Hodges reflects on HCC’s pending move to a new building

Monday, May 02, 2022

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By: George Slaughter - Katy Times

Next month, Houston Community College’s Katy operation will move from its longtime location at 1550 Foxlake Dr. to a new, 24-acre tract of land at 22910 Colonial Pkwy.

Zach Hodges, president of Houston Community College’s Katy campus, reflected on the growth of the Katy operation Tuesday morning at the Katy Area Economic Development Council meeting. He said the meeting was one of the last such meetings to be held at the soon-to-be former campus.

Hodges has a unique perspective on HCC’s role in Katy’s growth. He has been president of the college for the past 27 years. He said HCC’s involvement in Katy began in 1978-79, when he met with the then-Katy High School principal to create a dual-credit program for the students there.

In those days, he said, Katy High School was the only high school in Katy. Today, Katy has nine high schools.

Yet while the campus is moving, some things will remain the same, such as HCC’s partnership with the University of Houston. The new HCC campus will be across the street from the new University of Houston System campus in Katy. This partnership will enable students to spend their first two years at HCC, and then finish their studies at either the University of Houston main campus or the University of Houston-Victoria.

Such partnerships, Hodges said, enable students to “start in Katy and finish in Katy.”

HCC has partnered with other programs as well. The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at HCC enables students to pursue their engineering studies at less cost than if they were to spend all their time at the Texas A&M campus. According to literature provided by Chevron and the two colleges, a student could save as much as $4,500 a semester in tuition and fees compared to taking 15 credit hours at College Station, leading to a savings of $18,000 over two years.

HCC is also partnering with the University of Texas-Tyler for an associate of science and engineering science degree. In this program, students would earn their degree at HCC, and then transferred to UT-Tyler’s Houston Engineering Center, located on the HCC Alief campus. There, they would complete a four-year engineering degree in Houston.

The new campus has room for two additional buildings, Hodges said. Yet while the program offerings are growing to meet the needs of a diverse and growing student body, Hodges joked that his new office will be 60% smaller than the one he now occupies. This can be problematic, he joked, when you have 27 years’ worth of stuff in that office.

The new campus will be officially opened with a May 6 ribbon cutting.

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