Tyler has been home to college campuses for more than a century, but now more than ever, the community is developing a positive reputation as a real college town. Tyler’s three stars in higher education include the University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler Junior College and Texas College, and all three pride themselves on training a skilled workforce for the local economy.
“The citizens of Tyler have much to be thankful for, and the city’s abundance of quality higher learning opportunities is no exception,” says Fred Peters, director of marketing and public information for Tyler Junior College, which has 12,000 students. “Tyler Junior College works in partnership with both Texas College and the University of Texas at Tyler and is the leading supplier of transfer students for UT Tyler. With all three institutions growing in enrollment and community support, Tyler is well-prepared to meet the increasing demands of the Texas economy.”
All of Tyler’s higher education institutions offer a lively student life, with many housing options, competitive sports teams, strong academics and continuous improvements to their already attractive campuses. UT Tyler opened its new 38,000-square-foot, three-story University Center in January 2009, and the multiuse facility features a spacious restaurant, two-story glass walls with views of Harvey Lake, a sports café with pool tables and video games, a convenience store, meeting rooms for student organizations, and a ballroom.
“UT Tyler is a safe university built on a 210-acre campus often considered to be the most beautiful in Texas,” says Dr. Rodney Mabry, president of UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 students. “The campus is home to 14 new and renovated buildings arranged around two lakes. The buildings are truly state-of-the-art, and the campus is in a park-like setting with trees and wildlife.”
In August 2008, Tyler Junior College celebrated the opening of its first new residence hall in 30 years – the Louise H. and Joseph Z. Ornelas Residential Complex.
“The $28 million residence hall has a capacity of 462 and opened at full capacity with the start of the 2008-09 school year,” Peters says. “It features large rooms, a cyber lounge, a media room and a sand volleyball court. The complex is divided into two buildings connected by covered walking bridges that overlook a scenic courtyard and recreation area.”
Like UT Tyler, Tyler Junior College is blessed with a spectacular campus marked by tall trees, lush lawns and botanical gardens, which are a local tourist attraction and serve as an educational resource for botany students.
Texas College is Tyler’s oldest higher education institution. The historically black college was founded in 1894, enjoys a low faculty to student ratio and is affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Texas College has a small student body of about 1,000 and a broad curriculum with 14 major areas of study. Despite its small size, Texas College offers lots of student life activities, ranging from bands and choirs to athletics.
Tyler Junior College is known for athletic excellence and packs Wagstaff Gymnasium and Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium for its basketball and football games.
“Few two-year institutions have such a legacy of excellence in athletics,” Peters says. “TJC teams have claimed 38 national championships, including 26 from its men’s and women’s tennis programs. No other college or university in America, at any level, has claimed more national tennis titles in a single decade than TJC.”
UT Tyler’s student athletes have garnered 71 American Southwest Conference All-Academic Team awards in addition to six ASC sports championships.
“We offer a strong, exciting NCAA athletic program of which our students and community are extremely proud,” Mabry says. “The community is very supportive and has contributed substantial resources to enable us to build the finest athletic facilities in the ASC.”
Learn more about education in Tyler, TX.