El Paso Community College
|El Paso Community College|
|Motto||"The Best Place to Start"|
|Type||Public, 2-year, Community College|
|Students||24,642 (Fall 2008)|
|Location||El Paso, Texas, United States|
|Affiliations||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)|
El Paso Community College (EPCC) is a community college district headquartered in El Paso, Texas. EPCC operates five campuses in the Greater El Paso area, as well as courses offered at nearby Fort Bliss.
The El Paso County Community District was established in June 1969 when citizens of El Paso County voted to form a junior college district and elected a board of seven trustees to administer the College. By 1971, the Board of Trustees and citizens of the community requested state financial assistance to open the doors. The 62nd Texas Legislature appropriated funds and EPCC became a reality, enrolling 901 students in September of that year.
By Fall 1972, day classes started in buildings leased from the U.S. Army at Logan Heights on Fort Bliss. This first “campus” allowed for the standardization of instruction at one location and the consolidation of administrative facilities to support the expanding enrollment, which had grown to 5,041 students by Fall 1973.
During 1974, EPCC purchased a complex of buildings near downtown through a grant written in conjunction with Project Hope. Also, through the assistance of Project Hope, EPCC developed 12 programs in the fields of medicine and dentistry between 1974 and 1977. The Rio Grande Campus has housed the allied health programs and arts and sciences support programs since then. Construction of new facilities was essential as the vocational technical programs offered at EPCC increased from 27 to 91 during 1977-79. The first of two new campuses, Valle Verde in southeast El Paso, was completed at a cost of $15.5 million in time for classes in the Fall 1978. The second new campus, Transmountain in northeast El Paso, was fully operational a year later. Expansion and renovation at Rio Grande was completed in 1980, with the addition of a five-story wing, improved utilities, and handicap accessibility, all made possible through a $15 million grant from the Economic Development Administration and EPCC matching funds.
EPCC began the process of seeking academic accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 1973. Meanwhile, EPCC embarked on the development of a Master Plan to provide for orderly growth and direction and to define its role in the community. Official accreditation was received in December 1978, following the completion of an institutional self-study and a site visit by a SACS committee.
By 1981, the enrollment had reached 10,341 students and EPCC began preparations for a second self-study and re-affirmation of SACS accreditation in combination with revisions to the Master Plan. SACS re-affirmed accreditation in 1983, and the revised Master Plan was enacted in 1984. With academic and vocational programs in place, EPCC became increasingly involved in major community initiatives by establishing the Literacy Center to provide service to the area’s functionally illiterate and the ALPHA Center to provide basic adult education and training for employment. Physical facilities at Valle Verde expanded once again with the installation of a 31-building “modular village” (1989), construction of a new Student Services Center, and Advanced Technology Center (1990). In the Fall of 1993, more than 19,000 credit and 7,500 non-credit students utilized educational facilities at each of the teaching locations throughout the county. Construction of a new Northwest Campus was completed in the county’s upper valley in January 1994. The $3 million facility was partially funded by an Economic Development Administration grant. Northwest provides complete student services, Academic Computer Services, and a Learning Resource Center, as well as occupational training programs, academic support courses, and basic academic skills programs.
In December 1994, the Board of Trustees adopted a five-year financial plan for remodeling, expansion, and construction of College District facilities through the sale of revenue bonds financed through student tuition and fees. New classroom space was added to Transmountain (1996) and Valle Verde (1997) and parking and renovation to Rio Grande (1996). Mission del Paso, serving the Eastside/Lower Valley area of the county, opened in the spring of 1998. In 2000, the College opened a state of the art Law Enforcement Training Academy which serves area law enforcement agencies at Mission del Paso. In 2003-04 a multi level parking garage and Health and Science Laboratory building was added to the Rio Grande Campus. 2006 saw the addition of an Early College High School to the Mission del Paso Campus.
Realizing the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its regional impact, EPCC created the Institute for Economic and Workforce Development in 1995 to organize and intensify its service efforts in training the emerging workforce and providing education and expertise to area business and industry. The Institute brought together existing departments to increase efficiency and coordination of service. TMECHS
El Paso Community College is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association competing in Region V and the Western Junior College Athletic Conference. EPCC's sports teams are known as the Tejanos. They compete in baseball, softball, and cross country running. The baseball team plays at EPCC Baseball Stadium.
- Mission del Paso Campus—east El Paso/Mission Valley
- Mission Early College High School—Socorro ISD
- Northwest Campus—northwest El Paso
- Rio Grande Campus—downtown El Paso
- Transmountain Campus—northeast El Paso
- Transmountain Early College High School—El Paso ISD
- Valle Verde Campus—centrally located within the district, serves as EPCC's main campus
- Valle Verde Early College High School—Ysleta ISD
- Occupational Opportunity Center for the Homeless—downtown El Paso, serving the local homeless community
- Career Training Center—offers job training skills for displaced workers
- One Stop Business Resource Center of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce—offers services to local business and workers displaced by NAFTA
- In addition, courses are offered at nearby Fort Bliss
- Glower, Marina. "EPCC Fall Enrollment Figures Holding Steady." Tejano Tribune (El Paso,TX) 25 Sept. 2008: 1.
- Texas Education Code, Section 130.178, "El Paso County Community College District Service Area".
- EPCC Athletics Home