Vision, Mission, and Guiding Values
To be a leader in education…for Learning, for Earning, for Life!
Working as one, Howard College builds communities through quality, innovative education for lifelong learning.
Howard College…for Learning, for Earning, for Life!
An institution working as one that:
- Focuses on who we serve;
- Provides quality innovative instruction and services leading to successful outcomes;
- Utilizes effective and efficient processes, policies and procedures;
- Demands a culture of personal and institutional integrity and accountability;
- Fosters an environment of high academic standards, exceptional performance and service by all; and
- Values the individual employee.
SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf
In the spring of 1979, steps were initiated to study the feasibility of establishing a self-contained post-secondary program uniquely designed for deaf and hard of hearing students as a part of the Howard County Junior College District. The Howard College Board of Trustees established SWCID on November 6, 1979. On May 14, 1981, the Texas state legislature established SWCID as a post-secondary education institution providing instruction for hearing-impaired students preparing for a career or for enrollment in a senior college or university under the direct control and management of the Board of Trustees of the Howard County Junior College District. Based on state law, unimpaired hearing students cannot enroll in SWCID unless it is educationally appropriate or in such special programs needed to train hearing and hearing-impaired persons to become professional service providers for the deaf.
SWCID Campus Vision
SWCID is a student focused community college campus providing education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons from around the world using ASL and English communication, technology, and career preparation to achieve successful job outcomes.
SWCID has many unique qualities that distinguish it from other post-secondary programs that serve a Deaf and Hard of Hearing student population:
- SWCID is the only self-contained and residential community college campus for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons in the nation.
- SWCID offers a friendly atmosphere in all aspects of college education and campus life.
- SWCID is a culturally rich environment with full direct access to communication.
- SWCID offers small classes with an 8 to 1 student to faculty ratio.
- SWCID provides academic and career technical education, as well as social, athletic, and residence hall opportunities for a diverse student population.
- SWCID prepares students for transferring to a four-year college and/or a wide range of career opportunities.
- SWCID provides support services tailored for Deaf and hard of hearing students.
- SWCID provides role models to motivate students through example and experience.
- SWCID encourages empowerment skills and self-confidence.
- SWCID educates the hearing community that the Deaf and hard of hearing can do anything and can have any career.
SWCID Educational Programming Options
- Self-contained classes offered on the SWCID campus by instructors skilled in the use of sign language and communication modalities,
- Mainstreamed classes offered on the Howard College-Big Spring campus facilitated through the use of skilled sign language interpreters,
- A combination of self-contained and mainstreamed course work with some classes being taken on both campuses; and,
- Educational outreach provided through extension courses in Big Spring and in other communities.
SWCID Advisory Committee
An advisory committee of twelve leaders in the field of deaf education from across Texas and the surrounding states serve to assist college administration in meeting the unique needs of deaf and hard of hearing students. This group meets once a year and provides valuable input for improvement of programs and services.
History of the Howard County Junior College District
The Howard County Junior College District was created by a county-wide vote on November 17, 1945. Seven representative citizens of Howard County were elected on that same ballot to serve as a Board of Trustees. The college was first housed in the hospital area of the former Army Air Force Bombardier School, two and one-half miles west of the center of downtown Big Spring, and began its first session on September 30, 1946.
Howard College Big Spring
On September 12, 1951, the college was moved to a 120-acre campus located in southeast Big Spring. The physical facilities constructed through the ensuing years include an administration-classroom building, a coliseum, a library building, a science building, an auditorium, a gymnasium, a student union building, a practical arts building, an occupational building, a greenhouse, a music building, an applied sciences center, residence halls for men and women, a baseball field, a softball field, and a football stadium with a seating capacity of ten thousand that is currently being used by Big Spring Independent School District. In 1973, the college acquired a 137-acre site in Martin County, near Stanton, Texas, to be used as an agricultural research and demonstration center. An additional 138.39 acres adjacent to the original land was acquired in 1978. Additionally, the college houses a rodeo arena and livestock pens on 20 acres three miles east of Big Spring. In December 2002, the original auditorium was demolished and a new Visual and Performing Arts Center was completed in 2006. In 2004, the original greenhouse was renovated and an addition was added to house a campus child care center. A new greenhouse was constructed. A long-range master landscape and campus beautification plan was initiated in 1977 and updated in 1992. The master plan was updated in 2006. Howard County voters approved a $21,625,000 general obligation bond on May 12, 2007, for the purpose of financing, renovation, construction and equipping of school buildings with work underway. The residence halls are undergoing extensive renovations.
Howard College Lamesa
The Lamesa campus of Howard College, 45 miles north of Big Spring in Dawson County, was established in 1972. A variety of learning opportunities are available, including academic transfer and career technical education courses. The building, owned by Dawson County, includes three large classrooms, a computer lab, office space, and an e-learning classroom with interactive video equipment for receiving courses from the Big Spring and San Angelo campuses. High school students are also able to take courses at Lamesa High School for dual high school and college credit.
Howard College SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf
In the spring of 1979, steps were initiated to study the feasibility of establishing a self-contained post-secondary program uniquely designed for deaf and hard of hearing students as a part of the Howard County Junior College District. The Howard College Board of Trustees established SWCID on November 6, 1979. Property and buildings at the site of the former Webb Air Force Base were deeded to the Howard County Junior College District by the federal government. This campus, named the SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf, began offering classes on August 25, l980. On May 14, 1981, the Texas state legislature established SWCID as a post secondary education institution providing instruction for hearing-impaired students preparing for a career or for enrollment in a senior college or university under the direct control and management of the Board of Trustees of the Howard County Junior College District. Based on state law, unimpaired hearing students cannot enroll in SWCID unless it is educationally appropriate or in such special programs needed to train hearing and hearing-impaired persons to become professional service providers for the deaf. This campus located on approximately 70 acres contains buildings and improvements, including the 66,000 square foot administration/classroom complex, residential complex for men and women, a student union building, activity center, diagnostic center, building trades facility, and a softball field. A new workforce training center was constructed in 2009.
Howard College San Angelo
The San Angelo campus of Howard College, 87 miles south of Big Spring, held its first class in 1973 at Goodfellow AFB. In 1981 Howard College San Angelo assumed operation of a vocational nursing program from the San Angelo Independent School District. At that time the college also offered a limited selection of courses in real estate and law enforcement. In February 1986, Howard College assigned a full-time campus director to oversee the campus and supervise four personnel. The entire operation occupied 2,500 square feet of converted office space. In 2001, the San Angelo campus began offering courses at the West Texas Training Center. Health Professions programs began re-locating to St. John’s Hospital in 2009.
The Bureau of Prisons provides classroom and laboratory facilities at the Big Spring Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) for a variety of classes in the vocational trades. GEO, a private contractor with the Bureau of Prisons, provides classroom facilities and instructional equipment at four locations to offer a variety of workforce training classes to inmates: Flightline, Interstate, Cedar Hill, and Airpark units. In addition, classes are offered at the Eden Detention Center, also a private contractor with the Bureau of Prisons, in Eden, Texas.
Senate Bill 397, passed by the Texas Legislature in 1993, established service areas for Texas Community Colleges. The Howard College service area includes 13 counties and covers 13,000 square miles. Counties included are Howard, Dawson, Martin, Glasscock, Sterling, Coke, Tom Green, Concho, Irion, Schleicher, Sutton, Menard, and Kimble. The service area hosts 28 independent school districts including Big Spring, Coahoma, Forsan, Sands, Dawson, Lamesa, Klondike, Grady, Stanton, Sands, Glasscock County, Sterling City, Robert Lee, Bronte, Water Valley, Grape Creek-Pulliam, Miles, San Angelo, Veribest, Wall, Christoval, Paint Rock, Eden, Irion County, Schleicher County, Sonora, Menard, and Junction. Howard College courses for which students receive both high school and college credit are offered at most of these school districts.
Virtual College of Texas
The Virtual College of Texas is a collaborative effort of Texas public two-year colleges. It was created by the Texas Association of Community Colleges to facilitate sharing of e learning courses among member colleges. CEO’s of VCT member colleges developed the host-provider model upon which VCT operations rest and defined the principles of VCT’s organization and management. A three-year pilot project was launched in the fall semester of 1998. Concluding a successful pilot, VCT was established as an ongoing service beginning with the 2001 fall semester. Howard College hosts approximately 100 courses each semester.
Howard College brokers educational opportunities by arrangement with several universities. For more information, please see the Howard College website.