A number of issues were discussed at EPCC President, William Serrata’s Town Hall meeting on Monday.
From future construction, to faculty, staff and student recognition, Serrata’s hour-long meeting discussed many issues regarding the status of EPCC as a whole.
One topic he touched on was the “Master Plan” set in place for the future. This “Master Plan” consists mostly of major construction happening to multiple EPCC campuses.
EPCC President, William Serrata speaking at EPCC's Town Hall meeting at the Valle Verde campus on April 23.
It can be found online at buildthefuture.epcc.edu and outlines two new Valle Verde buildings, the Academic building and the Workforce building, along with other enhancements to all other campuses.
“We had been long overdue on really moving forward with some new facilities and adding to our campuses. We’ve grown significantly since our first campus was built in 1998,” Serrata said.
The college is funding these renovations themselves to further enhance all campuses for the EPCC community.
Carlos Amaya, Dean of Art, Math and Science Division says, “It shows our commitment to providing this education, to providing state of the art facilities for students to continue learning.”
Another aspect of the meeting that Serrata was passionate about was creating an ongoing college culture. Serrata acknowledged how important it is for students, especially younger groups, to attend college.
He spoke of five different elementary schools in five different school districts that EPCC is partnered with to build said culture.
However, EPCC is not only affiliated with those elementary schools. Serrata also spoke of what his plans are for high school students.
EPCC is going to six comprehensive high schools, bringing laptops and staff to help students apply to not only EPCC, but any college.
Once the students are registered with EPCC and recommended courses by counselors, they are admitted on the spot. Serrata made it clear that college is the only clear path to the middle class and data proves this. “The data is very clear,” Serrata said.
“Sixty-five percent of all new jobs by 2020, and sixty-five percent of all jobs by 2030, are going to require some post-secondary education and training.”
It’s apparent that creating this culture and making it easier for students in the community to go to college is a top priority for EPCC.
Michelle Chavez, Diversity Coordinator, elaborated, “We don’t want to stay behind the times we want to move along with the times, so with that said, the college-going culture is imperative.”
Serrata also recognized faculty, staff and students at the town hall meeting. A few awards were given, one being EPCC Vice President, Josette Shaughnessy, being inducted into El Paso Women’s Hall of Fame.
According to the EPCC website, “The Hall of Fame honors outstanding women for their long-term contributions.”
Serrata also took the time to recognize Student Government Association President, Andrea Porras Portillo, who is the recipient of the Jack Kent Cook scholarship. Portillo was one of 47 recipients in the entire country.
“When you feature a specific student that helps other students see, ‘you know what? If she can do it, I can do it,’” Chavez said.