Texas State Technical College System
TSTC's headquarters are at the old Connally Air Force Base north of Waco, Texas and are co-located with the Waco campus, which is its oldest and flagship campus. The Waco campus operates branch campuses in Hutto and Richmond.
TSTC also operates campuses in Harlingen (with a branch in Ingleside), Marshall (with a branch in Red Oak to open in 2014), and West Texas (with campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, and Sweetwater), as well as TSTC Corporate College, which operates customized training programs for specific industries. TSTC also operates partnerships with the Texas State Marine Education Center in Palacios and with the Richmond campus of Wharton County Junior College.
TSTC was established in 1965 as the James Connally Technical Institute (JCTI) of Texas A&M University to meet the state’s evolving workforce needs. At the time, Governor John Connally (no relation) predicted that it would be "the most sophisticated technical-vocational institute in the country."
In 1967, JCTI expanded to include a South Texas campus in Harlingen.
In 1969, the JCTI colleges separated from Texas A&M University and became an independent state system, with its own Board of Regents, taking the name Texas State Technical Institute. Texas State Technical Institute-Waco (TSTI-WACO) was the first school in the United States to offer an Associate of Applied Science degree in Laser Electro-Optics Technology. The program began in September 1969. The name would change to its present one in 1991.
As the need for technical education increased in Texas, TSTC opened additional campuses in Amarillo (this campus would later leave TSTI and become part of Amarillo College) and Sweetwater in 1979, McAllen (1983, no longer part of the system), Abilene (1985), Breckenridge (1989), Brownwood (1991), and Marshall (1991, would later become a separate college in 1999).
On September 1, 1999, the Marshall extension center was officially designated a stand-alone campus by the Texas Legislature, and it became known as Texas State Technical College Marshall. In 2011, the Legislature redefined the TSTC West Texas campus as one that serves West Texas with four strategically positioned, permanent locations at Sweetwater, Abilene, Breckenridge, and Brownwood. In 2013, the Texas Legislature authorized the creation of an extension center in Ellis County creating TSTC Marshall North Texas Extension Center also known as TSTC North Texas. TSTC collaborates with educational partners from throughout Texas to bring additional educational options to students. TSTC has partnerships in Hutto, Ingleside, and Richmond working closely with a number of universities, school districts, colleges and other entities to help provide a strong workforce for the future of Texas. Together the colleges in Harlingen, Marshall, Waco, and West Texas, and System Operations comprise the TSTC System.
TSTC's official purpose is stated in Section 135.01 of the Texas Education Code.
As its name suggests, it is a technical college, designed to provide vocational and technical education to people entering the workforce or in the midst of a career change. As such, it primarily offers the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree (along with Certificates of Completion). In 2009, TSTC Harlingen received approval from the Texas Legislature and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to add associate of science (A.S.) degrees to its traditional offerings for those students desiring to transfer to a university or enter the workforce directly with an associate of science in biology, computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, nursing preparatory, and health professions. Additionally, the Harlingen college began offering fields of study in combination with the academic core which, when transferred to a Texas public college or university, can substitute for freshman and sophomore major requirements.
The TSTC System is governed by a nine-member Board of Regents and operated under the direction of a systemwide Chancellor. These Regents, who provide a statewide perspective, are appointed by the governor to six-year terms. The Board meets quarterly to provide leadership and enact policies for the successful management and operation of the system. The colleges operate under the rules and regulations of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Texas State Technical College System Chancellor is Michael L. Reeser.
Texas State Technical College Harlingen, Marshall, Waco and West Texas (Sweetwater) are accredited to award Associate of Applied Science degrees and Certificates of Completion by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, telephone number 404-679-4501). Students may review accreditation records in the Texas State Technical College Office of the President. Texas State Technical College is a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and is listed in that association's Report of Credit Given.
Each year Community College Week publishes a special report on the top associate degree and certificate producers in the United States, considering the public, private nonprofit, and proprietary institutions of higher education that award two-year degrees and one- and two-year certificates. All such institutions that are eligible for federal financial aid funds under Title IV legislation are considered. Some data are reported by institution, while others are reported by system; TSTC is reported by institution. The June 19, 2006 report was based on preliminary data for Academic Year 2004-2005. According to the report:
- TSTC Harlingen was ranked among the top twenty colleges in the state of Texas (ranked 73 nationally) in conferring Associate's degrees all disciplines to Hispanic graduates;
- TSTC Waco was ranked:
- the top college in the state of Texas (ranked 45 nationally) in conferring Associate's degrees in Agriculture, Agricultural Operations & Related Sciences;
- the second college in the state of Texas (ranked 12 nationally) in conferring Associate's degrees in Engineering Related Technologies/Technicians;
- the second college in the state of Texas (ranked 21 nationally) in conferring Associate's degrees in Computer & Information Sciences & Support Services; and
- the number one college in the state of Texas (ranked 39 nationally) in conferring Associate's degrees in Precision & Production.
TSTC Marshall was ranked #1 in Texas and #11 in the nation among two-year colleges according to the 2007 college ranking conducted by Washington Monthly.
In response to the growing need for technical training involving wind power (Texas is the number one wind-energy generating state in the United States, primarily centered in windy West Texas), in 2007, TSTC Sweetwater created the first community college wind energy program in Texas, and constructed a demonstration 2 MW 60 Hz DeWind D8.2 prototype wind turbine for student training. Texas State Technical College has partnered with Pinnacle Career Institute in Kansas City to offer the wind turbine technician program.
- "The 2006 Top 100 Associate's Degree Producers". Community College Week (Autumn Publishing Enterprises) 18 (23). 2006-06-19. ISSN 1041-5726. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- Block, Ben (2008-07-24). "In Windy West Texas, An Economic Boom". Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- "DeWind Plans Wind Turbine Demo Site in Sweetwater, Texas". BNET Business Network. 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- "Pinnacle Career Institute - Wind Turbine Technician Program". Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Texas State Technical College
- TSTC System Operations
- TSTC Harlingen
- TSTC Marshall
- TSTC Waco
- TSTC West Texas