Since the fall 1967 semester, Central Texas College (CTC) has provided higher educational opportunities to community residents for 50 years. Five buildings opened on the central campus that semester in which academic programs were offered towards associate degrees in arts, science and applied science as well as vocational-technical certificates of completion. Now with more than 20 buildings on central campus; its services are sites of Fredericksburg, Marble Falls, Lampasas and Gatesville; two buildings at the Fort Hood campus and military sites throughout the United States and Europe, CTC has expanded its educational fingerprint to students across the country and worldwide through classroom and distance education offerings.
It has been 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson arrived in Killeen on December 12, 1967, to officially open CTC. At the end of the school’s 50th year, CTC noted several achievements indicating its growth and achievements. In addition to expanding program and course offerings, the addition of class formats including classroom, online and blended classes, and the availability of more classes in the school’s Evening/Weekend College program, CTC noted the following highlights.
Most recently, CTC held its’ first-ever fall graduation ceremony. More than 270 students received their associate degree or certificate during the event. The spring graduation, held in May, featured more than 400 students earning their degrees and certificates.
CTC also held several graduation ceremonies for its Police Academy, Emergency Medical Technology (EMT) and Nursing programs. During the year, nearly 70 cadets completed either the Basic Peace Officer or the Extended Basic Peace Officer course through the CTC Police Academy. The Nursing and Allied Health department held ceremonies for more than 30 students completing the EMT program, 21 students completing the Licensed Vocational Nursing program and 50 students earning nursing pins through the Associate Degree in Nursing program.
CTC’s Aviation Science program welcomed the addition of four new airplanes and a state-of-the-art flight simulator. Two Piper Archers and two Piper Arrows were added to the fleet of training airplanes along with a Frasca Level 5 flight simulator to further enhance student training. CTC’s Flight Team took third place at the recent Region IV Intercollegiate Flying Association Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) championship held at Texas State Technical College in Waco to qualify for the national event in May 2018.
The CTC Fine Arts department held its spring and fall semester Student Music Showcases featuring the CTC Chorus, the CTC Jazz Band and solo and ensemble musical selections by students in the music program. Also, three CTC students were named to the Texas Association of Music Schools two-year all-state choir and band. Emily Selph, soprano I, and Michael Dixon-Bates, tenor I, earned all-state choir honors. Andrea Cruz-Santos, flutist, won a seat in the all-state symphonic band.
Also in Fine Arts, drama students presented its fall production, “Water by the Spoonful,” and visual art students competed in the spring semester Student Art Show which featured 114 art pieces including paintings, drawings, digital media, photography, ceramics, jewelry/art metals, mixed media, assemblage and sculpture. Eight art students were selected to exhibit in the 38th annual Central Texas Art Competition and Exhibition. They were Perry Draper, Lynda Edwards, Haley Struck, Valerie Hernandez, Berry Rodriguez, Jonathan Velez Muniz, Jeremy Diamond and Linda Knicely.
CTC’s Sigma Iota Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society welcomed 13 new members this year. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education and is the official honor society of two-year colleges. Students are required to maintain at least a 3.5 grade point average and have completed at least 30 college credit hours at CTC.
The CTC Speech and Debate team recently finished second in the state during the 36th annual Texas Speech Championship. During the tournament, CTC students won 14 individual awards, including a state championship in debate won by freshman Katherine Weaver. During the fall semester, the team also won community college champion honors (and fifth place overall) at the 45th annual Southwest Baptist University tournament and second place at the 57th annual University of Oklahoma Sooner Showdown Speech and Debate tournament. The CTC team will now compete in the national speech championships in Dayton, Florida in March.
CTC Culinary Art students continued to offer restaurant-style meals to the public through the Patio Café Cuisine Night dinners every other Friday during the fall and spring semesters. In the spring, students in the International Cuisine class prepared a variety of international meals and students in the American Region cooking class served regional cuisines during the fall semester.
CTC welcomed back to campus nearly 300 students in the Early College High School program. Students, who are now high school juniors, were housed in the newly-renovated Shoemaker Center this fall. An adjacent building was also remodeled to expand classroom space for 300 additional Early College High School students relocating to the CTC campus for the 2018-19 school year.
Administratively, CTC welcomed the addition of Robin Garrett as deputy chancellor – academic and student services in February. She is responsible for CTC’s guidance and counseling department, financial aid, records and registration, admissions and all other student services departments. Also, Brenda Coley was recently named to the CTC Board of Trustees. She assumes the remaining four years of Scott Isdale’s six-year term when he retired his Place 5 seat in October.
This fall marked community college’s inclusion in Senate Bill, or campus carry, which authorizes CTC, along with all other public community colleges in the state, to allow concealed handguns on campus carried by license-to-carry holders. CTC held numerous forums for both students and employees to discuss CTC’s policy and implementation in accordance with the state law.
CTC has also extended its’ relationships with Fort Hood and area school districts. In October, CTC and the Fort Hood Education Center announced the addition of a new Military Articulation Paramedic program enabling military and Department of Defense first responders to earn paramedic certification in less time required than the traditional program. Credits will be awarded to 68W soldiers for their experience, knowledge and military trauma courses, thus allowing them to articulate from their current EMT certification as a 68W to a paramedic in two semesters, plus internship, instead of the traditional four semesters.
CTC has also added dual enrollment opportunities for students in the Copperas Cove and Killeen school districts. Most recently, entered into an agreement with KISD for a new science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM-focused, dual credit program for high school students. The program will allow students to graduate high school while earning up to two years of college credit.
Also during 2017, CTC was named to the Military Times Best: Colleges 2018 list – the most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and rates of academic achievement for the eighth consecutive year. CTC was ranked third in the category of online and non-traditional schools. CTC was also listed among the Military Times magazine’s most popular colleges and universities for military personnel using Tuition Assistance (TA). CTC was listed as the second most popular school for Army personnel and fourth most popular overall among all military branches.