El Centro College, located in downtown Dallas, is a partner in a National Science Foundation $2.5 million grant which was funded in August, 2004.
• Creating convergence degrees and certificates
• Providing professional development for faculty
• Recruiting underserved students
• Disseminating the program to mentored colleges
Convergence Center Partners include Collin County Community College, University of North Texas, El Centro College and mentored colleges in six states.
Convergence Technology is the blending or integration of voice, video, data and image into one flexible network. It brings together products and capabilities of multiple vendors to provide services to the customer without interoperability issues. Convergence technology is active in the enterprise business and in the smart home.
A three year renewal $1.5 million grant was funded in September, 2009. Work of the original grant will be extended by creating new initiatives which focus on “Green IT” and reducing dependencies on resources, developing online/hybrid methods for curriculum delivery, increasing access to and retention of Hispanic students, and broadening the dissemination of convergence degrees and certificates to an increased number of colleges among the country by scaling the Mentored College program.
A regional demand for convergence technicians has been confirmed through surveys conducted in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Survey respondents in 2007 indicated they hired 452 Convergence Technicians during the past year and anticipated hiring over 1400 Technicians with a two-year college education within the next five years. Salary estimates ranged from $30K to $60K. InterLink, a North Texas business consortium, has stated that Convergence Technology is a main growth area for the future.