North Central Texas College (NCTC) is a two-year community college in Gainesville, Texas. Having been in business since 1924, it is the oldest continuously operating community college in the state. The campus is located on over 100 acres of rural area just outside of Gainesville.
NCTC serves Cooke County, Denton County, and Montague County. NCTC has branch campuses in Bowie, Corinth, Flower Mound, and Graham. NCTC also holds classes at Little Elm High School, Northwest High School, and Graham Education and Workforce Center.
The main campus in Gainesville is just eight miles from the Oklahoma border. Because of this proximity and strong economic relationships across the border, Oklahoma residents are charged in-state tuition.
The major departments of the college are Preparatory Studies; English, Speech, and Foreign Language; Fine Arts; Math and Physics; Science; and Social Sciences. The most popular majors are English, Nursing, and Emergency Medicine.
NCTC is known for strong health care programs. Popular degrees include Certified Nursing Assistant, Registered Nurse, Emergency Medical Technician, and Radiology Technician. NCTC is also especially well known for their welding program. The school holds an annual Weld-Off, which might be the only official academic weld-off in the United States.
Academics at the Corinth Campus
Different campuses of NCTC host different academic programs. All vocational degree and certificate programs are available on the Corinth campus. Other fully staffed programs at Corinth include the Associate of Arts in Teaching, Business Management, Computer Information Systems and Technology, Emergency Medical Services, Law Enforcement, Office Systems Technology, Surgical Technology and Vocational Nursing. Corinth is also home to Saturday College, a program designed for adults who work full-time during the week.
Academics at the Graham Campus
Graham is a planned community on Possum Kingdom Lake and the Brazos River. The campus is next door to The City of Graham Library, a state of the art facility that works in close partnership with the college to meet student research and study needs. Contemporary technology is the focus of classwork on this campus, and the sciences are very strong thanks to a new laboratory facility built in 2009.
The Honors Studies program at NCTC is distinguished by smaller class sizes, personalized attention, priority advising and registration, leadership and service opportunities, intensive transfer assistance, and special lectures, workshops, and events. Admissions requirements for the Honors Studies program include a minimum high school GPA of 3.3, three instructor recommendations, and a personal interview.
College Preparatory Studies
The College Preparatory Studies program helps to prepare students for college-level work. Entrance into this program is based on diagnostic testing. Courses are offered in English, Math, Reading, and Academic Skills.
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
In keeping with their mission to provide higher education to any adult who wishes to pursue it, NCTC has open admissions. Students in the nursing program must pass a criminal background check, a child abuse check, and a drug screen. They must also qualify on entrance exams.
International students must submit test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with their application. NCTC requires a minimum score of 525 on the paper test, 197 on the computerized test, or 91 on the internet version. They must also include complete transcripts with English evaluations from World Evaluation Service (WES) or International Academic Credential Evaluators, Inc. (IACEI). Other requirements for international students include proof of financial support in the form of an official affidavit and an appropriate student visa.
In addition to the usual range of financial aid options open to college and university students in Texas, NCTC administrates a few of its own scholarships. These include:
The Mary Josephine Cox Scholarship This scholarship is award based on need, ability, and demonstrated scholarship. Applicant must be under 21 years of age, have at least a GPA, and have graduated from a Cooke County High School.
The NCTC Foundation Scholarships These scholarships are awarded to outstanding students in each department. There is also a general foundation scholarship.
Friends of Agriculture Full-time students majoring in Agriculture, Equine, or Horticulture are eligible for these targeted scholarships. Preference is given to residents of Cooke, Montague, and Denton Counties.
There are also a large number of scholarships available for student athletes.
There are more than 7,500 students enrolled at NCTC at any given time. Roughly 40% of the student body is male and 60% is female. About 84% of the student population is European American, 6% is Latino American, 5% is African American, 2% is Asian American, and 1% is Native American. An additional 2% of students are international students.
Only the main campus in Gainesville has residence halls. There are two options: Bonner Hall and Hays Hall.
Bonner Hall has two wings, one for men and one for women. Rooms are all double occupancy, although single occupancy is allowed when the residence hall is not at capacity at an additional fee. Each room contains bunk beds, desks, chairs, dressers, closets, HVAC units, a sink, and a medicine cabinet. Many student athletes choose to live in Bonner Hall.
Hays Hall contains eight apartments with two double-occupancy bedrooms for a total of four students per apartment. Each apartment contains living furnished living rooms, furnished bedrooms, and a bathroom with a full tub.
Students living in either Bonner Hall or Hays Hall have access to the common facilities in Bonner Hall. These include study rooms, kitchens, laundry facilities, lounges, television areas, computer terminals with internet access, and a games area. Outdoor facilities include a sand volleyball court, basketball area, picnic tables, grill, and games lawn.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The athletics department at NCTC is known as the Lions (women’s teams are often referred to as the Lady Lions). NCTC competes on the intervarsity level in softball, baseball, women’s tennis, and volleyball. There are also a large number of intramural and recreational activities for the general student body.
Gainesville is a small city, with a population of around 15,000. It is known largely for an episode known as the Great Hanging during the Civil War, in which Union loyalists were strung up for their political views. For several decades the economy of Gainesville was based on cattle driving supplies, especially barbed wire. Today, the area still has a strong “cowboy culture”. Gainesville boasts a historic train station, a miniature steam engine passenger train, a zoo, and a 45 acre soccer complex.
Some of the largest employers in the Gaineville area include the WinStar Casino just over the state border in Thackerville, Oklahoma, North Texas Medical Center, and an outlet mall, The Gainesville Factory Shops.
Many students travel to Dallas for recreation or to participate in academic or cultural events. East Dallas is home to Deep Ellum, the place to go for jazz and blues. The Arts District downtown is home to the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, Nasher Sculpture Center, Winspear Opera House, City Performance Hall, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
On the lighter side, Dallas is well known for Mexican food, barbeque, and great steaks. Rock concerts, sporting events, bars, clubs, and outdoor recreation are available in nearly limitless supply.
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Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
Graham Campus. North Central Texas College. Web. 25 May. 2011.
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Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
Student Services. North Central Texas College. Web. 25 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.