State’s Fastest Growing Community College is Panola, in Carthage
Panola College in Carthage is growing faster than any other community college system in Texas, according to the Texas Association of Community Colleges. Panola's enrollment is a little over 2550 students, which is 10.1 percent higher than last year.
Panola President Gregory Powell says this increase "is the largest of all 50 Texas community college districts.” It's almost five times the statewide average enrollment increase of 2.5 percent over the same period.
Don Clinton, vice president of student services at Panola, says the staff can take some of the credit for promoting the fact that Panola College offers a great number of opportunities to the area.
“These include quality instruction at an affordable price, a small town atmosphere where students are guided by caring instructors and programs that provide relevant training so that graduates can go directly into the workforce,” Clinton said.
“Students are discovering the benefits provided by Panola College and the result has been seven consecutive semesters of record enrollment.”
Panola College was also named one of the top 10 technology savvy small community colleges in the nation by the Center for Digital Education.
Panola College is one of many community colleges that are experiencing explosive growth. The four-year universities get more expensive all the time, and more and more high school graduates are opting for a much less expensive two-year school.
There are about one and a half million students going to college in Texas. Half of them -- about 760 thousand -- are in the state's 50 community colleges.