Important Dates Summer and Fall 2024

New Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination Requirement


Effective January 1, 2014, all first-time college students and returning students under the age of 22 must be immunized against bacterial meningitis, according to the Jamie Schanbaum and Nicolis Williams Act.

All incoming freshmen, transfer students and returning students, following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester, will be required to show proof of immunization against bacterial meningitis.

Documentation showing that the student has received the immunization within the last five years must be provided at least 10 days prior to the first day of the semester in order to register for classes. Students must submit one of the following in order to be cleared for registration:

  • the signature or stamp of a physician (or his/her designee) or public health personnel on a form that shows the month, day and year the vaccination dose or booster was administered 
  • an official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority 
  • an official high school or college transcript that includes documentation of immunization provided by school officials (including records from other states)

After submitting proof of immunization, there will be a waiting period to allow for the processing of immunization information before a student will be cleared for registration.

The law does not apply to students: 

  • age 22 and over. 
  • enrolled only in Online Classes which does not include a face-to-face component. 
  • enrolled in Continuing Education courses or programs less than 360 contact hours or Continuing Education corporate training. 
  • enrolled in Dual Credit courses taught at a public or private K-12 facility. 
  • who submit an affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States, in which it is stated that, in the physician's opinion, the vaccination required would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student. 
  • who submit an affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including religious belief. A conscientious exemption form ("Affidavit Request for Exemption from Immunizations for Reasons of Conscience") from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) must be used by students living in on-campus housing.  The DSHS form may be ordered electronically. Allow several weeks to submit and have form approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services.  Students NOT living in on-campus housing may use the official Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's form. Students must print the form, have it notarized, and file it with the Office of Admissions and Records.

 VC students who are required to have the vaccination will not be allowed to register until they provide proof of immunization to the Office of Admissions and Records.  

Getting the Immunization  

Students should get the bacterial meningitis vaccination from their primary care provider. If they do not have a health care provider then a community vaccinator like Walgreens or CVS is an alternative.

About Meningitis   

Bacterial meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress extremely fast. It is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The bacteria that cause meningitis can also infect the blood. This disease strikes about 1 in 20,000 people each year with the highest incident rate in 16-25 year olds. There is a treatment, but those who survive may develop severe health problems or disabilities.

Symptoms of bacterial meningitis:

  • High fever 
  • Rash or purple patches on skin 
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Confusion and sleepiness 
  • Lethargy 
  • Severe headache 
  • Vomiting 
  • Stiff neck 
  • Nausea 
  • Seizures

There may be a rash of tiny red-purple spots caused by bleeding under the skin. These can occur anywhere on the body. The more symptoms, the higher the risk, so when these symptoms appear seek immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis is made by a medical provider and is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood tests. Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.

The disease is transmitted when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, or by sharing drinking containers, utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, etc.) or come in contact with respiratory or throat secretions.

Possible complications of the disease include:

  • Permanent brain damage 
  • Kidney failure 
  • Learning disability 
  • Hearing loss, blindness 
  • Death (in 8 to 24 hours from perfectly well to dead) 
  • Limb damage (fingers, toes, arms, legs) that requires amputation 
  • Gangrene 
  • Coma 
  • Convulsions

 The disease can be treated with antibiotics - which, if received early, can save lives and increase chances of recovery. However, permanent disability or death can still occur. The vaccines available are safe and highly effective.

You can get more information about bacterial meningitis from your health care provider. 


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Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 6 p.m. // Friday - 8:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
  • Vernon Campus
    4400 College Drive
    Vernon, TX 76384
  • Century City Center
    4105 Maplewood
    Wichita Falls, TX 76308
  • Skills Training Center
    2813 Central Expressway East
    Wichita Falls, TX 76302
1970 marked the beginning of Vernon College. Throughout this decade the College continued to grow and more students enrolled in both on- and off-campus courses. On January 20, 1970, a majority of the citizens of Wilbarger County voted to create the Wilbarger County Junior College District. Following that decision, Vernon Regional Junior College was established and on April 9, 1970, the newly elected Board of Trustees appointed Dr. David L. Norton as the College’s first president. Campus construction began in May 1971, and included an Academic Science Center, Administration-Fine Arts Center, Applied Arts Center, Library, and Student Center. The following year, on September 5, 1972, classes met for the first time on the Vernon campus with a total of 608 students. On August 1, 1974, Dr. Jim M. Williams became the College’s second president. In the fall semester of that year, combined on- and off-campus enrollment exceeded 800 students. During the 1975-76 academic year, the College expanded its services to include a learning center on Sheppard Air Force Base. During this year, enrollment in credit courses, both on- and off-campus, rose to a level of 1,199. The scope of the Vocational Nursing Program was enlarged during the 1976-77 academic year with the assumption of the Bethania School of Vocational Nursing in Wichita Falls. In August 1976 the Physical Education Center was dedicated in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas A. King longtime benefactors of Vernon College. Growth and changes continued during the 1980s. In August 1980 a Student Residence Center, designed to house 128 students, opened for occupancy. Further expansion of program offerings in the Wichita Falls area was accomplished through absorption of an existing proprietary school that was renamed the Vernon College Technical Center and the integration of the nursing program from the Wichita Falls Independent School District. On March 22, 1982, Dr. Joe Mills took over the leadership of the College as the third president. That fall, the College fielded its first intercollegiate rodeo team. During 1983-84, the Department of Cosmetology and the Career Development Center (previously known as the North Texas Skills Center) were established in Wichita Falls. On the Vernon campus, the Chaparral Center was completed, and the Pease River farm purchased through a state land trade. The following academic year, 1984-85, Vernon College reached a record credit enrollment of 1,863 and a record continuing education enrollment of 7,056 registrations. A Vocational Nursing Program opened in Seymour, and the Board of Trustees established a college foundation and approved an agreement to allow construction of the Red River Valley Museum on the Vernon campus. In February 1987 the College played its first intercollegiate baseball game on the Vernon campus. During May of that year, the new Natatorium was opened in the King Physical Education Center. A newly constructed Athletic Dormitory opened to house 28 athletes in August 1988. In October, Trustees voted to add women’s volleyball as a varsity sport, effective with the fall 1989 semester. In May 1989 Vernon College moved all Wichita Falls programs to one centralized location—Century City Center. Since the College opened its doors 38 years ago, many individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations have made an investment in our students through the creation of endowed and annual scholarships. As of this year, more than 100 scholarship funds are available to help students pursue their educational dreams.VERNON COLLEGE PHILOSOPHY: Vernon College is a constantly evolving institution, dedicated primarily to effective teaching and regional enhancement. With this dedication to teaching and to the community, the College encourages open inquiry, personal and social responsibility, critical thinking, and life-long learning for students, faculty, and other individuals within its service area. The College takes as its guiding educational principle the proposition that, insofar as available resources permit, instruction should be adapted to student needs. This principle requires both flexibility in instructional strategies and maintenance of high academic standards. Strong programs of assessment and accountability complement this educational principle. VC accepts the charge of providing a college atmosphere free of bias, in which students can exercise initiative and personal judgment, leading to a greater awareness of personal self-worth. It strives to provide every student with opportunities to develop the tools necessary to become a contributing, productive member of society. Vision VERNON COLLEGE VISION: Vernon College will promote a culture of success for our students and communities through learner-centered quality instructional programs and exemplary services. Values VERNON COLLEGE VALUES: Vernon College promotes a culture of success through our shared values and commitment to: Accessibility Accountability Building Relationships Diversity Inclusion Innovation Leadership Quality Student Success Teamwork Our values define who we are and guide us in conducting our business every day. Our values are our morals – what is important to us at our college. Mission VERNON COLLEGE MISSION The mission of Vernon College is teaching, learning, and leading. Vernon College is a comprehensive community college that integrates education with opportunity through our instructional programs and student support services by means of traditional and distance learning modes. Therefore, to fulfill its mission, the College will provide access, within its available resources, to: Career technical/workforce programs up to two years in length leading to associate degrees or certificates; Career technical/workforce programs leading directly to employment in semi-skilled and skilled occupations; Freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences, including the curricula leading to associate and baccalaureate degrees; Ongoing adult education programs for occupational upgrading or personal enrichment; Compensatory education programs designed to fulfill the commitment of an admissions policy allowing the enrollment of disadvantaged students; ; A continuing program of counseling and guidance designed to assist students in achieving their individual educational goals; Career technical/workforce development programs designed to meet local and statewide needs; Support services for educational programs and college-related activities; Adult literacy and other basic skills programs for adults; and Other To help prospective and current students, faculty, and staff locate important information about Vernon College, this webpage provides links to helpful information on a variety of government mandated and consumer information. Examples are academic programs, cost of attendance, financial aid, safety and security, and institutional financial reports. Vernon College’s presentation of this information complies with the Higher Education Act, as amended, and implementing regulations.