Rural Texas Community Expands Vocational Technical Education Program with New Series of Online Courses

In partnership with dallasiDesign, a New York-based company, Grayson College is developing a fully online CTE program to help workers in a rural area of north texas preparing for new careers

DENISON, TX, April 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Grayson Collegea public community college serving a diverse population of working adults and part-time students in Grayson County, Texas, today announced an ambitious new initiative to improve its online offerings and significantly increase the number of online courses and certificates available in the areas of technical vocational education (CTE). Leveraging grants from various sources, the college will develop up to 60 online CTE courses by the end of 2022 that will help students prepare for careers in fast-growing sectors such as manufacturing, information, car repair and health care.

“A core part of our mission is to meet the diverse learning and workforce needs of rural learners in the region we serve. Too often, time and distance can create barriers to accessing education for working and part-time students in rural and remote communities,” said Dr. Jeremy McMillenPresident of Grayson College. “This partnership will allow us to significantly expand our CTE offerings to provide workforce-relevant courses that will be much more flexible, accessible and convenient for students and members of our local community. In addition to these new courses online, Grayson College will continue to offer more than 40 CTE programs with in-person components.”

To help meet the complex demands of the Lone Star State’s rapidly growing economy and workforce, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board announced the 60x30TX Package in 2015 with the goal of increasing the percentage of working adults with a post-secondary degree or diploma to 60% by 2030. Students in rural areas face additional barriers to obtaining a diploma and diploma: rural counties represent 97% of US land, but they are home to only 14% of US colleges and universities. Nationally, more than 21 million adults living in rural counties do not have a college degree.

The expansion of Grayson College online CTE offerings will enable students in rural and remote areas north texas to access industry-recognized courses, degree programs, and credentials through the convenience of flexible online offerings. The new collaboration is designed to help meet the hiring and training needs of employers north texas while helping area residents prepare for new, well-paying careers. Statewide, over 188,0000 Texas community college students, 47% of whom are women, are enrolled in CTE programs.

To build the online course program, Grayson College selected independent instructional design firm iDesign, which has worked with over 100 institutions to design, create and support award-winning online courses. A team of Grayson College iDesign’s faculty experts and instructional designers strive to improve existing online CTE courses as well as new courses created in an online format for the first time. Upon completion, each course will utilize state-of-the-art teaching methods and professional production coupled with rich, interactive video content.

Originally founded in 1965 and today serving over 4,000 students each year, Grayson College has gained increased national recognition for its focus on expanding access to higher education in rural communities. In 2021, the college was one of three Texas community colleges selected by the Greater Texas Foundation and the Rural College Promise Program to participate in a $3.1 million grant focused on strengthening college access and workforce outcomes in rural areas Texas.

“Community colleges are increasingly deploying e-learning, not just for formal education, but increasingly for the kinds of job education and training needed to help workers upskill and retrain. for in-demand industries,” said Paxton Riter, co-founder and CEO of iDesign. “It’s about translating high-quality CTE courses into a rich and rigorous online curriculum that will help rural learners develop the technical skills and credentials needed to access higher-paying jobs in the communities they call home. “

On Grayson College: Grayson College serves more than 4,000 students each term through six pathways and more than 60 degree and certificate programs in academic and technical transfer programs. The College’s mission is student success. The two campuses of Denison and Van Alstyne underwent a multi-year, multi-million dollar renovation and expansion.

About iDesign: IDesign partners with colleges and universities to create, develop, and support online and blended programs. We are passionate about helping faculty harness the potential of emerging technologies to design courses and degrees that make an impact, whether fully online, flipped, blended, adaptive, or competency-based. Our unbundled fee-for-service model is rooted in a commitment to flexibility and institutional autonomy, while our analytics platform supports continuous improvement through rigorous measurement of student engagement and quality lessons. From statewide university systems to private colleges, our custom solutions combine instructional design with technology to enable quality education. To learn more, please visit


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