Midtown Houston and HCC Enjoy a Symbiotic Relationship

Having an institution of higher learning right next door is a plus, but for Midtown Houston it’s more than that. It’s a symbiotic relationship that just grows stronger each year.

Just ask Dr. Cesar Maldonado, chancellor of the Houston Community College System (HCCS) that includes the HCC Central Campus at 1300 Holman St., and HCC District (Administration) located at 3100 Main Street in the heart of Midtown Houston.

“It’s always a benefit to be next to an area itself that is driven by an industry such as the arts and entertainment environment in Midtown,” said Maldonado, who joined HCC in May 2014. “Our Central College is the beneficiary of the performing arts that is shared in that part of the community.”

In 2012, the Texas Commission on the Arts designated the Midtown Cultural Arts and Entertainment District as a special zone that harnesses the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community revitalization. With this designation, the District became a focal point for generating businesses, attracting tourists, stimulating cultural development and fostering civic pride.

Midtown Houston is home to more than 40 cultural arts venues, from the Ensemble Theater at 3535 Main to the annual Midtown Art in the Park, a fine arts festival that is held each April at Elizabeth Baldwin Park at 1701 Elgin.

HCC’s Heinen Theater at 3517 Austin St. “serves a special role in providing performance space in the Midtown area to expand the offerings by the Midtown District,” Maldonado said. “We partner by providing gallery space and exhibit opportunities for local artists. It is exciting to be part of the growth in Midtown and providing educational opportunities to the community.

HCCS has a 2016 fall enrollment of 17,633, and 1,313 of the students live in Midtown Houston, college officials said. HCCS also operates open enrollment community colleges in Missouri City, Katy and Stafford.

HCC’s Central Campus is home to seven state-recognized Career and Technology programs, including the award-winning Fine Arts and Fashion Design programs.

“Access to education is a well established element of economic development and community growth,” said Maldonado, who holds a doctorate in Systems and Engineering Management from Texas Tech University. “That access is critical to the vibrant workforce and academic success of the community.

“The success of businesses, whether they are commercial, retail, industrial or healthcare, are all based on a well-trained workforce, and today in the 21st century that training never stops,” he said. “The training of workforce and university going students is continually being updated. Education is more of a continuous process than a single transaction.”

Being in Midtown Houston is a win-win for both communities, Maldonado said.

“The growth in Midtown will bring many jobs and have a significant economic impact on the community and people’s lives,” he said.

Midtown Houston CEO Matt Thibodeaux called HCC “a wonderful neighbor” that is an asset to the Midtown community and the greater Houston area.

“Houston Community College is a shining jewel in Houston’s crown,” Thibodeaux said. “Midtown Houston has become one of Houston’s most culturally diverse areas, and HCC is an integral part of our community. Midtown Houston benefits from the college’s bright minds and ideas, and students there benefit from the many cultural arts opportunities that we have to offer. It is definitely a win-win situation.”

Enroll in HCC classes today! There are five steps to apply: complete your application, submit transcripts and immunization records, access college readiness, register for courses and prepare for your first semester by obtaining your photo ID card, parking permit, buying textbooks and supplies, and attending new student orientation.

For more information about HCC, visit online or call the Student Services Contact Center at 713-718-2277.