Description: This study sought to identify components of the institutional transformation of Southwest Texas Junior College from its participation in the Rural Community College Initiative (RCCI) The RCCI was centered on increasing access to educational opportunities and regional economic development in four historically poor regions of the United States. It was felt that this two-pronged approach to increase access and economic development would ameliorate poverty and provide opportunity. The pilot colleges were chosen from Appalachia, Delta South, Northern Plains (Tribal colleges), and the Southwest. Southwest Texas Junior College in the southwest border region of Texas and Mexico was chosen in 1994 as one of nine pilot college participants in the Ford Foundation project. Documentation of the college's characteristics were conducted during the 1994 and 1995 preliminary visits by Stephen G. Katsinas at the request of the Ford Foundation to find suitable rural community colleges in historically distressed areas of the United States to be invited to participate in RCCI. Follow-up site visits were conducted by Christopher Thomas in 2002, 2004, and 2005. Data was collected during all site visits by open-ended questionnaires, interviews, content analysis of documents, and observation. Extended site visits and living in the college's residence halls increased the researcher's knowledge of the region, the college, its faculty, staff, and students. Results from the study indicated Southwest Texas Junior College has undergone substantial institutional transformation as a result of its participation in RCCI. The College increased access in all eleven counties to students in its state-assigned service delivery area through increased relationships with twenty-two area highs schools, the extensive expansion of curriculum and permanent facilities at its branch campuses in Eagle Pass, Del Rio, and Crystal City, increases in its adult basic education programs, increases in its technical training programs, and by increasing its workforce training programs. The college ...
Date: December 2005
Creator: Thomas, Christopher James
Partner: UNT Libraries