Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) is a community college in Athens, Texas. It was founded in 1946. Today, more than 6,500 students are enrolled at TVCC with branch campuses in Palestine, Terrell, and Kaufman.
The Kaufman branch located adjacent to Presbyterian Hospital is reserved for healthcare courses. It also hosts a distance learning program for the RN to BSN program from the University of Texas at Arlington.
TVCC has 21 separate academic departments. All of the medical professional departments have strong reputations and are especially popular as majors. These include Associate Degree Nursing, Emergency Medical Services, Patient Care Technology, Surgical Technology, and Vocational Nursing.
Although students can study several foreign languages at TVCC, by far the most popular is Spanish. Because there are so many residents of Texas who speak Spanish as a first language, a degree or concentration in Spanish is extremely useful in any career which involves working with the general public, including nursing, government work, sales, or communications.
The welding program at TVCC is also particularly popular. Many students who successfully complete the program go on to work in oil fields in North Africa, Russia, China, Central America, South America, and the Ukraine. Local opportunities include steelwork in Athens, shipyard work in the gulf and in Texas oil fields, and the aerospace and automotive industries.
The Palestine campus hosts a large cosmetology program. Unlike most programs, in which students attend class for a few hours a day and complete a large portion of schoolwork on their own time, the work involved in the cosmetology program takes place almost entirely on campus during regular business hours. Classes normally meet from Monday to Thursday from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM for four semesters. After completing the program, students must pass a Texas State Board Exam to become licensed cosmetologists.
In addition to the standard certificates and degrees in early childhood education, the childhood education program at TVCC includes certificates in early childhood administration, infant and toddler education, and school age education. These options allow students to specialize based on their future career goals.
Student Success Center
The Student Success Center (SSC) is located on the Athens campus. It offers study strategies and various forms of learning assistance. One popular program is Professionals Offering Departmental Study Sessions (PODS). Faculty members offer sessions of preplanned tutelage to groups or, if demands and time permit, individually.
The department of Distance Learning provides online education of the same quality, intensity, and worth as in-person classes. To assess whether a student is prepared to engage in distance education, TVCC administrates the Smarter Measure Readiness for Education at a Distance Indicator (READI). There are also many hybrid courses offered, in which students spend part of their time learning online but still meet occasionally for class discussions and personal contact with the teacher.
TVCC participates in the Texas Common Course Numbering Matrix, which allows institutions to easily compare and award credit for coursework already completed at another institution. NCTC has transfer agreements with many colleges and universities in the area, and there are many more community college credit-honoring colleges and universities in north Texas for students to choose from:
Texas Woman’s University (TWU) runs two campuses in Dallas. The campus adjacent to Parkland Hospital specializes in nursing, while the campus adjacent to Presbyterian Hospital focuses on physical and occupational therapies.
Paul Quinn College is a historically African American college in Dallas.
The University of North Texas at Dallas draws many students in technical programs.
Dallas Baptist University is a private school with strengths in Biblical Studies, Business, and Music.
Southern Methodist University is a private school rated as the best undergraduate college in the Dallas/Fort Worth area by US News and World Report.
The University of Texas at Dallas is strong in programs that blend art with technology. It is also known for excellence in speech and hearing specialties, engineering, computer science, management, and pre-law.
The University of Dallas is, despite its deceptive name, a private university. Furthermore, it is a traditionally Catholic school known for strengths in religious study.
Other area schools that attract NCTC transfer students include Colin College, Remington College, The University of North Texas Denton (UNT), The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), University of Phoenix, Dallas Campus (UPD), Texas Christian University (TCU), Texas Wesleyan University, Texas A&M University in Commerce, Austin College, and Navarro College.
Most Popular Fields of Study
TVCC is a rural school in what has historically been cowboy country. In keeping with the local economy and culture, the school has developed strong specialties in Ranch Management and Rodeo.
In the Ranch Management program, students combine work experience and classroom education to thoroughly prepare for employment after graduation. Students can earn a 19 hour Beef Cattle Manager Certificate, a 40 hour Ranch Management Certificate, or a two year Associate of Applied Science Degree. Students who earn one of the certificates can then go on to apply those credits to the Associate’s degree if they so choose.
Students in the Associate’s program study principles of food science, crop science, entomology, live animal evaluation, animal science, general horticulture, agricultural construction, and more. Graduates of the TVCC ranch management program go on to work as farmers, ranchers, aquaculturalists, forest products merchandisers, livestock buyers, agricultural engineers, county extension agents, and more.
There are several scholarships specific to the ranching program, including the Beef Cattle Show Team Scholarship, the Rodeo Scholarship, and the Bruce Smith Memorial Scholarship. Three students live on the ranch for around-the-clock supervision. Ten hours of work a week pay for rent and utilities, and hours worked above that number are paid at minimum wage.
To participate in rodeo, students must be enrolled full time, have a GPA of 2.0 or higher, and be in good standing with TVCC. The college provides practice cattle for the rodeo team and contributes travel money for individuals on the rodeo team when they travel to competitions. Most competitive rodeos take place 2-3 hours away from the college. Each rodeo is then videotaped and reviewed for educational purposes.
Many students bring their own horses from home to TVCC for rodeo. The rodeo team has use of the TVCC stall barn. Stalls are available for $150 a semester, although this cost is covered by rodeo scholarships. Rough stock is practiced both at the college arena and Stace Smith’s, adjacent to the college arena.
In keeping with their mission to offer educational opportunities to any adult who wishes to pursue them, TVCC features open admissions. Registration in some programs, such as Allied Health programs, is subject to additional requirements and restrictions.
In addition to the wide array of state and federal financial aid available to any college or university student in Texas, TVCC administrates several of their own need- and merit-based scholarships.
Student Financial Aid Details
Clubs and Organizations
There are dozens of student clubs and organizations at TVCC to complement students’ personal and professional interests. The TVCC Student Senate was voted the best student government in Texas for 12 of the last 17 years (as of 2011). The TVCC branch of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society, has won several awards at international conferences. Several students from TVCC have won spots on USA Today’s Academic All-USA team through their performance in Phi Theta Kappa.
TVCC is very well known for their excellent Regiment band, Wildcard Swing Orchestra, and Cardinal Choir. The groups have performed together in state festivals, competitive performances, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland. The choir has additionally performed at Walt Disney World and other venues around the country and the world.
TVCC has multiple on-campus dormitories. Rooms are double occupancy and furnished with bets, chests, desks, and chairs. Every room has a cable hook-up.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The football team at TVCC is especially well known and has won several conference and national championships. Several former players now play for the National Football League. The women’s basketball team has won five national championships, seven regional titles, and six NJCAA title games in the last twenty years. The men’s basketball team is also strong, having won 12 conference championships in the last two decades.
The Cardinal Cheerleaders were the first community college squad to win in the National Cheerleaders Association national finals. The squad has won nine NCA national championships. In 1996, the TVCC cheerleaders participated in the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics.
Students who wish to participate in recreational athletics have their choice of intramural flag football, volleyball, basketball, and softball.
Athletics. Trinity Valley Community College. Web. 28 May 2011.
Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
Ranch Management. Trinity Valley Community College. Web. 28 May 2011.
Transfer Program. Trinity Valley Community College. Web. 28 May 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.