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NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS COLLEGE

NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS COLLEGE. North Central Texas College, originally Gainesville Junior College, opened on September 8, 1924, as part of the Gainesville public school system. The new college was the culmination of a campaign led by Gainesville school superintendent Randolph Lee Clark, with the backing of the Gainesville Kiwanis Club and the PTA. A faculty of seven who also shared duties with the high school taught the first college freshman class of thirty-eight. The college occupied part of the Newsome Dougherty High School building. It received official approval of the state superintendent of education in November 1925. Under the guidance of H. O. McCain, Gainesville superintendent and college president (1928–45), the college enrollment increased steadily to well over 100 students during the 1930s; it peaked at 190 in 1939–40. In 1934 Mary Josephine Cox, a college English teacher, bequeathed her total estate to provide financial assistance for county youths to attend the college. In 1945 oil was discovered on the property.

Cooke County voters approved a county-wide college district and a maintenance tax on May 7, 1960. On April 18, 1961, Gainesville College became Cooke County Junior College. It was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1962. John Henry Parker, president from 1960 to 1971, supervised expansion of the college facilities from one building to eight buildings, including a college dormitory. The planetarium-classroom building bears his name. By 1973 the school had added associate-degree programs for registered nursing and law enforcement. A 110-acre part of the former Cox estate became the school farm, highlighted by a beef-cattle evaluation center. The Division of Continuing Education and Extension Services was established in 1973. In 1974 "Junior" was dropped from the college name. Alton Laird, president from 1974 to 1985, added to the curriculum an LVN nursing program, and the first associate-degree paramedical program in the state.

From 1986 until 1993, Luther Bud Joyner, college president, oversaw a dramatic growth in enrollment with an increasing emphasis on off-campus course offerings. The college has significant enrollment in several locations in Lewisville, and since 1990 has leased a facility in Denton with the cooperation of the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University. The college also operates two major extension campuses, in Corinth and in Bowie, and offers instruction at more than a dozen other extension sites. Under Joyner's tenure, the college added programs in equine technology, legal assisting, and microcomputer applications. Also, with federal grant assistance, the college created a Small Business Development Center. Ronnie Glasscock, who became president in 1993, promoted the name change to North Central Texas College on June 1, 1994. That year the college added a total quality-based technology program and a health-information-technology program that immediately became the largest in the nation. In 1995, NCTC became a participant in an interactive distance-learning network involving area rural high schools. The college also includes in its curriculum customized programs for area business and industry. Since the fall of 1992 the college enrollment has consistently exceeded 4,000 students. In the fall of 1998, under Glasscock, the college had an enrollment of 4,041 and a faculty of 242. In 2001 the North Central Texas College baseball team won the national junior college championship.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

A. Morton Smith, The First 100 Years in Cooke County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1955). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Donald W. Whisenhunt, The Encyclopedia of Texas Colleges and Universities (Austin: Eakin, 1986).

Ronald W. Melugin

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Ronald W. Melugin, "NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS COLLEGE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kcnha), accessed April 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.