The growth rate in the Katy area is continuing to increase at a rapid pace. The regions leaders are racing to meet the needs of the incoming population. It is specifically the educators in the region who are focused now more than ever on meeting the challenge of serving the student population at every step of their degree process.
Three of our member organization’s and fellow participants in our Education and Workforce committee have banned together to create what Dick Phillips, Associate Provost for Outreach and Communication at University of Houston, calls “a chance to create the first truly P16 community.”
The University of Houston Katy campus is underway and will be located at the northeast corner of I-10 and the Grand Parkway. Houston Community College is making the move from Foxlake to an area across the highway from UH in a collaborative effort to embolden and inspire the growing Katy ISD population to take up careers in the nursing and engineering fields.
This move will enable those enrolled in the two year programs at HCC to continue their education at the UH Katy campus just across the highway and obtain a full bachelors degree.
“It was advantageous to HCC, to UH and primarily to the students in terms of tuition if they could rely on HCC to provide the first two years of a four-year degree,” said Houston Community College Chancellor, Dr. Cesar Maldonado. “The proximity of our facilities is really an advantage but what really makes this a unique partnership is that our faculty will be talking to UH’s faculty and they will be working together to make sure that our curriculum aligns. ”
HCC and UH have an agreement that the qualified courses a student takes at HCC’s campus will automatically transfer to their corresponding degree program once enrolled at UH. That way the issue of non-transferable credits was eliminated.This partnership not only helps the students and the educators but also those in the business community. Companies that were struggling to find qualified applicants will be able to take advantage of the growing pool of graduates grown right in their own community.
“The engineering courses in partnership with the Cullen College of Engineering will be especially popular with the energy companies located in Houston,” said Dr. Zachary Hodges, President of the HCC Northwest Campus. “We have tremendous need for engineers and HCC, UH will be providing them.”
Expected to be ready by Fall 2019, UH Katy will also house UH-V (or Victoria). This allows both systems to use one another’s facility and classrooms and helps maximize limited space. The Campus expects around 2,000 students initially and to eventually grow that to more than 4,000.
This means that for less than $25,000 thousands of students will get the opportunity to earn a 4-year degree (2 years at Houston Community College and 2 years at University of Houston).
Written By: Imani Forrest
Edit By: Carmen Kumpula