Texas Association of Community Colleges

By: Christopher Long

Type: General Entry

Published: August 1, 1995

The Texas Association of Community Colleges, formerly the Texas Public Community/Junior College Association, originated in 1924 as a loose confederation of community-college presidents and deans. B. E. Masters, who served as chief administrator of junior colleges in Paris, Amarillo, and Kilgore, was among its early leaders, and in the early years of the organization Frederick Eby of the University of Texas at Austin was the chief advisor. The association was formally organized during the summer of 1947; Dr. Wilson Elkins of San Angelo College (now Angelo State University) was chosen as the charter president. Dr. Harry E. Jenkins, longtime president of Tyler Junior College, succeeded Elkins in the 1948–49 academic year, and in 1949 Dr. Thomas M. Spencer, widely regarded as the father of the Junior College Association, assumed the presidency and served continuously through July 1975. In 1975 the constitution was amended to provide for a two-year term for the president, and the office of president-elect was established. The association acts as an umbrella organization for public community and junior colleges in the state, lobbying for favorable legislation, acting as a clearinghouse for information about community and junior colleges, and serving as a liaison between its various participating institutions. Beginning in 1973 the association employed a full-time staff at its office in Austin. In the later 1900s it was instrumental in securing the passage of legislation addressing such issues as eminent domain, more flexible methods for annexing additional territory, the authority to establish a campus police force, the establishing of six-year terms and uniform procedures for electing local governing boards, the exclusion of junior colleges from the tort claims act, and other reforms. Participating institutions in the association in 1991 included forty-nine community-college districts with sixty-eight separate campuses. In September 1993 the name of the association was changed from the Texas Public Community/Junior College Association to the Texas Association of Community Colleges.


  • Education
  • Organizations
  • Associations
  • Societies

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

Christopher Long, “Texas Association of Community Colleges,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 25, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-association-of-community-colleges.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995