South Plains College (SPC) is a community college in Levelland, Texas. It serves an area of West Texas that encompasses over 13,000 square miles of the high plains. Nearly 10,000 students attend SPC at any given time. The catchment area includes the Whiteface Consolidated Independent School District and the counties of Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Lamb, Lubbock, Hale, Hockley, Floyd, Motley, Terry, Lynn, Garza, and Yoakum, as well as Gaines County outside of the Seminole Independent School District.
SPC has branch campuses in Plainview and at the Reese Technology Center in Lubbock. The college also offers classes at the Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center and at distance education centers in Denver City, Littlefield, and Muleshoe.
There are a variety of academic programs to fit many student profiles. SPC offers remedial classwork for those needing assistance to get up to college level classwork; English as a Second Language for recent immigrants; part-time weekend and evening degree coursework for students with jobs, young children, or other significant obligations; distance learning opportunities for those who wish to study from home; and educational services that extend into the schools, prisons, and workplaces within their catchment area. Students who have been in the workplace, especially those working in their field of study, may receive credit for life experiences, therefore shortening the amount of time they need to be in college to complete a degree. About 48% of students at SPC plan to transfer to a four-year university after earning their associate degree, while 43% are earning an associate degree or certificate for direct entry into a career. The remaining 9% of students are taking classes to improve their skills for a current job or to explore a personal or professional interest.
Of students who transfer from South Plains College, about 68% go to Texas Tech University, 2.4% go to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 3.5% go to West Texas A&M University, 2% go to Angelo State University, 1.5% go to UT Austin, 2% go to Texas A&M, and the remaining 21% transfer to a variety of other schools.
High School Academics
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.
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.
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.
Most Popular Fields of Study
In keeping with its mission to offer technical education and higher education opportunities to any adult who wishes to pursue them, SPC offers open admissions. 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, SPC offers several of its own need- and merit-based scholarships. Scholarships include the Terry Albus Memorial Scholarship, for a student majoring in science; the John M. and Ruby Jo Memorial Scholarship, based on academic merit; the Farmers Co-op Elevator Association scholarship, for a student whose parent is a member of the Co-op; and the John V. and Auvena Morton Memorial Scholarship, awarded to students who display leadership potential and demonstrate high moral values and self-discipline.
Student Financial Aid Details
The average student age is 22. About 45% of students are male and 55% are female. About 61% of students are European American, 31% are Latino American, 5% are African American, and 1% are Asian American. About 95% of students are from the state of Texas, while the remaining 5% are from other states or foreign countries. Of students from Texas, about 53% are from Lubbock County. About 68% of students at SPC are the first in their family to attend college. Roughly half of all students attend full-time; the other half attend part-time.
Clubs and Organizations
There are dozens of student organizations on the SPC campuses to meet the personal and professional interests of a wide range of students. The Student Government Association is the voice of the student body in administrative and other public matters. The student newspaper is the Plainsman Press.
Residing on Campus
On-campus housing is available in five residence halls for men, three residence halls for women, and the Smallwood Apartment Complex, which also houses women. Students who live in the residence halls must purchase a meal plan as part of their room package. The dining facility, the Texan Hall, is a traditional buffet-style hall.
The Student Services office offers a wide range of support services to assist students in academic success. These services include academic counselling, career counselling, employment placement services, personal counselling, testing services, and disability services.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The athletic department at SPC is known as the Texans. The Texans compete in the NJCAA and the Western Junior College Athletic Conference. Men’s sports include basketball, cross country, track and field, and rodeo. Women’s sports include cheerleading, basketball, cross country, track and field, and rodeo.
Well known South Plains College alumni include:
- NBA players Renaldo Major and Bo Outlaw
- Country singers Lee Ann Womack and Waylon Jennings
- Dixie Chicks member Natalie Maines
- WNBA player Sheryl Swopes
- Championship runner Sally Kipyego
- About. South Plains College. Web. 27 Sept 2011.
- Campus Locations. South Plains College. Web. 27 Sept 2011.
- Distance Education. South Plains College. Web. 27 Sept 2011.
- Fiske, Edward B. Fiske Guide to Colleges 2011. Chicago: Sourcebooks, 2010. Print.
- Future Student Scholarships. South Plains College. Web. 27 Sept 2011.
- Pope, Loren. Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You. New York: Penguin. 2007. Print.
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.