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CCCCD And Richland College Selected As Texas' Working Connections IT Faculty Development Institute

CCCCD And Richland College Selected As Texas' Working Connections IT Faculty Development Institute

MARCH 5, 2003 — Microsoft Corp., the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and Bellevue Community College’s National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) announced today Collin County Community College District and Richland College, part of the Dallas County Community College District, will partner to serve as the Texas Working Connections IT Faculty Development Institute, one of 10 sites across the United States in 2003 to offer cutting-edge IT training for community college faculty and staff.

The Texas Working Connections IT Faculty Development Institute will host courses for IT faculty at all community and technical colleges in the state, enabling teachers to stay ahead of the fast-paced changes in technology and ensuring that students enter the IT workforce with skills that are equal to and competitive with the current needs of the IT industry. CCCCD will host sessions in Collin County and Richland College will host sessions in Dallas County.

“Community colleges are designed to offer in-demand training opportunities in response to workforce needs,” said Dr. Toni Jenkins, CCCCD executive vice-president. “Keeping educators current with technology is key to providing students with the skills and experiences necessary to be successful in the workplace. We are thrilled to serve as the state’s Working Connections IT Faculty Development Institute with our partner, Richland College, because it allows both institutions to provide top-notch technology training to Texas educators.”

Ann Beheler, executive director and dean of CCCCD’s Engineering Technology Division, said that the Institute designation is an honor and will place Texas IT educators at the forefront of high-quality technology training. "Providing up-to-date and affordable professional development for IT faculty is always a difficult," said Beheler. "This Institute provides IT faculty from the entire state with an unparalleled cutting-edge training experience at an extremely affordable price."

“Microsoft is proud to offer the same high quality technology once only found in four-year universities to our community college partners,” said Bruce Brooks, director, Microsoft Community Affairs. “By offering state-of-the-art technology training, we are ensuring that community college faculty will continue to play a vital role in transforming students into the skilled IT workforce for the future.”

The Institute concept is based on a successful training model used in Washington State and was funded by Microsoft for the last four years. Nationally, approximately 15,000 IT instructors at 1,100 community colleges will benefit as the Institute is fully rolled out to all 50 states over the next five years. It will also benefit up to 100,000 students in the first two years. The Institute will be managed by the AACC and NWCET at Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, Washington.

The Working Connections IT Faculty Development Institute is a natural expansion of the AACC/Microsoft Working Connections partnership that began in 1998. Working Connections helps develop model IT programs across the nation, with a special emphasis on recruiting and serving underserved populations. Microsoft has donated $50 million in cash and software to date.

Collin County Community College District serves more than 38,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs in a wide range of disciplines. In addition, the CCCCD is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and workforce development. The college is one of only nine instructor Cisco Academy Training Centers in the world. This center and the engineering technology program are based at the Preston Ridge Campus in Frisco, Texas.

For more information on the Working Connections IT Faculty Development Institute, contact Ann Beheler, co-project lead at CCCCD, at 972.377.1700 or or Martha Hogan, co-project lead at Richland College, at 972.238.3795 or .