With its great schools, affordable housing, and convenient location, Spring Branch in recent years has attracted more residents and more entrepreneurs looking to launch businesses.

The Spring Branch campus of Houston Community College is another draw, providing skills training and top-notch degrees in the arts and sciences.

Campus President Zachary Hodges

“I’m really proud of the Spring Branch campus for the quality of our faculty and the individual attention students get,” says Houston Community College Northwest President Dr. Zachary Hodges.

Popular science concentrations at HCC Spring Branch include computer science, cybersecurity, digital information systems, business technology and software. Arts offerings include fine arts, dance, film, audio recording technology, digital communication and more.

Cybersecurity and computer science courses continue to evolve with the latest technology and software,” Hodges says: “We stay ahead of that.”

Total student enrollment at the campus, at 1010 Sam Houston Parkway North, was 12,771 before the pandemic. Included is a large international student population, and HCC offers four levels of  English as a Second Language (ESL) courses there.

“We also have really good services for students with physical and learning disabilities,” Hodges adds.

Another premier program at the school is a partnership with Texas A&M University — the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at HCC.

Students jointly enroll at A&M and HCC. A&M professors teach the engineering course work and HCC teaches the math and science classes. Students can spend at least a year,  or two at most, co-enrolled at HCC before transitioning full time to Texas A&M in College Station to finish their bachelor’s degrees.

A unique, free community offering at HCC campus for the coming year is The Mattress Mack School of Selling, an online program HCC will run in partnership with Houston’s Mattress Mack of the iconic Houston furniture store Gallery Furniture.

When it was offered last year, the not-for-credit program through HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurship drew 350 students. HCC entrepreneurs-in-residence teach the six virtual sessions and Mattress Mack delivers a three-minute video for each. Sessions run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on August 10, 12, 17, 19, 24 and 26. Topics include listening, persistence, the ability to say no, caring customer service, building a book of business and what you learn after you know it all.

“There are very few selling programs in the country, and Mattress Mack is the king salesman,” Hodges says.

HCC Spring Branch this year has also announced a new partnership with the Cannon, a Spring Branch co-working space and entrepreneurial community for startups and small businesses. HCC students have the opportunity to pursue internships through Cannon connections and work on special projects.

“We’re getting students interested in high-tech entrepreneurship,” Hodges says. “Twenty-first century employment is different than employment has been in the past.”

Sign up for HCC admission and course registration fairs here.

— by Deborah Blumberg