The College of the Mainland (COM) is a community college in Texas City, Texas. It is located on the mainland of Galveston County (as opposed to Galveston Island) in a racially and culturally diverse section of the Houston metropolitan area. The catchment area includes the following school districts: Santa Fe, La Marque, Texas City, Dickinson, Hitchcock, Clear Creek, and Friendswood. The college first came into existence in 1967 and has been growing steadily ever since. Today there are over 3,500 students.
The college offers nearly a hundred different academic programs across a wide range of fields. It is especially well known for their process technology degree, which is designed for students who wish to seek careers as operators in refineries and other petroleum-related industries in the area. Quite unusual, for a public college, there is also a degree in Bible Studies. About half of all students are enrolled in transfer track programs; the other half, in direct career entry programs.
COM runs a study abroad program in Oaxaca, Mexico. Degree students can earn college credits through this program; continuing education students can earn CEUs as well. Students have the opportunity to learn intensive Spanish while staying and dining with local families within walking distance of the school. Participants should come prepared to walk a great deal.
High School Academics
There are several programs for high school students, including the following:
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. Area high schools whose students are eligible to enrol in dual credit include Bay Area Christian School, Clear Creek High School, Clear Springs High School, Dickinson High School, Friendswood High School, Hitchcock High School, La Marque High School, Santa Fe High School, and Texas High School.
Tech Prep is similar to Dual Credit in many respects, with an emphasis in the following areas of study: Business Administration Accounting, Business Administration Management, Business Administration Marketing, Business Technology, Child Development and Education, Criminal Justice, Drafting, Emergency Medical Services, Graphic Design, Web Design, Health Information Management, Network Systems Technology, and Nursing. Tech Prep is open to students from the following area high schools: Alvin, Clear Creek, Dickinson, Friendswood, Galveston, Hitchcock, La Marque, Pearland, Santa Fe, and Texas City.
Collegiate High School is similar to Dual Credit, but keeps students tied to their high schools by having them return on a regular basis for extracurricular activities. Collegiate High School is available to students from Clear Creek, Dickinson, Friendswood, Hitchcock, La Marque, Santa Fe, and Texas City school districts. Homeschooled students in these catchment areas are also welcome to enroll.
Upward Bound is a federally funded program which provides tutoring and academic assistance to low-income, first-generation high school students to help them prepare for college. It includes weekend and summer academic sessions and frequent extracurricular activities for area high school students. To qualify for Upward Bound, students must be at least 14 years old and enrolled in 9th or 10th grade at Dickinson, Hitchcock, or La Marque High Schools.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Calm Waters website debunks false rumors—and affirms true ones—circulating around campus. For instance, there have been many false rumors around ducks on campus, which eventually led to the college adopting the “Fighting Ducks” as its official mascot.
Admissions are open and non-competitive. 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, the college offers several of their own need- and merit-based scholarships.
There are over 30 student organizations on campus to meet the personal and professional interests of a wide range of students. Organizations include Associate Degree Nursing Florence Nightingale Organization, Claybodies (a sculpture club), Dream Act Leadership Organization, Guild of Table Top Gamers, Nihon-Suki (a Japanese culture organization), Organization of African American Culture, and Students for Christ.
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 College Testing Center is open from 8 AM to 7 PM Monday and Tuesday and 8 AM to 5 PM on Wednesday through Friday.
Student Enrollment Demographics
There is no competitive athletics program. The college does run a Wellness Center with reduced membership fees for students. The Wellness Center is open Monday to Friday from 5 AM to 9 PM, Saturday 8 Am to 3 PM, and Sunday from noon to 4 PM. Facilities include a wide range of aerobic and weight training equipment. The center also offers classes in cross training, Pilates, yoga, spinning, water aerobics, kickboxing, dance, salsa, swing dance, tai chi, and boxing.
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.