December 20, 2013
Alamo Colleges Celebrates Student Success At Westside Center
December 18 the Alamo Colleges showcased the many successes of the students and programs at its Westside Education and Training Center (WETC) at the “Celebramos: Profiles in Success” event. The celebration featured current and former students, along with representatives of the partners who made this unique facility possible, all sharing the myriad ways in which the center has benefitted the westside community and its residents.
As the highlight of the event, a student who graduated from WETC related her inspiring success story. Vanessa Garza, who is currently pursuing a bachelor's in sociology at Texas A&M University – San Antonio, first walked through the doors of the WETC in 2007. With her three-year-old son enrolled in a pre-kindergarten program, she decided it was time for her to return to school as well. She credits the "friendly and welcoming staff" at the WETC for making it possible for her to complete an 8-week course in customer service and computing skills. She then completed the Community Health Worker program at WETC and then her associate of applied science in community health, which led her to the teaching position at Northwest Vista. As the first in her family to attend college, she is an inspiration to her five brothers and sisters who she hopes will follow her path to a college degree.
"What I value most at the WETC is the sense of community," said Garza. "People in the community know that the WETC is a resource they can count on for support, for opportunity, and for access to higher education. At the WETC, people are not judged by their appearance or their circumstances. People are inspired and lifted up by the sense of ownership and community they find," she added.
Also on hand for the event were: Dr. Jose Cervantes, Edgewood Independent School District (ISD) superintendent; Alamo Colleges Trustee Roberto Zárate; Alamo Colleges' Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie; and Westside Economic Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Leonard Rodriguez.
Grant Will Train Eagle Ford Shale Workers
The Alamo Colleges is partnering with Weatherford International Limited to provide job training using a $1.5 million Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
The grant will be used to provide 673 new workers with technical training to operate oilfield equipment properly. Those trained will include field engineers, operators and technicians as well as mechanics and equipment operators. Upon completion of training, the workers will earn an average hourly wage of $17.34.
"The Alamo Colleges is proud to play a critical role in training the skilled workers companies such as Weatherford need to be competitive," said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. "These are the in-demand jobs that our area needs to benefit fully from the economic impact of the Eagle Ford Shale development," he added.
“Skills grants deliver customized training solutions that help Texas employers and workers succeed in the marketplace,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “This investment builds not only employee skills, but the capabilities of our community colleges to the benefit of employers and the community. We are pleased to make this investment.”
“The Skills Development Fund will help Weatherford provide customized training opportunities for Texas workers to advance the skills needed to perform their daily jobs, as well as prepare them for the future of the industry,” said Weatherford US QHSSE Training Manager Gabe DeGabriele. “Most importantly, the training programs provided by the grant are instrumental in expanding Weatherford’s focus on providing a higher quality of operational performance while ensuring environmental safety beyond basic regulatory standards.”
Employers seeking more information about the Skills Development Fund may visit the TWC website at http://skills.texasworkforce.org. Those interested in applying for the training funded by this grant should apply at www.weatherford.com
Alamo Colleges Awarded $1.5 Million Science Grant
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1.5 million to the Alamo Colleges to increase minority science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) student success across the Alamo Colleges over the next three years. The grant, known as the CIMA (“Summit” in Spanish) Alliance, is the first of only two funded nationwide through NSF’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to the Baccalaureate (B2B) Alliances program.
CIMA will provide financial support for efforts to increase the success rates of minority STEM majors at each of the five Alamo Colleges, with St. Philip's College acting as the lead college for the grant. Funding will support student undergraduate research, peer and faculty mentorship, tutoring, the creation of STEM study centers on three campuses, STEM student clubs, faculty professional development and training for college recruiters.
"This generous award will complement our existing efforts to increase the numbers of Alamo Colleges' students who successfully major in a STEM field," said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. "The awarding of this grant recognizes not only our efforts to encourage students to major in STEM fields, but also our many programs and initiatives that encourage and support the success of minority students at our colleges," he added.
“On behalf of all five Alamo Colleges, we are excited to have this opportunity to collaborate on this important grant and bring together all our ideas and previous accomplishments to our nation’s STEM initiative so that we can provide opportunities and support to minority STEM students,” said Maureen Cartledge, St. Philip’s College Interim Vice-President of Academic Success and grant principal investigator.
The LSAMP program was established by Congressional mandate in 1991 to significantly increase the quality and quantity of minorities who successfully complete baccalaureate degrees in STEM and who continue on to graduate studies in these fields. In 2012, the program increased its support to community colleges through the B2B program. The CIMA Alliance and Valencia College’s are the first LSAMP B2B programs in the nation.
For more information about the CIMA Alliance, contact Maureen Cartledge at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about NSF’s LSAMP program, visit www.nsf.gov.
The Alamo Colleges on Cable TV
We have an increasing number of events and activities district-wide and are taking the opportunity to showcase such events on Time Warner Cable channel 98, Grande Cable channel 21 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99. This section of the Chancellor’s Weekly Report provides a schedule of the programming for our regularly scheduled times of 12 – 2 p.m. on Saturday and 2-4 p.m.on Sunday. Programming varies due to the timing of Board and committee meetings, groundbreaking ceremonies, etc. The programming for the coming weekends is as follows:
Saturday 12/21, 12/28, 1/4/2014
Part one of the regular board meeting of December 17
Sunday 12/22, 29, 1/5/2014
Part two of the regular board meeting of December 17
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