From humble beginnings in the state of Texas, the Central Texas College (CTC) has grown in leaps and bounds to establish a global presence with campuses in various U.S. locations, Europe and the Far East.
The idea to start a community college was developed by the citizens of Texas in 1965 and two years later classes started with an initial admission of 2,068 students. The first campus was located in Fort Hood on a 560 acre piece of land donated by the local community. Initially meant to serve the educational needs of the citizens of Bell County, TX, the college soon began to offer broadcast telecourses to central Texas. Expansion led to the establishment of locations in Europe, South Korea and in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to offer training to U.S. military personnel.
CTC obtained accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges in 1969 and has retained this accreditation to date.
Students have a long list of areas of study to choose from. There are over 40 certificate courses and for those enrolling for degree courses, some of the programs available include an Associate of Arts degree, Associate of Science degree, Associate in Applied Science degree and Associate in General Studies.
The specific areas of study are extremely diverse. Traditionally popular programs such as Agriculture are available and the college’s department of Agriculture offers the Associate of Applied Science (ASS) Degree in various specialized areas including Agricultural Production, Horticultural Development and Equine Management.
The Business Administration and Legal Assistant/Paralegal Department is split into three divisions and offers over 20 certificate and degree programs in areas such as business management, homeland security, real estate management and a myriad of courses geared towards the hospitality industry and the legal assistant profession.
Staying in touch with modern educational needs, the department of Computer Science offers a wide range of certificate and degree programs. Examples include the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Information Security Management and the Business Programmer Analyst Degree. Certificate courses under the Computer Science Department include the Computer Helpdesk Specialist Certificate (which covers basic subjects such as word processing, spreadsheets and use of the Internet) and the Network Specialist Certificate (covering web design, operating systems and integrated software applications).
The college’s range of programs covers other areas such as public administration, teaching, radio and television broadcasting, welding technology and social sciences, among others.
The college has developed popular programs specifically aimed at military personnel. It runs the Navy campus which, as the name suggests, has programs specifically for members of this section of the disciplined forces. Among its vast range of programs, the college also trains civilians as well as incarcerated students. Other special groups for whom the college has developed special programs include single parents and the physically challenged.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Admission goes on throughout the year. Prospective students have the option of visiting the admissions center at Killeen, Texas, or applying online. First time students to the college have to meet specific admission requirements.
The college admits students who have graduated from accredited public or private high schools. In addition, students from non-accredited secondary school education programs (such as home school) will be admitted as long as they have successfully completed their education program. The college also admits students who have earned a general education development (GED) certificate.
The admisions office operates what it refers to as the “Individual Approval” admission program which is aimed at individuals who have not completed high school. Under the program, the onus is on the student to demonstrate that he or she will benefit by attending the institution – the applicant is required to demonstrate successful past experiences which predict the ability to be successful at college. The program mainly targets adults, military personnel and veterans.
Students who have not yet completed high school could apply to do so under the early admission program. The program enables such students to earn college credits while still in high school. Students seeking early admission are required to take two courses per semester and the courses could be taken through classroom attendance or online. Students under this program are supposed to be in good academic standing as evidenced by their high school transcripts.
International students wishing to attend are served by the International Student Services Office (ISSO) which issues form I-20 when the student has been granted admission. To qualify for admission as an international student, a host of requirements have to be met. Some of the most important requirements that a foreign student will have to meet include evidence of the ability to pay tuition fees, a record of education obtained so far
Various financial aid programs are available. These include scholarships, loans and work opportunities that lessen the financial burden that the student has to shoulder. Many factors are taken into consideration in determining the amount of aid available to each student but the overriding factor is financial need.
Each year, the student is required to file an application with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students should be aware of financial aid application deadlines and the necessity of making an early application to maximize the possibility of obtaining assistance. The application deadlines are June 1 (Fall), November 1(Spring) and April 1 (Summer).
To qualify for financial aid, the applicant must be a citizen of the U.S. or an eligible non-citizen who has a demonstrated financial need. In addition, the applicant must have obtained a high school diploma or GED and has no outstanding refunds on other federal aid awards.
Students who wish to be considered for financial aid have to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. The college uses three standards to measure a student’s academic progress: qualitative, quantitative and maximum time frame.
Under the qualitative standard, a student applying for aid is required to obtain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0. When the GPA falls below this minimum, the student is placed on financial aid probation and this could lead to ineligibility for further aid if the grades do not improve.
Under the quantitative standard, students applying for financial aid are required to complete a minimum of 75 percent of all attempted hours. This easily disqualifies students who withdraw from courses, have to repeat or fail in their coursework.
Where a student receives Fs in all attempted subjects, financial aid is automatically suspended and such a student will be ineligible until the GPA has been raised to 2.0.
While the possession of a high school diploma or its equivalent is one of the conditions for the granting of financial aid, a student without this could still qualify by passing the Ability to Benefit (ATB) test. In addition to meeting the rest of the eligibility requirements, the financial aid office requires that such students pass its ASSET test – an ATB-approved test which evaluates the applicant’s reading, numerical and writing skills. For each of these tests, the applicant will qualify if he or she manages a minimum score of 35.
Student Financial Aid Details
Over 20 student organizations and clubs are active representing diverse interests such as religion, politics, special interests and honor societies. Through the various organizations and clubs, students arrange for picnics, discussion meetings, guest speakers and fundraisers. To be compliant with college regulations, the activities of the clubs and organizations are governed by the Student Organization and Sponsors Handbook. The handbook sets the standard for club activities and also provides guidelines on what needs to be done by the students keen on starting a new club or organization.
Some notable honor societies include the Epsilon Delta Pi, a national society that admits students who have completed a minimum of fifteen semester hours in computer science. Others are the Phi Theta Kappa and the Sigma Kappa Delta.
Residence Life accommodates 120 full-time students in a co-ed domitory. The hall is also made to accommodate students with special needs. Rented apartments are available for parents with children and married couples. The apartments are unfurnished and occupants have the choice of either one or two bed roomed units. Facilities in these apartments include telephone service and cable TV.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Additional School Information
Of special interest to all students and particularly those enrolled in the Radio and Television Broadcasting program is the fact that the college has its own radio and TV station. The TV station, KNCT, in addition to being available on the local cable system, also provides programming for the U.S. armed forces. The radio station, KNCT FM, serves as the laboratory facility for students studying radio broadcasting.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.