History – “Born from a Vision: A Strong Texas”
Texas State Technical 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. This college was located in Central Texas at the former James Connally Air Force Base in Waco. At the time, Governor John Connally 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 colleges separated from Texas A&M University and became an independent state system, with the name Texas State Technical Institute (TSTI) and its own Board of Regents. Additional campuses were created in 1970 in Amarillo in the Panhandle of Texas and in Sweetwater in West Texas. As the demand for quality technical education continued to grow, extension centers were established in McAllen (1983), Abilene (1985), Breckenridge (1989), Brownwood (1991), and Marshall (1991). In 1991, TSTI was renamed Texas State Technical College (TSTC). In 1999, the extension center in Marshall became an independent college of the system.
Today, serving as the corporate college for Texas, TSTC offers new, emerging and customized curriculum at four colleges: TSTC Harlingen, TSTC Marshall, TSTC Waco, and TSTC West Texas, which has campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, and Sweetwater. In addition, programs and customized training are offered at partnership centers throughout the state.
TSTC is the only state-supported technical college system in Texas. TSTC’s statewide role and mission is to efficiently and effectively help Texas meet the high-tech challenges of today’s global economy, in partnership with business and industry, government agencies, and other educational institutions. TSTC has high graduation rates, exceptional postgraduate success rates, and an outstanding record in graduating individuals from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Nearly 30,000 students are served each year through traditional degree programs, short-term continuing education and corporate training programs.
Among TSTC’s strengths are its emphasis on “learning by thinking and doing” and its strong relationships with business and industry, state-of-the-art laboratories, residential campuses, and student-centered philosophy:
“We believe in people. We believe people desire to be responsible and productive citizens. We believe technology is a force to be explored and channeled by people in a productive and responsible manner for the benefit of all humankind. Therefore, we believe all people should be provided with the educational opportunity to learn the skills necessary to perform meaningful work and, thereby, pursue their goals as responsible citizens contributing to the welfare and success of their families, communities, state, nation, and world.”
Governance and Accreditation
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 Texas State Technical Colleges are accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). They operate under the rules and regulations of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).