Institutional Summary Form Prepared for Commission Review



History and Characteristics


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 services.


The Wilbarger County Junior College District was created by a majority of the electorate of Wilbarger County on January 20, 1970. Named Vernon Regional Junior College (VRJC) and located in Vernon, Texas, campus construction began in May 1971. Classes met for the first time in September of 1972. During the 1975-76 school year, Vernon College expanded its services to include a learning center on Sheppard Air Force Base. The Vocational Nursing Program was enlarged during the 1976-77 school year with the assumption of the Bethania School of Vocational Nursing in Wichita Falls. Further expansion of program offerings in the Wichita Falls area was accomplished through assumption of an existing proprietary school that was renamed the VRJC Technical Center and the assumption of the nursing program from the Wichita Falls Independent School District. During 1983-84 the Department of Cosmetology Center and the Career Development Center were established in Wichita Falls and a Vocational Nursing Program was opened in Seymour. In May 1989 VRJC moved all Wichita Falls programs to a centralized location and named the center VRJC at Wichita Falls.  The Skills Training Center opened in Wichita Falls in January 1997. The fall 1998 semester saw the College expand the use of technology throughout its operations. Instruction offered a full range of distance learning courses via interactive video, Internet, and video tape. On May 23, 2001, the institution’s name was officially changed from Vernon Regional Junior College to Vernon College. On July 13, 2004, Vernon College purchased the Century City Center complex as a permanent Wichita Falls location. 


Vernon College serves a twelve-county area of North Central Texas. Counties in the service area include Archer, Baylor, Clay, Cottle, Foard, Hardeman, Haskell, King, Knox, Throckmorton, Wichita, and Wilbarger. The main campus of the College is located in Vernon, the county seat of Wilbarger County. Major distance learning centers are located 50 miles to the east of Vernon in Wichita Falls and on Sheppard Air Force Base. The majority of the College’s students reside in Wichita and Wilbarger counties. The twelve-county service area is predominantly rural in nature with Wichita Falls being the largest city. The service area counties form an area of 10,363 square miles. 


In fall 2007, the college reached record enrollment in credit courses with a headcount of 2813 students. The college serves an ethnically diverse student body with 74 percent White, 14 percent Hispanic, 8 percent African‑American and 4 percent “other.”  The average age of Vernon College students is 25. Although adult students continue to be a significant portion of the student body, Vernon College is experiencing a resurgence of traditional‑aged students entering the college.


Vernon College has an open admissions policy.


List of Degrees


Vernon College offers the Associate in Arts, the Associate in Science, and Associate of Arts in Teaching degrees which provide general academic curricula and are designed for transfer to a four year university and generally correspond to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program. 


Two-year workforce education programs at the College lead to Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees and workforce education programs of shorter duration lead to Certificates of Completion. Although designed primarily for job entry, all Vernon College workforce programs will also transfer into some baccalaureate programs, thus providing students access to additional education and career advancement. The AAS degrees, ranging from 60-72 semester hours, include the following:

Automotive Technology       Business Management 
Child Development    Computer and Information Sciences   
Criminal Justice   Emergency Medical Services
Farm and Ranch Management    Fire Protection Technology
Health Information Technology  Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
Industrial Automation System  Nursing 
Office Technology Welding


Credit workforce education programs leading to Certificates of Completion and designed to provide students with college-level training in job entry skills are as follows:


Automotive Technology  Business Management
Basic Peace Officer Academy Child Development
Computer and Information Sciences Cosmetology
Criminal Justice    Emergency Medical Services
Farm and Ranch Management Fire Protection Technology 
Firefighter Academy  Health Information Technology    
Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Industrial Automation System
Machining Office Technology  
Pharmacy Technician Surgical Technology 
Vocational Nursing  Welding


Locations and Distance Education


The main campus of Vernon College is located in Vernon, TX, the county seat of Wilbarger County.  Major distance learning centers are located 50 miles to the east of Vernon in Wichita Falls, TX (Century City Center and the Skills Training Center) and on Sheppard Air Force Base (Sheppard Learning Center), also in Wichita Falls. Selected academic, workforce and continuing education courses are offered at area public schools and other facilities in the Vernon College service area, both in the classroom and via ITV. Among the locations are those at City View, Graham, Haskell, Iowa Park, Paducah, Quanah and Vernon, Throckmorton, and Seymour.  A Vocational Nursing program is located in Seymour. Vernon College also offers courses via the Internet, both through Vernon College and as a host college for the Virtual College of Texas (VCT).


The following locations offer the listed certificates and degrees, and students can obtain 50 percent of credits toward all of the certificate and degree programs offered at each site. Vernon campus:  AA, AS, AAT, Automotive Technology,  Business Management, Child Development, Computer and Information Sciences, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Farm and Ranch Management, Nursing, Vocational Nursing, Office Technology. Wichita Falls Century City Center: AA, AS, AAT, Business Management, Child Development, Computer and Information Sciences, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Basic Peace Officer Academy, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Protection Technology, Firefighter Academy, Health Information Technology, Vocational Nursing, Office Technology, Pharmacy Technician, and Surgical Technology. Wichita Falls Skills Training Center:  Automotive Technology, Computer and Information Sciences, Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, Industrial Automation Systems, Machining, and Welding. Wichita Falls Sheppard Learning Center:  AA, AS, Business Management. Seymour:  Vocational Nursing.


Distance Education offerings that can be obtained primarily through electronic means include general education and core curriculum courses offered for transfer to a bachelor’s degree program as well as various workforce education courses. Most of the students served through electronic means reside in the Vernon College service area. Degree or certificate programs that can be completed primarily through electronic means (including courses taught through the Virtual College of Texas and hosted by Vernon College) include: AA, AS, AAT, Child Development, Computer and Information Sciences, Criminal Justice, Fire Protection Technology, Health Information Technology, Office Technology, and Surgical Technology.




Vernon College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate Degrees. Our last reaffirmation of accreditation was in 1999. VC was reviewed and approved (by SACS) for a substantive change in June of 2007. Vernon College is approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Health Information Technology program is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The Surgical Technology program is also accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). There have been no sanctions or negative actions taken by any of these accrediting bodies in regard to Vernon College or its programs. 


Relationship to the U.S. Department of Education


Vernon College has no limitations, suspensions, or termination by the U.S Department of Education in regard to student financial aid or other financial aid programs.