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NCTC Dean named to UNT Alumni Board

by Darin Allred | Sep 20, 2012 <p> </p>

DENTON - Dr. Emily Klement was recently elected to the board of directors of the University of North Texas Alumni Association.

She was one of 13 new members added to the board, which is responsible for the governing of the organization and overseeing all aspects such as raising funds.

Klement resides in Muenster and is the Dean of Bowie and Graham campuses for North Central Texas College. She is actively involved in developing partnerships with UNT for recruiting NCTC transfer students. She has BS, MEd, and Ed. D. degrees from UNT in Higher Education Administration and Community College Leadership.

During her career, Klement has worked with Hispanic students in public school and higher education settings. She noticed that various issues created barriers to degree completion rates and student success.

The presence of Hispanic community college faculty is the strongest influence determining whether Hispanic students transfer to four-year universities, according to a recent study by Klement.

Texas is second only to California in Hispanic student enrollment, and family culture and locale play key roles in Hispanic students' selection of community colleges, along with the ability to attend classes part-time, according to Klement's research.

"A lot of barriers affecting Hispanic students transferring to four-year universities have been identified, but I wanted to identify the factor with the most influence on a student's success," Klement said.

Klement analyzed data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board of 50 Texas community colleges to determine possible barriers. Possible barriers included the Hispanic population of each community college location, Hispanic community college student readiness as indicated by Texas Success Indicator scores, and the percent of Hispanic faculty at each community college.

"The greatest factor determining whether Hispanic students will transfer to four-year universities was the presence of Hispanic faculty on community college campuses," Klement said. "The greater number of Hispanic faculty meant more mentorship, guidance, pathway finding and encouragement, and all of these things help student success and completion rates."

Several community college campuses in Texas have 25 percent or more Hispanic enrollment, and that number is growing, according to Klement.

"Overall for Hispanic students, and all students, mentorship, encouragement and guidance are huge, and we need to make sure support systems are in place to ensure a strong and qualified future workforce," Klement said.

Dr. Klement's husband, Andy, teachers Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology labs at NCTC's Gainesville campus. Their daughter, Kristen Weinzapfel, teaches English and is the interim department chair on the Gainesville campus. Their other children include Allison Rix of Fort Worth, Laura Robeson of Kansas and Adam Klement of Denton. The have four grandchildren, one of which is currently a freshman at NCTC.