Current Article


For immediate release — Oct. 2, 2007

(DALLAS) — Members of the Dallas County Community College District’s Board of Trustees were honored collectively by the Association of Community College Trustees for their efforts to support and promote equity and diversity within the district. The trustees received the ACCT Western Region Equity Award for 2007 and were acknowledged during the association’s annual conference in San Diego, Calif., last week.

“We are honored to receive the Western Region ACCT Equity Award on behalf of the Dallas County Community College District,” said Jerry Prater, chair of DCCCD’s board of trustees. “Our board has focused on issues of equity and diversity for years in terms of students, faculty, staff, administrators, the community, area businesses and our partners in K-12 and higher education. I am excited to see that those efforts were acknowledged by a national organization and that we are leading the way in this area of the country.”

Prater added, “The district’s efforts in the areas of equity and diversity are integral to the goals and objectives of the DCCCD board of trustees. Those goals and objectives are the guidelines by which the district operates, conducts business, seeks to recruit students and works within the variety of diverse communities that comprise Dallas County.”

Dr. Wright Lassiter, DCCCD’s chancellor, nominated the trustees for the award and accepted it on behalf of the district and the board members. ACCT’s Equity Award is based on the following criteria:

  • enrollment, including growth in a diverse student population;
  • successful completion of students;
  • participation in better-paying, higher-mobility college majors through curriculum offerings, partnerships/transfer agreements and/or financial assistance;
  • employment and promotion practices that include a commitment to the employment of a diverse staff and the provision of resources and the proper environment for all students to succeed;
  • involvement of the district in minority communities;
  • diversity of representation on the district’s board of trustees, committees and advisory groups; and
  • diversity among contracting and vendor participation in the district.

DCCCD’s significant achievements were submitted in the nomination for ACCT’s Equity Award. Some examples are listed below:

  • DCCCD’s trustees adopted goals for achieving student success (including access, retention, skills attainment, graduation and transfer); employee success (including recruitment, hiring, retention and professional development); economic and workforce development (including strategic alliances, contracts and grants); community development and partnerships; business/fiscal affairs; and organizational effectiveness.
  • The Rising Star program, a national model that assists students who graduate from a public Dallas County high school with a “B” average or better and who show economic need, provides funds for tuition and books (up to two or three years). By fall 2006, the program had enrolled more than 2,900 students.
  • Minority students receive assistance from federal programs such as TRIO and Upward Bound. 
  • The district offers dual credit courses, tuition-free (as authorized by DCCCD trustees), to area high schools that participate — saving students time and money.
  • Over the past 10 years, the percentage of minority students who completed a degree or certificate at a DCCCD college increased 142 percent for African Americans, 298 percent for Latino students, 107 percent for Asians and 129 percent for American Indians.
  • Fall 2006 enrollment reflected the diversity of the student body, which comprised the following ethnic groups: 38.7 percent Anglo; 24.1 percent African American; 25.5. percent Hispanic; 8.5 percent Asian/Pacific Islander; 0.5 percent Native American; and 2.6 percent international.
  • Equity and diversity efforts among DCCCD employees include the Visiting Scholars program, which brings more diversity to the faculty ranks; Visions of Excellence, a mentoring program for new faculty; and minority hiring.
  • District hiring from 1999 to 2006 for full-time employees included increases in the number of African Americans (66 percent) Latinos (72 percent), Asians (117 percent), American Indians (17 percent) and Anglos (64 percent). Among faculty members, that trend continued with increases in African Americans (82 percent), Latinos (124 percent), Asians (163 percent) and Anglos (1 percent).

For more information, contact Ann Hatch in the DCCCD office of public and governmental affairs, at 214-860-2478 or

# # #

Photo: front row, left to right: Diana Flores, Martha Sanchez Metzger, Jerry Prater, Charletta Compton, JL Sonny Williams, Kitty Boyle and Bob Ferguson; back row: Dr. Wright Lassiter

Press contact:Ann Hatch