Odessa College is a public junior college in Odessa, Texas. It was first founded as a small school in 1946 to meet the needs of returning GIs. Today, roughly 16,000 students attend Odessa. In addition to the main campus and the Pecos Techical Training Center, the college operates extension centers in Andrews, Monahans, Pecos, and Seminole.
The catchment area for Odessa includes all of the following counties:
- Jeff Davis
Odessa is known for both its technical programs, including Industrial Machinist Technology, Instrumentation Technology, Fire Technology, and Industrial Engines and Transportation Maintenance Technology; and for its energy and renewable energy programs, including Wind Technology and Electronics Technology. The school also has well-reputed Nursing and Allied Health programs.
Odessa College also offers a variety of academic programs to fit varied student profiles. The college offers remedial classwork for those needing assistance to get up to college level classwork; English as a Second Language for recent immigrants; part-time weekend and evening degree coursework for students with jobs, young children, or other significant obligations; distance learning opportunities for those who wish to study from home; and educational services that extend into the schools, prisons, and workplaces within their catchment area. Students who have been in the workplace, especially those working in their field of study, may receive credit for life experiences, therefore shortening the amount of time they need to be in college to complete a degree.
As part of their online learning offerings, Odessa features Global Courses, in which students learn at their own pace, then create a portfolio on Google Sites that showcases their work for each class and demonstrates how it fits into the students overall learning plan.
High School Academics
Dual credit classes allow high school students to earn college credit at reduced prices. Successful completion of the dual credit program can lead to beginning college at the sophomore level. Students may take up to two college classes per semester of their junior and senior year of high school. The program is open to homeschooled students as well as public and private school enrollees. Many students enrolled in dual credit choose to take online classes to best suit their high school schedules, although they may also take classes on campus.
Most Popular Fields of Study
In keeping with its mission to offer technical education and higher education opportunities to any adult who wishes to pursue them, Odessa College offers open admissions. Some health and technical programs may have further requirements, and some have limited registration, so be sure to inquire in the department of your choice prior to enrolling.
In addition to the wide range of state and federal financial aid options available to college and university students in Texas, Odessa offers several of its own need- and merit-based scholarships. These include the Russell Scholarship, awarded to a full-time student residing in the Permian Basin; the OC Academic Scholarship, awarded to students with high GPAs; the Davidson Scholarship, awarded to West Texas residents with high GPAs; the Pickering-Douglass Scholarship, awarded to a single parent who is enrolled at least half time and can demonstrate financial need; and the Hext Scholarship, which is awarded to a career student in Technical Education, Nursing, or Allied Health. Awardees of the Hext Scholarship must pass a drug test.
Student Financial Aid Details
Clubs and Organizations
There are dozens of student organizations on the Odessa campus to meet the personal and professional interests of a wide range of students. The Student Government Association is the voice of the student body in administrative and other public matters. National Public Radio station KOCV-FM is housed at Odessa, offering several technical and broadcasting opportunities to students of the college.
Residing on Campus
Housing is available on campus through Century Commons, an apartment-style residence with fully furnished units. Residents may choose between a four-bedroom/two-bath unit or a two-bedroom/one-bath unit. All bedrooms are private, and all apartments come equipped with full-service kitchens, phone access, wireless intent access, and cable television access. Century Commons also features laundry facilities, computer labs, study rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, a barbeque pavilion, a television lounge with a big screen television, and regular social and educational events hosted at the Commons.
The Student Services office offers a wide range of support services to assist students in academic success. These services include academic counselling, career counselling, employment placement services, personal counselling, testing services, and disability services.
The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is an assessment testing program mandated by state law for any student entering a public college or university. Approved tests include the Quick THEA, Accuplacer, and Asset. Students for whom English is not a first language are also required to take the Compass Test and the Lindholm Test. The Odessa College Testing Center is open from 8 AM to 5:30 PM Monday to Thursday and 8 AM to 1 PM on Friday.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The athletics department at Odessa is known as the Wranglers. The Wranglers compete in the NJCAA. Mens sports include basketball, baseball, golf, rodeo, and cross country. Womens sports include basketball, softball, golf, rodeo, cross country, dance, and tennis.
The athletic facilities also offer a wide range of opportunities for recreational student athletes, including intramural basketball, volleyball, badminton, tennis, softball, racquetball, and more. Students also have weight rooms, an indoor track, aerobics classes, an indoor pool, and a Jacuzzi at their disposal.
Well-known Odessa College alumni include:
- Actress Stephnie Weir
- Singer and songwriter Joe Melson
- Musician Roy Orbison
- Pro-rodeo champ Ty Murray
- State judicial district judge Tryon D. Lewis
- NBA players Moochie Norris and Larry Johnson
- World champion bull rider Jim Razor Sharp
- LPGA Hall of Fame golfer Kathy Whitworth
- Extension. Odessa College. Web. 21 Sept 2011.
- Facilities. Wrangler Sports. Odessa College. Web. 21 Sept 2011.
- Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
- Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College Thats Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
- Sample Course. Odessa College Global. Odessa College. Web. 21 Sept 2011.
- Scholarships. Financial Aid. Odessa College. Web. 21 Sept 2011.
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.