and volunteer opportunities.

We will keep all of our higher education colleagues and Texas Gulf Coast neighbors in our thoughts and prayers as recovery and rebuilding efforts begin.

Joe May


Return to top