Town officials tour NCTC Flower Mound campus

by Darin Allred | Feb 12, 2013 <p> </p>

FLOWER MOUND - The North Central Texas College Foundation recently hosted Flower Mound city officials on their Flower Mound Campus in Parker Square to share information on the programs and services offered.

"The average person off the street in Flower Mound probably knows about Brookhaven College, but may not know anything about our very own community college here in Flower Mound, NCTC," said John Klaiber, Flower Mound NCTC Foundation President. "We need to make the community aware of the important educational opportunities here at NCTC."

According to Flower Mound Foundation Vice-President Mark Glover, NCTC wants to be an important part of the Flower Mound community.

"We have a tremendous opportunity in Flower Mound to serve the community and the community needs to understand the value and opportunities at NCTC," Glover said.

But there are challenges. While the demand for classes continues to rise, space at the Parker Square campus is almost full.

"My son's friend could only get two classes they wanted at the Flower Mound campus," Foundation member Jane Foster said. "NCTC needs to grow to serve the community and offer more classes. The cost of NCTC is a fraction of four-year universities and many families need college to be affordable, especially for those of us that have several college age children."

NCTC President Dr. Eddie Hadlock shared with the town officials that NCTC has been serving Denton County since the 1970s offering classes at Lewisville High School and later at Marcus High School. He also discussed the various workforce training programs that are offered by the college including nursing, emergency medical services, surgical technology, computer information technology and business management. He also shared that high school students can earn college credit by taking dual-credit courses.

Flower Mound City Council member Jean Levenick acknowledged that "NCTC has a great story to tell" and she felt the community was not aware of all the educational opportunities available to the citizens of the area. She encouraged NCTC to share its story at a televised Town Council meeting.

Jessica DeRoche, Director of the Flower Mound Campus, shared student testimonials and how they were able to overcome barriers to attend college, graduate from NCTC, attend an area university and are now working in the area. She shared that many students thought they could not afford to attend college and NCTC's low cost tuition (about 25 percent of the tuition cost at UNT and TWU) opened the doors to higher education for them.

Debbie Sharp, NCTC Vice-President of Advancement, shared with the group that through the NCTC Foundation, students can apply for scholarships to help them obtain their educational goals. She also shared with the town officials that NCTC has been fortunate to receive several Department of Labor grants to provide additional workforce training. In addition, the college works with local companies to provide customized workforce training for their employees.

Flower Mound City Council member Steve Dixon was impressed with the Cisco Learning Lab and the impressive grants that NCTC has received from the Department of Labor to train individuals for the information technology industry as well as the MATRIX Allied Health grant to provide both short-term and long-term health care training opportunities.

Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden shared that workforce development is an important part of economic development.

"If we are to attract and have high-paying jobs in Flower Mound, companies must know that workforce training is available in the community," he said. "NCTC can be a valuable asset to bring quality businesses to Flower Mound."

Recently appointed Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos attended the meeting and was interested in learning more about how NCTC was funded and how future growth of the college would be financed.

NCTC does not currently receive local funding, which presents a challenge for growth.

NCTC plans to update the entire Town Council and citizens at a future Town Council meeting. NCTC currently has around 1,800 students and the Flower Mound campus and just over 10,000 students system-wide. The Flower Mound campus is nearing capacity after just two years of operation.