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Collin County's First University Center Readies For January Opening

Collin Higher Education Center : December 2009
December 18, 2009 - Next month, Collin College will unveil its first brand new site in nearly 15 years as the Collin Higher Education Center officially opens for spring semester. However this time, the students will not be the usual freshmen and sophomores seen at the college's other six locations.

The new site is a university center, featuring junior- and senior-level college classes as well as master and doctoral programs from area universities The universities include Dallas Baptist University (DBU), Texas A&M University-Commerce (A&M-Commerce), Texas Woman's University (TWU), The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) and the University of North Texas (UNT).

According to the college's board chairman, the concept for the center evolved from the needs of the community. "A decade ago, local residents needing upper-division undergraduate courses or graduate school could commute to a university after work. Today, that is nearly impossible with North Texas highway congestion," Dr. J. Robert Collins said. "Now, a full spectrum of degree programs will be available in the heart of Collin County."

The opening is a special celebration for the college district as the first campus was established in McKinney nearly 25 years ago. The new 125,000-square-foot facility is located on the northeast corner of Central Expressway and the Sam Rayburn Tollway/State Hwy. 121 on 5.5 acres of property donated by the McKinney Economic Development Corp.

Collin Higher Education Center : December 2009
"This is a watershed moment for the residents of North Texas, Collin College and our university partners," said Collin College president Cary Israel. "This is also sound educational policy for the State of Texas because we are not following the trend of several other community colleges that have created their own baccalaureate degrees. Instead, we believe collaborating with exceptional universities is a better means to achieve that goal."

The Collin Higher Education Center will serve as a multi-purpose facility housing administrative departments and the university programs. It will also provide space for meetings and training for the growing district as well as outside bookings.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the plan for the new degree programs in October, and college and university partners officially inked the agreement establishing the center in November.

The center is welcome news for Collin College students like Pamela Ringener. Ringener, who works at American Airlines and home schools her 14-year-old child, has neither the time to drive to a university nor the ability to move her family to earn a bachelor's degree. Now, she can pursue a bachelor's degree in business administration at the new university center.

"I thought it would be a smart next step," she said. "I loved the business administration class I took (at Collin College), and I've always wanted to go into management."

Research confirms that many local residents share Ringener's interest. In a recent study, 35 percent of Collin County residents were interested in bachelor's degrees and 65 percent were interested in master's degrees. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the number of job openings that require a bachelor's or master's degree will increase by 16.5 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively, by 2016.

Registration for spring classes is underway. Programs include the following:

Bachelor's Degrees

  • Accounting and Information Management, Bachelor of Science, UT Dallas
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, UNT
  • Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, UT Dallas
  • Child Development, Bachelor of Science, TWU
  • Communication, Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, DBU
  • Computer Science, Bachelor of Science, UT Dallas
  • Criminology, Bachelor of Arts, UT Dallas
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education), Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science, A&M-Commerce
  • Math (with Teacher Certification), Bachelor of Science, TWU
  • Non-profit/Volunteer/Community Resource Management, Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, UNT
  • Nursing (RN to BSN), Bachelor of Science, TWU
  • Psychology, Bachelor of Science, A&M-Commerce
  • Spanish, Bachelor of Arts, A&M-Commerce

Master's Degrees

  • Accounting and Information Management, Master of Science, UT Dallas
  • Administration (Education), Master of Education, TWU
  • Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, UT Dallas
  • Counseling, Master of Science/Education, A&M-Commerce
  • Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Education, A&M-Commerce
  • Engineering Systems (Construction Management), Master of Science, UNT
  • Engineering Systems (Engineering Management), Master of Science, UNT
  • Higher Education, Master of Education, UNT
  • Management with Human Resource Concentration, Master of Arts, DBU
  • Professional Development (Leadership Studies), Master of Arts, DBU
  • Special Education, Master of Education, TWU
  • Teaching, Master of Arts, DBU

Doctoral Degrees

  • Educational Administration, Ed.D., UNT
  • Higher Education, Ph.D./Ed.D., UNT

Students attending the Collin Higher Education Center will follow the respective university policies and procedures including admission criteria, tuition and fee rates and financial aid.

For more information on the Collin Higher Education Center, visit www.collin.edu/chec or call 972.599.3100.