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UH System Partnering with HCC to Develop New University CentersInitiative Will Serve Two Major Branches of Houston Community College District

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January 31, 2012-Houston-

The University of Houston System is moving forward with plans to become the primary partner with Houston Community College (HCC) in the development and launch of new university centers that would serve two major branches of the HCC District – HCC Northwest College and HCC Northeast College.

“The proposed partnership with HCC will strengthen the UH System’s commitment to continue relationships with community colleges as well as its commitment to foster a university system dedicated to both access and quality,” said UH System Chancellor Renu Khator. “This strategic initiative will advance the most important goal of the UH System, which is to benefit students.”

Establishment of the proposed centers would create an opportunity for the UH System to better serve the educational needs of the HCC Northwest and HCC Northeast regions, including the development of upper-division and graduate-level programs at both campuses, said Marshall Schott, associate vice chancellor/vice president for university outreach and programs at the UH System. “These programs would primarily focus on energy and health care, which are Houston’s biggest employers,” he said.

Under the leadership of Chancellor Mary S. Spangler, HCC has reached out to communities across the region and internationally to provide expanded higher educational opportunities, making the college more essential to the city’s success.

“This partnership is about taking each of our best assets and leveraging them in resourceful ways to enable both the HCC/UH students and tax-paying citizens of the Gulf Coast Region to maximize their opportunities while containing costs in pursuit of the highest quality education accessible in a 2+2 model,” Spangler said. “I believe in this arrangement everyone is a winner—the students, the community, and Houston.”

The proposed partnership would build upon UH’s existing articulation agreements already in place with HCC, one of the largest institutions of higher education in the country with more than 70,000 students each semester, including more international students (nearly 8 percent) than any community college in the country.

HCC Northwest, which is among the fastest-growing colleges in the HCC service region, includes the Katy and Spring Branch campuses and primarily serves the Katy, Spring Branch and Alief communities as well as some areas of the Houston Independent School District.

Current enrollment across the campuses of HCC-NW exceeds 20,000. The Katy/West Houston area is home to the Energy Corridor, with more than 100,000 employees in the area.  It also houses two major regional medical complexes, ensuring continued growth in the area.

The UH System’s plans for Katy/West Houston are to build upon existing degree program authority granted in the Katy/West Houston and to embark on a planning process with HCC to develop a more comprehensive higher education plan for the region.  This will include the addition of academic programs, especially those that address workforce needs for the energy industry, and the development of a long-term facilities plan to support enrollment growth

HCC Northeast, which houses an Energy Institute and a Public Safety Institute, already has in place a strong technology portfolio. Noting its enrollment reflects the largest percentage of workforce/technical track students among the HCC campuses, officials will consider expanding programs in energy and technology-related fields to meet the needs of the region.  

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ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON SYSTEM

The University of Houston System is a comprehensive system of higher education institutions serving to further the intellectual capital and economic strength of the Gulf Coast region. The UH System includes the University of Houston, a nationally recognized Tier One public research university; the University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year undergraduate university expanding into graduate programs; the University of Houston-Victoria, a four-year university with undergraduate and master’s level degree programs; and the University of Houston- Clear Lake, an upper-division and master’s level institution. The system also includes three branch campuses, UH-Clear Lake Pearland, UH System - Northwest and UH Sugar Land, as well as a multi-institution teaching center, UH System Cinco Ranch. In addition, the System owns and operates KUHF-FM, Houston’s National Public Radio station; KUHA-FM, Houston’s 24-hour classical music station; and KUHT-TV, the nation’s first educational television station. To learn more about the UH System, visit http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/

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