Howard College’s mobile go center to debut today
by Ruth Campbell
Published: Friday, July 3, 2009
BIG SPRING — Making its debut public appearance at Big Spring’s Pops in the Park today is the Howard College Mobile Go Center.
Picked up two weeks ago in Austin, the trailer currently has 19 laptops featuring broadband Internet access — with two more coming and two flat-screen TVs — one for the outside — which can be used for PowerPoint or classroom-style presentations.
Although the trailer is wrapped in larger-than-life sized photos of activities on Howard College’s Big Spring, Lamesa, San Angelo and Southwest Institute for the Deaf campuses, it is meant to promote post-secondary education and programs throughout Texas — whether they’re academic, technical or health sciences, Vice President of Student Services Javier Flores said.
Outreach Coordinator Jeff Ward said officials from the financial aid and admissions department will travel with him.
Prospective students can fill out applications online and get help filling out financial aid forms. Midland College also has a mobile go center. Flores said he first heard about it at a conference last summer hosted by MC.
Flores said the goal is to create a “college-going culture in West Texas.” He also views it as a way for colleges in the region to cooperate.
“Collaboration among institutions of higher education in West Texas is essential,” Flores said. ” We can’t view them as competitors. We have to view them as we’re all in this task of closing the gaps together.”
To this end, he said the go center will be at homecoming for Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, a residential high school.
“We’ve stressed to our constituents and donors that this will disseminate information about all colleges,” he said, adding Howard college asked for pennants from a number of schools to decorate the trailer inside.
However, Outreach Coordinator Jeff Ward said information on each Howard College campus will be available. At Pops in the Park, he hopes to attract those with inquiring natures.
“We’re very excited about our first voyage. Even though Pops is in the neighborhood, the community will get to see on a mass basis the mobile go center,” Ward said.
“If the trailer doesn’t pull them in, we’ll have snow cones,” Ward said.
Go center funding was provided by a total of $170,000 in grants from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas Pioneer Foundation, Flores said.
The coordinating board grant was awarded in December 2008, and the college was made aware in January of the Texas Pioneer Foundation opportunity.
Work on the trailer design began in late January, Flores said. “The charge Jeff and (college Web Master) Quintinn Stewart were given was to design the trailer in a fashion that would describe Howard College,” Flores said.
“We tried to encompass everything Howard College has to offer with the pictures we displayed,” Ward said, adding this includes a photo of the national champion baseball team.
The trailer will journey around the college’s 13,000-square-mile service area which starts in Dawson County and runs to Junction and Sonora. The largest population centers in the area are San Angelo with close to 100,000 people and Big Spring with 25,000, he said.
Outreach Coordinator Jeff Ward said the center will go to San Angelo for the Independence Day party at Colt Stadium.
Ruth Campbell can be reached at [email protected]