College Articles

Refresh, Refocus, Restart


Richland College Offers Career Programs to Fit You

by Alicia Wanek

Dallas’ “best kept secret” may not be a restaurant gem or a trendy boutique but instead an innovative approach to career and technical education, right in our own backyard.

Whether you want to refresh your skills for the job you already have (we all know how quickly technical advancements are being made in every field), refocus your efforts to train for a more specialized career in your current field, or restart on a new career path altogether, you’ll likely find beneficial career training in one of Richland’s technical degree or certificate programs.

richland-career-tech-2Students in one of four clusters – business, computers, health professions, or engineering and manufacturing – are benefiting from a new approach to the way classes are structured to prepare them for the real world with very specialized training in everything from digital forensics, management, and pharmacy technician to accounting, and, for some, it will help them move on to a four-year university.  These Associate of Applied Science programs are structured in terms of what Rose Galloway, Richland Associate Vice President calls “stackable credits.”  For example, a student in engineering technology can work toward certificates in computer-aided design, electronics technology, and manufacturing on their way to earning their AAS.  Rose says these “meta-majors” help to establish pathways that ensure students are taking the right courses to prepare them for their career.  “We were finding that many students were getting to four-year universities with up to 20 credit hours they didn’t need.”  This approach prevents that from happening.

The program is getting the attention of local industry.  For example, The TEAM Center (Technology Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing), through funding by Texas Instruments and a TAACCCT grant  (Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training) has been able to renovate almost an entire floor of one building to establish state-of-the-art facilities in manufacturing and robotics.  Student Monica Lee appreciates the hands-on experience she’s getting.  “It really lets you know how manufacturing is done. Even if you go in to an area like design, you know how to operate the machinery so you can plan a job and all that goes into it to meet customer’s needs.” Brian Fleming, Faculty and Manufacturing Coordinator says, “It’s one thing to create something on the computer and another to see and participate in manufacturing it.”

Ultimately, the goal is to get the training for the career of your dreams.  Richland instructors suggest, “Many of our graduates experience tremendous opportunities for growth, advancement, and higher incomes…” after completing their AAS degree.  One recent program graduate said, “Enrolling in Richland’s Management Program was a great experience for me. I gained a wealth of knowledge that helped me to earn a promotion on my job.”  The countless student success stories are a testament to the quality of the education and the instructors in all the programs.

It doesn’t sound like these educational opportunities will stay a “best kept secret” much longer.

For more information on Richland’s career and technical education, contact Rose Galloway at rgalloway@dcccd.edu.

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