Lone Star College, Mabalacat City College partner to promote international education

By: Bill Van Rysdam
| Published 06/22/2022

Pictured (left to right) are Dwight L. Smith, Ed.D., LSC Vice Chancellor, Academic and Workforce Success; Michelle Aguilar

HOUSTON, TX -- Lone Star College and Mabalacat City College (MCC) are collaborating to develop learning opportunities for faculty to share best practices and enhance teaching techniques for various academic programs including English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students.

“We want our students to become more familiar with the international workforce,” said Michelle Aguilar-Ong, Ph.D., Mabalacat City College President. “That was the genesis of how this partnership began and we are excited to join Lone Star College in this important endeavor.”

MCC, located in Pamanga, Philippines, offers bachelor’s degree programs in Information Technology; Hospitality, Tourism Management; Arts, Sciences & Teacher Education and Business. MCC welcomes nearly 3,000 student to its two campuses each year.

The partnership between LSC and MCC includes professional development of teaching staff, trainings, co-hosting academic meetings and joint research activities including sharing of best practices. The two colleges will also collaborate on history and education programs offered at each institution.

“The importance of cultural competency cannot be overstated,” said Mario K. Castillo, J.D., LSC Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel. “Understanding different cultures is important and something we should all strive for.”

LSC ESOL faculty produced 2 videos that will be implemented in MCC courses to provide their Education students strategies used for teaching English at LSC. In addition, MCC has designed a recorded professional development session for LSC ESOL faculty on strategies which their staff use.

“ESOL programs are so important to help improve lives of not only people living in the greater Houston area, but around the world,” said Katharine Caruso, Ph.D., LSC Associate Vice Chancellor, Honors and International Education. “We also are working toward a collaboration between Lone Star College and Mabalacat City College for the Honors College program to prepare students to work in a growing alliance of the world’s economies, cultures and populations.”

The partnership is funded by a grant awarded to LSC from the U.S. Department of State to develop an “Innovative Program Virtual Faculty and Student Exchange.”

“Mabalacat City College was recognized as “Outstanding Student Support and Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year for Asia in 2021” by the Times Higher Education World University rankings,” said Dwight L. Smith, Ed.D., LSC Vice Chancellor, Academic and Workforce Success. “We look forward to seeing our faculty work together to develop greater access to education for all students.”

LSC fall registration is underway with classes starting Aug. 29. Learn more about all the exciting possibilities available by visiting

'There are so many things we can learn from American community colleges,” said Aguilar-Ong. “I am very impressed with Lone Star College’s current undertakings which we want to model in the Philippines. I am sure this partnership will not only benefit MCC but the whole Philippine education system.”

Lone Star College enrolls over 80,000 students each semester providing high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and has been named a 2021 Great Colleges to Work For® institution by the Chronicle of Higher Education and ranked 35th in Texas in the Forbes ‘America’s Best Employers By State’ list. LSC consists of eight colleges, seven centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence and Lone Star Corporate College. To learn more, visit

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