Southeast College is an open-admission, public institution of higher education offering opportunities for academic advancement, workforce training, career development, and lifelong learning that prepare individuals in our diverse communities for life and work in a global and technological society.
Southeast College is an educational institution that will be nationally recognized for its educational excellence, student success and its commitment to community building.
Faculty and Staff,
I hope you had a joyous holiday celebration with your family and friends, and as Southeast College continues to move swiftly into the next decade of growth and expansion, I want to welcome you back! During the holidays, the DuroTech construction crew and the college facilities’ staff worked diligently to achieve a major milestone; the completion of the renovation project on the first and second floors of the Angela and Felix Morales Buildings, which began more than a year ago. The Student Life Lounge area and a few other punch list items will be completed during the next 60 days. While the Felix Morales Building sparkles in an array of majestic blue colors, the Angela Morales Building glistens with a speckle of soft colors. The classrooms and labs, which are large and spacious, are equipped with state of the art equipment and furniture. The faculty offices and workstations glimmer in style.
The opening of the Learning Hub, along with the uplifting of the buildings, reflect a new era of change and transformation of the Southeast College’s infrastructure and image, and our goal to serve as a central mecca of teaching and learning for students and the community. I would like to extend my appreciation to you for your patience, endurance, and sustaining support toward fulfilling this goal. This is only one example of your exemplary commitment to students.
Another major undertaking was the recent removal of the five T-Buildings that served us well beyond their lifecycle. The classrooms were reassigned to the Morales Buildings, and the empty space was cleared for faculty and staff parking. Additionally, the corner house at Garland and Palmetto Streets was removed, making room for a temporary workstation assigned for the company that is constructing the three-story Workforce Building. Further cause for major celebration is the development of new program studies such as Music, which boasts a Jazz Ensemble and a Drum line Corp. Other programs include Digital Art, Women and Gender Studies, Africana/African American Studies, Mexican American Studies, Barbering, Maritime Logistics, developmental math bridge, online classes, RWUR, introduction courses in Pre-Engineering and many other Academic and Workforce areas.
The expansion of programs and delivery of Student Support Services have resulted in an enrollment of 11,243 students for Spring 2011 (OIR, 1/19/11). A preliminary review by the HCC Office of Institutional Research indicates that the increase can be credited to on-campus, dual credit, and on-line student enrollment. Southeast College is projected to enroll close to 15,500 students by the end of the Spring 2011 semester. The future calls for the construction of a new garage, expansion of the Student Welcome Center, development of a Small Business Center, expansion of program studies, increase of financial aid awards, and other innovations to encourage and prepare Southeast students to persist in completion of course work, graduation, and transfer to four year institutions and career paths.
In early February, I plan to host an All Faculty and Staff Information Forum. Also, my office is open each Wednesday of the week for individual meetings with faculty and/or staff who wish to meet with me, and you do not need to schedule an appointment.
Once again, thank you so much for your support, patience, and commitment to student success and excellence.
To download Dr. Irene Porcarello\'s resume, click here.
Highly qualified Educational Administrator offering over 25 years of proven leadership experience working in the third largest urban community college in the nation; more than 20 years of executive leadership experience planning and administering and implementing student success initiatives which have directly impacted hundreds of underrepresented and underserved students in higher education; and over 15 years of proven experience writing federal and state grants which generated several millions of dollars on student scholarship opportunities at Houston Community College.
- Highly qualified at designing, implementing, and evaluating system wide processes in student services.
- Demonstrated success in building partnerships between the college and school district specifically Collect Connection Project which provided approximately 5,000 high school students with college connection opportunities at HCC.
- More than15 years of proven experience writing state and federal grant which resulted in over one million dollars of scholarships awarded to students pursuing careers in nontraditional careers
- Proven success working in collaboration with the East Early College High School which provides a seamless process to high school students pursuing a high school diploma and associate degree simultaneously. The persistence rate for the EECHS students is 96.4% and the attendance rate is 98.6%.
- Named Hispanic Woman of the Year by Sucesos Magazine. In 2006 and 2007, Dr. Porcarello was nominated by the Community College Futures Assembly Committee to present on HCC Student Online Services, a program identified by the committee as an outstanding and innovative project.
- Selected in 2009 for the National Women of Achievement Organization and Profile of Prominence award.
- Published “Conflict Management Challenges at Integrity Community College” in the 2008 National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA) CONNEXIONS. In May, 2009.
- Received leadership award from the Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico, 2010.
- Completed dissertation entitled “An Examination of the Administrator Leadership Styles on Student Success of First Time In College Hispanic Students enrolled in Texas Community Colleges.” Sam Houston State University, 2010
- Sam Houston State University, Ed.D. in Education Leadership, May, 2010
- Texas A & M University, Summer Education Leadership Program, 1990
- University of Houston, Post Graduate Work, Higher Ed. Leadership Program, 1978
- University of Houston, M.S.W. Degree, 1975
- University of Houston, B.A. Degree, English, 1972
- South Texas Junior College, Associate of Arts Degree, 1968
PROFESSIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE
Houston Community College System (HCCS), 1982-Present
President, Southeast College-2008-present
Provided leadership and direction on the overall management and operation of the college.
Provided leadership on the development and implementation of a strategic enrollment management plan that resulted in a 30% increase of the college student enrollment.
Strengthen the partnerhsip between the targeted area high schools and SECollege dual credit program that resulted in a 35% increase of student enrollment.
Provided leadership on the grand opening of new construction and renovations facilities at SECollege.
Empowered the college Deans and faculty chairs to develop new academic and workforce programs that resulted in an increase of student enrollment (i. e., Africa African American Studies, Maritime Program, Cosmetology-Barbering Program, Music, Mexican American Studies, Logistics, etc.).
HCCS Vice Chancellor Student Success, 2005-2008
Provided vision and leadership on the design and implementation of a system-wide consolidation
Financial Aid Optimization Plan.
Served as Chief Administrator of the HCC Police Dept from 2006-07 and as a result, improved the dept’s delivery of campus services.
HCCS Deputy to the Chancellor, Interim Vice Chancellor for Institutional Development, 2001-2005
Work with the Executive Team on the design of the 2003 Strategic Plan.
Initiated the first governance model in Information Technology.
Implemented a system wide Student Success Model that resulted in the restructure of Student Services Financial Aid Office.
Designed and implemented system wide Strategic Plan.
Initiated the first governance model of Information Technology.
Implemented a system wide Student Success Model that resulted in the restructure of student services recruitment and retention.
Increased Childcare Services among first time first year students that helped improved student retention.
HCCS Dean Student Development: Southeast; Central; & Southwest Colleges, 1992-2002
- Led and directed the development & implementation of Welcome Centers.
- Established an Early Warning System that improved student retention by 10% among students.
- Restructured Fin Aid Office; as a result, increased recipient awards by 10% annual.
- Demonstrated ability to work with a diverse student population that resulted in 1st in the nation on international student enrollment.
- Established a new Student Services Department at a new college site that resulted in an enrollment of 3,000 students on opening day.
- Received grant funds over 2 million from the U. S. Dept. of Energy in support of four Minority.
- Energy Programs that provided students with scholarships opportunities.
Houston Community College, Campus Director, 1983-92
- Wrote several grants and received over 1 million from U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) that provided training and scholarship opportunities for underrepresented students and women pursuing careers in non-traditional careers.
- Results: increased student retention from 60 % to 90% among minorities pursuing math/science careers.
- Initiated summer internship programs at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Lab that included participation of HCCS math faculty and students. Results: increased student.
HCCS Grant Writer for the Resource Development Office, 1982-1983
Received leadership award from the Hispanic Women’s Forum, 2010.
Received leadership award from the Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico, 2010.
Completed dissertation entitled “An Examination of the Administrator Leadership Styles on Student Success of First Time In College Hispanic Students enrolled in Texas Community Colleges.” Sam Houston State University, 2010
Received the Hispanic Woman of the Year 2009, Sucesos Magazine.
Provided leadership and direction that resulted in the funding of three Chancellor Innovative grants which generated $250,000 of funding support for innovative programs at Southeast College, fall 2008.
Published “Conflict Management Challenges at Integrity Community College” in the NCPEA CONNEXIONS, 200.
Honored with a Profile of Prominence Award from the National Women of Achievement Organization, 2008.
Nominated by the Community College Futures Assembly Conference held in Orlando, Florida on outstanding and innovative programs or practices on HCC Student Online Program, 2007 & 2006.
Nominated by Chancellor of Houston Community College to attend the Future Leaders Institute sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges, 2005.
Invited to present at the Minority Access Conference, Washington, D.C., 2004.
Presented at the First-Year Experience Conference in Orlando, Florida on the Houston Endowment Scholarship Program for Southwest College students, 2002.
Planned and lead the Minority Student Energy Conference in Houston, Texas, 2000.
Invited to present at the World Women’s Conference, Beijing, China, 1996.
Completed an eight-week internship at the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley Lab in California and Washington, DC, summer 1989.
Office of the President
Learning Hub, Bldg. D, Suite 209
Irene Porcarello, the daughter of migrant workers, was born in Houston, Texas. Her family’s story dates back to the early 1900s, when her parents decided to move from Lockhart, Texas to Houston, Texas, Magnolia Park. From early childhood, Irene set her aspirations and goals to pursue a college education. Coming from an impoverished background, Irene realized that a solid education would help open the doors to success and provide lifetime career opportunities.
In 1972, Irene earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Houston. During the early 1970s, she also worked at the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA) helping to create the George I. Sanchez High School. Today, the school educates over 700 students on a yearly basis, with a primary focus to serve at-risk students that have not been able to succeed in a traditional high school environment.
In 1975, Irene obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work specializing in community planning and organizing. Shortly thereafter, she managed the Youth and Adult Program at Ripley House under the helm of Felix Fraga, a distinguished and notable community leader. With an increasing desire to bring necessary change to the Houston inner-city neighborhoods, Irene continued with her educational endeavor. In 1978, Irene enrolled at the University of Houston’s Doctoral Program in Education Administration in Higher Education. While at the university, she administered the GED Migrant Program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
After working as the Director of the Child Development Center, Irene joined the Houston Community College System (HCCS) in the capacity of Grant Specialist in 1982. Within a year, Irene was promoted to Campus Director. While serving in the Campus Director role, she discovered her talent in technical writing. For the next 15 years, Irene engaged in grant writing and as a result, she was responsible for receiving more that $2 million in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The primary goal of the DOE grant awards was to provide scholarship opportunities for underrepresented and under served students and women seeking careers in math, science, computer science, and engineering.
In addition, she also administered the DOE summer internship programs at UC Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and Sandi Labs. The students selected for the summer bridge program were assigned to scientists and inventors who served as mentors. In the summer of 1989, Irene completed a summer internship at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab.
While continuing her career at HCC, Irene held the position of Dean of Student Development from 1992 - 2001 for three campuses. In this role, she was able to continue submitting successful grant proposals to the U.S. Department of Energy. She was invited by DOE to present at the 1996 World Women’s Conference held in Beijing, China.
From 2001 - 2005, Irene functioned in the roles of Deputy to the Chancellor and Interim Vice Chancellor for Institutional Development. In that period, she worked on the implementation of a student success model for first year students thus improving student retention. Then, in 2005, Irene obtain the position of Vice Chancellor of Student Success. In 2008, she was extended an invitation by the Chancellor to serve as the Interim President at the HCC Southeast College, with the condition that she complete her Doctorate Degree. Six months later, Irene was appointed to a permanent position as President. Today, she continues to serve in this capacity. In May 2010, she achieved a major milestone by obtaining her Doctorate Degree from Sam Houston State University, Educational Leadership and Counseling Program. Irene’s dissertation is entitled “An Examination of the Administrator Leadership Styles and Student Success of First Time in College Hispanic Students Enrolled in Community Colleges.”
One of her most recent accomplishments is being honored in 2008 by the National Women of Achievement Organization with a Profile of Prominence award. Additionally, she also published “Conflict Management Challenges at Integrity Community College” in the 2008 National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA) CONNEXIONS. In 2009, Irene was honored by being named Hispanic Woman of the Year by Sucesos Magazine. In 2007 and 2006, she was nominated by the Community College Futures Assembly Conference held in Orlando, Florida on outstanding and innovative programs or practices on HCC Student Online Program. Aside from her extensive list of accomplishments, Irene is grateful for the opportunities that the Houston Community College has granted her in holding numerous leadership positions. Because of her perseverance, patience, and commitment, she has been able to work successfully with the faculty and staff to help transform the Southeast College to serve as a beacon of hope for students, parents, families and community leaders.
More importantly, she is the mother of two daughters, who stood by her side, while still aspiring and achieving highly successful goals. As an educator and community leader, Irene Porcarello believes that it is important for parents to become fully engaged and involved in their children’s education. She is a firm believer that parents should participate in the decision-making process that relates to the education of their children to ensure their success.