By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Daily Register
North Central Texas College holds an 89-year history of providing quality education in Cooke County.
And since its 1924 inception, the institution has expanded far beyond its original scope — now offering additional campuses in Bowie, Corinth, Flower Mound and Graham. Nearly 9,500 students were enrolled among these five locations as of Fall 2010.
But the original, central NCTC campus at 1525 W. California St. in Gainesville is perhaps the most comprehensive version of what the college offers, with its associate degree plans and technical, developmental and continuing education programs. The Gainesville campus also has considerable offerings in the realm of the creative and is home to the First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts, which mounts concerts, musicals and theatrical productions of sizable scale.
NCTC President Eddie Hadlock, discussing his college, deemed it a full-service educational resource of high caliber.
“We offer not only college transfers but also career and technical training,” he said. “We offer programs to specific skill development or retrenchment. We try to offer cultural programs and other special interest programs to the public.”
Beyond its two-year degree programs, the college caters to the special needs of its North Texas area through its agricultural department. The department offers what its website calls “specialized facilities” such as the Beef Cattle Evaluation Center and the Soil and Forage Testing Laboratory, plus the NCTC Equine Center. The website added the department works with the NCTC Division of Continuing Education to offer workshops, seminars and educational courses available to students plus local businesses and private organizations.
NCTC also collaborates with high schools in Cooke, Graham, Denton and Montague counties to enlist seniors in dual-credit programs, providing the participating students with a “leg up” in terms of gathering college credit.
And the Gainesville college itself has had one very positive, tangible impact even beyond the education and enlightened influence it provides its students: an undeniable effect on the county economy. It has been observed that large, powerful companies such as Weber Aircraft regarded NCTC’s presence when deciding to settle in Gainesville and enrich the local workforce with jobs of competitive pay.
Hadlock said when the true math is examined, the actual local economic presence from NCTC is tremendous.
“For one thing, we’re one of the largest employers in the county with an annual payroll exceeding $4.5 million,” he said. “The college operations alone impact the local economy here by about $10.5 million annually. Other studies have been conducted to show that we impact the economy by $30 million-plus each year.”
And yet behind all those numbers, one must not forget, is the delivery of quality education on an ongoing basis. The president said his faculty is unlike those of larger universities in that it enjoys the advantage of concentrating solely on teaching.
“There are no outside interests among our faculty to publish or do research,” he said. “The focus is on the teaching and learning process. Our average class, system-wide, is about 23 students. And so that provides a student with a great opportunity for individual help.”
For more information about the institution and its programs, visit www.nctc.edu.