DCCCD Honors: Lassiter elected board chair; administrator earns certification; district honored for efficiency
Written by Phil Cerroni
Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr., chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, was elected chairman of the Parker University board of trustees during the group’s recent December meeting. He will serve a two-year term as board chairman; he first was appointed to Parker’s board in 2007 and previously served as treasurer.
“I am honored to serve as chairman of the board of trustees for Parker University,” said Lassiter, who previously served as president of El Centro College – one of seven individually-accredited colleges in DCCCD – for more than 20 years. “Parker is a growing university that has many exciting developments ahead, which I am glad to be a part of."
The appointment comes as Parker University pursues a five-year strategic plan that calls for 12 new degree programs and a total student enrollment of 2,500. The institution is growing to meet the needs of an expanding health care industry; it currently enrolls approximately 850 students in its doctor of chiropractic and massage therapy programs.
“Dr. Lassiter is a great fit for this role,” said Dr. Gery Hochanadel, provost of Parker University. “He not only has an extensive background in higher education, but he also is an esteemed leader in the DFW education community. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the board of trustees, and we will benefit greatly from his leadership.”
Maria Garza, auxiliary business services manager for the Dallas County Community College District, has earned the designation of Certified Auxiliary Services Professional from the National Association of College Auxiliary Services.
CASP is a four-year certification program for aspiring auxiliary services professionals and is the only certificate which demonstrates that recipients have met a high standard of excellence as defined by industry experts; it also indicates that they have the skills needed to be a director of auxiliary services in the areas of management, leadership, marketing, student development and operations.
"I am very proud of earning the CASP designation. It provides me with a means to develop and demonstrate my knowledge and core competencies in auxiliary services. This certification certainly prepares me for more senior responsibilities at DCCCD,” said Garza. “It also gives me a great foundation and benchmark for providing excellent services to students and staff and for improving the quality of the student experience at DCCCD."
“We are pleased to congratulate Maria Garza,” said Ron Campbell, CEO of NACAS. “Earning the CASP designation requires recipients to meet an advanced standard of expertise and experience in higher education auxiliary services. CASP recipients are among the best and brightest of our industry.”
The Dallas County Community College District is one of nine colleges and universities in the U.S. honored by University Business Magazine as one of its winter 2012 “Models of Efficiency.” Sponsored by Higher One, the program recognizes innovative approaches for streamlining higher education operations through technology and/or business process improvements.
In 2012, the district changed the way it processed financial aid verifications by implementing the GlobalCORE + File Review verification solution from Global Financial Aid Services Inc. Prior to that time, DCCCD students who were selected for financial aid verification were directed to a website to print forms and then complete, mail, drop off or fax them to their colleges. However, more than 50 percent of the paperwork was completed incorrectly, and staff members were overwhelmed with student inquiries. The review process took six to eight weeks, awards were delayed and complaints grew.
The new solution provides an online student portal branded to DCCCD, automatic student e-mail notifications, paperless document collection and an interface for Financial Aid and Contact Center staff members so that they can monitor status, check documents and run reports. Compliance review for verification files was outsourced, and review results were communicated to DCCCD’s student information system daily. As a result, file review time was reduced from weeks to less than five days, which allowed staff members to focus on counseling and assisting at-risk students.
Other winter 2012 “Models of Efficiency” recipients were Baldwin University (WI); Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management (CA); Northern Michigan University; NorthWest Arkansas Community College; Polk State College (FL); Southern California University of Health Sciences; Texas A&M Health Science Center; and the University of West Georgia.