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​For immediate release - Aug. 31, 2006

(GARLAND, Texas) – Dr. Wright Lassiter, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, announced to Garland-area leaders today that responsibility for the development and oversight of the district’s new community education campus in Garland will be assumed by Richland College; that move will enable Eastfield College officials to focus on another community education center planned in Pleasant Grove. Both new campuses are scheduled for construction with funds provided by taxpayers following a successful May 2004 bond election held in Dallas County.

DCCCD plans to begin building both new facilities in mid-to-late 2007. The district’s bond program includes new construction at all seven of its colleges, as well as a special component comprising five new community education campuses, which will provide access to higher education for either underserved or fast-growing populations. In that original plan, Eastfield College was responsible for planning, staffing and managing the new locations in both Garland and Pleasant Grove.

“Our priority as a district is to develop the best possible community education campuses in both Garland and Pleasant Grove,” said Lassiter during a meeting of the Garland Chamber of Commerce economic development steering committee. “Providing excellent resources is part of the plan. In order to furnish those necessary resources, DCCCD has reconfigured responsibilities for those two important centers, ensuring that Eastfield College and Richland College can meet community needs and provide workforce education in Pleasant Grove and Garland.”

He added, “As time has passed and assessments of those communities’ needs continued, we have decided to shift the development and oversight of the Garland location from Eastfield College to Richland College. Both of those institutions have worked hand-in-hand for more than three decades with business leaders and local government to meet the educational needs of the Garland area.

“As a result, both colleges are in tune with the economic development trends and the wishes of businesspeople and residents in that area. I believe that this arrangement will benefit both of those community education campuses, enabling us to focus on targeted education programs that best fit each area,” said the chancellor.

Dr. Steve Mittelstet and Dr. Carol Brown, presidents of Richland and Eastfield colleges, respectively, will collaborate on plans for the Garland center, according to the DCCCD chancellor. The district also will invite its other colleges to offer courses at the center that meet the needs of the Garland community. 

“Our plans include focusing on educational needs for workforce development instead of a broad-based array of classes for general education programs – a change in our original plan, but one that I believe will best serve the needs of Garland,” said Lassiter.

Richland College has suggested some changes in direction, tailored specifically to the Garland campus. Some of those ideas include:

  • A clear program focus on addressing the workforce development training needs of Garland by offering specific corporate and contract training;
  • Flexible scheduling and configuration for training needs;
  • Courses offered by several DCCCD institutions at one location, which is accessible by DART bus and light rail routes;
  • A new Business Innovations Center, where principles of performance, excellence and prototype product and systems development can be offered;
  • An environmentally friendly campus facility; and
  • Offices for appropriate mission-related job opportunity/chamber/career development agency partners who can enhance on-site training and employment needs.

“This step forward provides both education campuses with the resources they will need to serve their communities. We have pledged to offer better access to higher education for people who live in traditionally underserved areas or in high-growth areas,” said Lassiter. “I believe we remain true to that pledge and look forward to your support and your participation in these critical community education campuses.”

For more information, contact Ann Hatch in the DCCCD office of marketing and communications, at (214) 860-2478.