Dr. Rachael Capua named dean at Tarleton Fort Worth

Dr. Rachael Capua

Dr. Rachael Capua has been named Dean of Tarleton State University’s 80-acre Fort Worth campus, effective March 20. Capua will also serve as vice president for external operations.

Capua joins Tarleton from the Tarrant To & Through (T3) Partnership, where she has served as founding director of college and career success. As dean of Tarleton’s Fort Worth campus, she will work with North Central Texas business and industry leaders, Tarleton faculty and staff, and community and educational partners to expand existing degree programs and add new ones, Tarleton said in a news release.

In addition to defining Tarleton’s role as part of Texas A&M’s new downtown Fort Worth research and innovation center, the release said, Capua will work to expand upper-level classes on the fifth floor of Tarrant County College’s Trinity West Fork facility, continuing a longstanding commitment by both schools to provide an affordable, accessible education for students who want more than an associate degree.

As vice president of external operations, she will be responsible for the university’s online campus and outreach centers at McLennan Community College in Waco, Navarro College in Midlothian, and A&M-RELLIS in Bryan.

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“Dr. Capua is passionate that all students excel through the education pipeline and thrive in today’s economy,” Tarleton President James Hurley said. “Her expertise and energy will prove instrumental in raising our profile as a premier destination for anyone seeking a university degree.”

T3 Executive Director Natalie Young Williams said, “Dr. Capua will bring a proven track record of leading successful education and community partnerships to this new role. The T3 team is excited to strengthen its collaboration with Tarleton as a continued partner under her leadership.”

Before helping to launch T3 in 2020, Capua served as the first manager of internal communications for TCC and also served in the division of student affairs at Texas Christian University.

A second-generation Mexican American and former community college student, she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations from TCU. She earned a master’s in education from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in education from Southern Methodist University.

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A strong advocate of civic engagement, Capua serves on boards for the Tarrant Area Food Bank, Center for Transforming Lives, and Young Women’s Leadership Academy. She is part of Fort Worth Sister Cities International and in 2020 was appointed to the City of Fort Worth Human Relations Commission, where she has chaired the education committee.

“Tarleton is a proven leader in higher education, and I believe strongly in its mission to ensure that every student has an opportunity to reach full potential,” Capua said. “I greatly appreciate Dr. Hurley’s confidence in me and look forward to working with faculty and staff to advance and transform partnerships and programs, all while positively impacting the workforce and local economy.”

The first building of Tarleton’s permanent Fort Worth home along the Chisholm Trail Parkway opened in August 2019, and construction for building two is underway. With more than 100,000 square feet of classroom and specialized lab space, the four-story Interprofessional Education Building will address two pressing needs – increased access to quality healthcare and education. Move-in is set for 2024.

With an enrollment near 2,200, Tarleton-Fort Worth offers more than 60 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs to a diverse student population of working adults, community college graduates and returning students. If growth continues as projected, the campus could enroll up to 10,000 students by 2030, officials said.

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Tarleton, a founding member of The Texas A&M University System, first came to Fort Worth in 1978 with eight students on West Myrtle Street, moved to the Richard C. Schaffer Building on Enderly Place in the 1990s, and expanded to the Hickman Building on Camp Bowie Boulevard in 2006.