North Central Texas College and Midwestern State University build on rich history

by Elizabeth F. Dieter | Aug 19, 2016 <p> </p>

North Central Texas College (NCTC) is building on its rich history with Midwestern State University (MSU) to expand possibilities for students on the NCTC Flower Mound campus.

The two institutions will be partnering on a new facility located at near NCTC's Flower Mound campus that will allow NCTC students to finish their associate's degrees and seamlessly continue their education toward selected baccalaureate degrees on the same campus. This is a unique opportunity for students that might not otherwise have had the opportunity to pursue a four-year degree.

"Our goal with this partnership is to connect people to a baccalaureate degree that is affordable and accessible," said Dr. Emily Klement, NCTC Associate Vice President of Strategic Partnerships.

"Over the past eight months, President Shipley and I have been working to create an innovative approach to higher education accessibly," said Dr. Brent Wallace, President of NCTC. "This agreement stands to create a new approach to higher education in the state where universities and community colleges work together, sharing the cost to assist students in attaining two and four year degrees."

"A partnership with NCTC has been desired for years. The vision of Presidents Shipley and Wallace align with the State of Texas's desire to create affordable baccalaureate degrees easily accessible to citizens desiring this option," said Dr. Keith Lamb, Vice President of Student Services for Midwestern State University. "This shared vision, both institutions' shared past, and the needs of the State of Texas make this an ideal time to launch a significant and meaningful partnership."

MSU President Dr. Suzanne Shipley has been aggressively pursuing a way to reach more students in the North Fort Worth area.

"We look forward to providing new options for students completing degrees at NCTC. Together Midwestern State and NCTC can position students for professional success with a generous array of fields to study," said Shipley. "The dynamic nature of the Dallas/Fort Worth environment demands employees with high quality, competitive and marketable skills. Midwestern State will partner with NCTC to provide those skills in an affordable and convenient format."

MSU and NCTC have more in common than their dedication to students. Randolph Lee Clark actually founded both schools in the early 1920s.

In 1922, Clark founded Wichita Falls Junior College, which would eventually grow and evolve into the senior college it is now, MSU. Just two years later in 1924 Clark moved to the Gainesville area and founded Gainesville Junior College, which would become NCTC and cover four counties with five campuses.

MSU is looking at a 30,000-square-foot shared facility near NCTC's Flower Mound campus. Both NCTC and MSU students will have access to this facility. The schools hope to begin offering selected classes by August 2017.

NCTC MSU Signing Wallace Shipley

North Central Texas College President Dr. Brent Wallace (left) and Midwestern State University President Dr. Suzanne Shipley (right) made the partnership between the two schools official after NCTC's Board of Regents approved it at their August meeting.