Tyler Junior College

History and Heritage

TJC History and Heritage

Established in 1926 as part of the Tyler Public School System, Tyler Junior College gave residents of the Tyler area access to higher education, offering limited courses in the traditional liberal arts and pragmatic courses in public school music and home economics.

The college had a small student body during its early years. In the 1930s, as the country struggled through the Depression, only 200 students were enrolled. However, the prosperity of the 1940’s signaled major changes. In 1945, Tyler voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to create a junior college district and issued $500,000 in bonds for the College. The expansion of the College included new facilities and new full-time faculty members. Its growth came at an appropriate time for local residents and for many veterans who returned to Tyler to seek new opportunities and realized that those opportunities were linked to higher education. Tyler Junior College has continued to expand since its “rebirth” in the 1940’s. The Tyler Junior College District is now composed of six independent school districts: Chapel Hill ISD*, Grand Saline ISD, Lindale ISD, Tyler ISD*, Van ISD* and Winona ISD.

Today, after 80 years, Tyler Junior College offers more courses in any single major division than were offered in the entire curriculum in 1926. Just as the courses have diversified, so have the students. Although students who reside in the Tyler Junior College District are entitled to priority in enrollment, students from throughout Texas and the United States attend Tyler Junior College. The College now has an enrollment of approximately 10,000 students each Fall semester. In addition, some 15,000 individuals take continuing education courses each year.