Great Two-Year Colleges throughout Texas
El Centro College: Learning in a Diverse City Environment
The great state of Texas, second-largest in terms of both territorial size and population, is home to some of the best-valued colleges that prepare students directly for the workforce although some students go on to obtain four-year degrees. Each region has multiple choices, and schools in general have worked to establish good relationships with their surrounding communities. From Houston and San Antonio to the slightly smaller cities of Dallas, Austin, and El Paso, many great two-year programs exist within city environments. Rural districts also have excellent systems, frequently supported by county governments and offering affordable class choices to residents.
With its central location in downtown Dallas, El Centro College provides a diverse learning environment for its students. El Centro was established in 1966 as the first branch of the existing Dallas County Community College District, and this location maintains a strong presence in the community. The name is Spanish for ‘downtown,’ and it reflects the multicultural roots of this urban community college where students come from over 70 countries to attend. Many students are attracted by its location, with nearby employment opportunities in a variety of fields. The most well-know programs are in the medical field, with 13 distinct fields of study, and in technology. Other areas of study include accounting, fashion and interior design, computer systems, and business. The Food and Hospitality Institute is also quite popular and many students go on to find jobs in the area following their degree.
In the mid-1960s, the Texas State Technical College System was established in order to foment the education of workers for nascent industries and Waco was the first location. It continues to be state-supported, granting students more opportunities given that the colleges frequently collaborate with the state government for projects. One important first in the United States was the creation of an Associate’s degree in Laser Electro-Optics Technology. Since the sixties, offerings have expanded rapidly. Recently, a report showed that TSTC Waco has awarded the greatest number of degrees in Texas to students in communication and information sciences, engineering-related technologies, and precision production. More than half of class hours involve time spent in laboratories, giving students the skills to find technical jobs after graduation.
Since its creation in 1924 as an extension of the local school district, North Central Texas College has become the oldest two-year college in operation continuously in the state. The main campus of Gainesville is also the original one, while branches serve the populations in Corinth in Denton County and Bowie in Montague County. The Lifelong Learning Division helps individuals transition into new careers by providing them with specific skill development, and even held a competition for welders.
Beginning in the mid-1960s, Tarrant County College started to offer great programs for residents of the area. It is supported by the county government, and offers multiple programs. Five campuses serve communities living in Fort Worth, Arlington, and Hurst, and about one in every 19 Tarrant county residents does a class every year. In addition to certificate and continuing education programs, there are four degree types: Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts in Teaching, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science. The programs include both technical skills development as well as classes to transfer to four-year degree universities, giving students a wide range of options. Over 11,000 students participate in distance-learning options alone, bringing the total number of students enrolled in all of the programs to around 45,000.
Since a bunch of citizens got together in 1983 to form the system, the Northeast Texas Community College district has served the county seats of Daingerfield, Pittsburg, and Mount Pleasant. By 1987, one year ahead of schedule, NTCC obtained accreditation and it has substantially expanded offerings since then. Special arrangements for students ultimately hoping to earn four-year degrees include a program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at Texas A&M. Dedicated students who perform well can also participate in the honors program, which was established in 2007.
More than 27,000 students attend the South Texas College, which predominantly serves the Rio South Texas Region. It was founded in 1993, and it now offers more than 100 options in certificate and degree programs. More than half of the student body are the first individuals in their families to attend school, and about a third decide to pursue bachelor’s degrees following their first two years here by taking advantage of the 60+ articulation agreements the school has with other institutions. One of the most unique programs is the Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy and the Engineering Academy, where students still finishing high school can work towards a degree.
- Great Small Colleges and Universities in Illinois - Blackburn College, Columbia College Chicago, Elmhurst College, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois College
- Four-Year Colleges in Texas with Great Rankings - University of Texas at Austin: A Great Flagship School