Collin College was founded in 1985. Located in Collin County, Texas, it is the only community college in the county.
From its very beginning, the school has always enjoyed high student enrollments. Today it serves well over 50,000 students at any given time.
The college has three campuses (Central Park, Prestige Ridge and Spring Creek) and four instruction centers (Collin Higher Education Center, Courtyard Center, Allen Center and Rockwall Center). The campuses were previously known as the Collin County Community College District.
The range of academic programs is vast and diverse. The college awards four types of associate degrees: Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT), Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Associate of Science (AS). In addition, the college offers a comprehensive certificates program covering most of the areas in which it offers degrees. Some of the certificate programs are aimed at holders of associate degrees who wish to enhance their skills and are appropriately named Enhanced Skills Certificates (ESC).
The number of degree and certificate programs available is in excess of 100. The programs cover all the major areas of study and students can enroll for degrees and certificates in diverse fields such as accounting, art, anthropology, French, geology, graphic design, health information technology, mathematics, music and industrial engineering among many others.
For students planning to pursue a baccalaureate degree in the fields of finance, marketing, business administration and accounting, the Business Field of Study program offers core courses are microeconomics, macroeconomics, business and professional speaking and public speaking. Such students are also required to earn 12 credit hours covering financial accounting, managerial accounting, business computer applications and principles of microeconomics. The college has a system in place that enables its students to earn both associate degrees and a Field of Study Certificate at the same time.
There are a host of associate of applied science degrees aimed at students who wish to enter the job market immediately after their two-year degree. Under its Computer Networking Technology Program, students could enroll for an AAS in Cisco Systems Networking Specialization, or Computer Networking Technology. Moreover, there are several certificate programs available for holders of the AAS covering specialized areas such as software development.
Since 2000, three of the college’s professors have been awarded the coveted U.S. Professor of the Year, an award presented by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). In Texas, this is a record for both colleges and universities. To assist students transfer easily to four-year colleges, the college has articulation arrangements with several universities, most notably with Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Application is open to people who are holders of high school diplomas and requires that the applicants submit their high school transcripts showing grades obtained and the date of graduation. Alternative to the high school diploma, the college accepts satisfactory GED certificates. The college also carries out reading, writing and math tests.
For the reading test, the college exempts applicants who have passed the THEA reading test with a minimum score of 230. Such students will also be exempted from the writing test if their THEA writing score is 240 or higher. To obtain exemption from the math assessment, the college requires a THEA score of 270 or higher.
Students wishing to transfer from other institutions are required to submit the official transcripts issued by all the institutions they have previously attended. The same applies to former students who wish to return but have been away from the institution for more than two semesters. Where a student does not have the required transcripts, the college could still admit them if they sign the Conditional Admissions Contract. To satisfy the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI), all applicants must present transcripts showing grades obtained, exemptions and completion.
Under the Dual Credit and Concurrent Credit programs, students in high school and those attending home school get a chance to take the college’s courses. To qualify for the dual credit program, the applicant must be at least 16 years old, be in the 11th grade and have a grade point average of A or B. Applicant must also satisfy the requirements of the TSI. Applicants below 16 years of age and not entering the 11thgrade have to meet with a Special Admissions Coordinator to have their application reviewed.
The financial aid office endeavors to ensure that students enrolled with the institution complete their studies even when financial challenges are an inhibition. A prime source of financial aid for students attending the college is the Collin College Foundation.
The main aim of this foundation is to help students complete their studies uninterrupted by financial worries. To this end, the foundation awards scholarships every summer to cater for the coming fall semester. Amounts awarded vary depending on the student’s need and also the kind of studies being undertaken. Where the student fulfils the scholarship’s conditions, he or she could qualify for scholarship renewal for the spring semester.
Students who are residents of Texas could also apply for one of several State grants. The Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG) awards varying amounts depending on the student’s eligibility and the number of credit hours enrolled for. The Texas Grant Program (TGP) awards $1,730 per year for full-time students. A needy student could also apply for the Leveraging Education Assistance Program (LEAP) valued at $500 per year.
Several sources of federal aid are also available. The Federal Work-Study Program allows applicants to work part-time to finance their college studies. Amounts earned vary but federal authorities require that students get paid at no less than the minimum federal hourly rate. While the school participates in the federal work-study program, it does not participate in the Texas Work-Study program.
A student could also apply for the Federal Pell Grant which awards amounts ranging from a few hundred dollars to $5,350 per year depending on student’s eligibility as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students with exceptional needs who qualify for Pell grants could also get supplementary funds via the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
Federal loans are also available for needy students and, while they have to be repaid, they are available at very low interest rates and highly flexible repayment terms. There are three types of federal loans that students could apply for: subsidized federal Stafford loans, unsubsidized federal Stafford loans and federal parent loans for undergraduate students (PLUS).
Student activities are coordinated by the Student Life office whose stated objective is to enhance student learning and development. To achieve this, the office regularly organizes educational conferences and offers leadership training in addition to inviting motivational public speakers. Events organized cover various social, cultural and civic themes.
Student Life is also responsible for coordinating the activities of the student organizations represented at the college. The list of organizations is long – there are political and social clubs and organizations as well as religious and special interest clubs and organizations. Some of the honor societies with chapters at the college include the Alpha Beta Gamma, the Kappa Delta Pi, the Sigma Chi Eta and the Phi Theta Kappa.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Athletic activities comprise of basketball (men and women) and tennis (women). The teams, known as the Cougars, are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The college’s basketball teams compete in the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (region V).
Accreditation is granted by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Some of the college’s programs have also been accredited by various professional and State bodies including the American Dental Council, the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, the National League for Nursing, the Texas Real Estate Commission and the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.
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.
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