Tyler Junior College is celebrating an increase in enrollment for the 2023 fall semester, welcoming 12,114 new and returning students to the College for its 97th year.
TJC saw a nearly 5-percent increase in new student enrollment, bringing its first-time freshman class to nearly 3,000 students.
The College also welcomed a growing diverse and talented group of students. One in four are the first in their families to attend college; and, out of all TJC students, more than 3,400, or about one-third, identify as Hispanic/Latino.
Additionally, the College has seen an increase in male students, who now make up 38 percent of the student population; and 46 percent of students are attending TJC full time.
More dual credit/early college high school students are attending TJC than ever before — 2,822, to be exact — with the College experiencing a 2-percent increase in enrollment of high school students and a 7-percent increase in courses taken.
“We are very pleased to see these positive enrollment trends at the College,” said Dr. Juan E. Mejia, TJC president and CEO. “These numbers and outcome affirm our focus on academic and workforce programs that meet the regional needs of the next generation labor force. The College community remains committed to a very strong East Texas.”
The incoming class maintains an impressive average weighted GPA of 3.9 for a second consecutive year, furthering the College’s commitment to attracting high-achieving students.
More than 250 students are in the TJC Presidential Honors program, a diverse community of highly motivated and creative students who participate in an intellectually enriching, interdisciplinary two-year experience.
TJC’s Alpha Omicron Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is one of the oldest chapters in the nation and one of the most successful, with a roster of nearly 400 students. TJC students consistently earn significant PTK scholarships that enable them to further their education, and Alpha Omicron was recently ranked second internationally among all chapters from around the world.
With locations in Tyler, Lindale, Jacksonville and Rusk, TJC strives to be the “community’s college,” offering courses in multiple locations and in a variety of formats to meet the needs of a diverse and growing East Texas population. TJC also offers 23 online-only majors and certificate programs. Also, TJC’s workforce training programs offer a pathway to success, whether a new student is looking for a starting point or an experienced worker seeks to build on their skills for career advancement.
While the majority of TJC students (64%) are from East Texas, TJC continues to draw students from 49 states and 44 countries.
“It is exciting to see a record number of new students of different ages and experiences choosing TJC as the best place to advance their learning journeys and their lives,” said Kim Lessner, TJC vice president for operations. “Our team has been very hard at work telling the TJC story in an authentic and engaging way that has clearly resonated with today’s prospective students.”
Authentic partnerships lead to greater student success
One of the pillars in TJC’s strategic plan is to develop authentic partnerships that promote student success.
Over the summer, TJC officials welcomed representatives from several Texas universities to form new connections — and reinforce existing ones — that will create greater opportunities for students.
TJC recently partnered with Texas A&M University to offer an engineering academy on the TJC central campus. This innovative co-enrollment partnership allows students to spend their first year, or two, studying engineering close to home at an affordable price.
The first cohort of 14 students is currently studying Texas A&M Engineering coursework here in Tyler.
A new scholarship for TJC graduates will cover the full financial need for selected students to attend Southern Methodist University. This scholarship opportunity was made possible by a generous endowment gift from TJC board member Ann Brookshire and her husband, Brad Brookshire, of Tyler.
Leaders of TJC and The University of Texas at Tyler collaborated to form the TJC and UT Tyler Promise Transfer Scholarship.
This new scholarship enables TJC graduates who have been successful in one of the College’s Promise programs to further pursue their education at UT Tyler.
In support of this incredible partnership, the James I. Perkins Family Foundation has agreed to provide 50 scholarships at $8,000 each, a total of $400,000 for TJC students transferring to UT Tyler.
TJC also recently partnered with both Jarvis Christian University and Texas Tech University, to promote access, affordability, quality and success for TJC students to transfer to those universities.
Established in 1926, TJC serves over 12,000 students per semester, and throughout its 97-year history, has embodied the true sense of the term “community.” As its cornerstone, the College has five core values of unity, caring, integrity, empowering and excellence.
TJC offers more than 115 degree and certificate options, extensive customized training and adult and continuing education, and opportunities for students to transfer to senior universities or to gain the skills needed to go directly into the workforce.
As a Purple Heart College and Military Friendly Silver status, TJC currently serves nearly 450 enrolled military veterans and their dependents.
The College has received legislative designation, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approval, and accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges, as one of four Legacy Colleges eligible to award up to five baccalaureate degrees.
TJC features a 145-acre main campus and multiple sites, rigorous academics, 68 national athletic championships, stellar fine and performing arts programs, modern residential facilities, and organizations and clubs that promote student engagement and diversity.
For more information on TJC’s institutional data, go to TJC.edu/Facts.