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Economical Education

ECONOMICAL EDUCATION

Glendon Forgey
President, Frank Phillips College

Many articles have been written regarding the cost of going to college.  Students and their parents voice concern about the escalating cost of tuition, books, residential housing, etc.   This is not one of those articles. Instead, this is about the excellent economic opportunity students have in attending Frank Phillips College (FPC).

Over a decade ago, the Texas legislature began a pilot program to allow community colleges to partner with local high schools to create early college high schools which offer dual credit courses.  The program allowed freshmen in high school to begin taking college level classes to help reduce the cost of a college degree or certificate.  The program was hugely successful with many early high schools created and an increase of dual credit class offerings.  In many high schools the tuition is waived, paid by a community educational foundation, paid by the school, or paid by another source, making the courses practically free to students and families.  This is a tremendous economic value to families!

In addition, in 2012 the Texas legislature passed House Bill 5 (HB5). This legislation Introduced a new career and technology education (CTE) course development option. The courses prepare students for a specific career, technical training, or college readiness.  These courses are also eligible for dual credit and at very little, if any, cost to the student.

Panhandle students and their families are very fortunate FPC continues to offer high quality, affordable educational opportunities.  The in-district tuition rates of FPC are among the lowest in the state.   Numerous high school students are taking advantage of the dual credit classes offered by FPC.  In many cases, the college partners with our local school districts to share facilities and qualified instructors.  This helps to keep college expenses low and exhibits the practice of good stewardship of taxpayer funds.

One might ask: “What about the cost of books?”   It is true books can be very costly.  FPC faculty are extremely aware of the cost of books to students.  This is why many of the instructors at FPC use their own curriculum and do not require traditional books.  This is not a new practice.  Faculty have used handouts and other materials for many years to help curtail educational costs.  With the advent and expansion of the internet, materials and eBooks are available online for instructional use to help defray “book” expense.

The educational economic value does not end with dual credit students.  Frank Phillips College offers many workforce programs for adults that lead to high paying jobs.  These courses have the same low in-district tuition rates as traditional courses.  FPC listens to industry and community partners to offer training in much needed areas such as welding, nursing, electrical, instrumentation, and process technology.  Additional programs are being planned to meet the ever-changing needs of the Texas Panhandle economy.

The educational opportunities at FPC are truly valuable, but the economic benefits can only be reaped by those who take advantage of the programs.   You are strongly encouraged to capitalize on these programs that can enrich and transform lives and communities.  Contact FPC or your high school counselor for dual credit information as enrollment is beginning now for Fall 2021.

Remember, you miss every shot you do not take.

First Impressions

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Glendon Forgey
President, Frank Phillips College

First impressions are important.  While a book should not be judged by its cover, many people are unlikely to read it if the cover is not appealing.  And as Will Rogers once said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  That sounds like something Yogi Berra would say.

It has been my good fortune to have visited the Texas panhandle on a few occasions.  My mother grew up in Dalhart and graduated from Dalhart High School.  All the Texas panhandle countryside that was experienced during those visits was flat.…. until my first visit to Borger.  What a very pleasant and appealing surprise!

The scenery of the hills and canyons around Borger is amazing.  Flat can get boring and dull.   When driving into Borger the beautiful topography emerged like a diamond in the rough.  The area around Borger is reminiscent of a miniature Arbuckle Mountains, in the southern part of Oklahoma.  There is just something about rock formations that have always been attractive to me.  Perhaps geology should have been my calling. 

The area topography was not the only thing that made a good first impression.  Having lived in East Texas and having been president at another Texas community college, it was known that Frank Phillips College was one of the smaller community colleges in Texas.  Furthermore, having visited some of the smaller Texas community colleges my expectations were not high.  However, the campus and facilities of Frank Phillips College are extraordinary. 

From the inviting, elegant library to the spacious, charming auditorium; from the dynamic community center to the technology-enhanced classrooms, the Borger campus is second to none.  Not to be outdone, the FPC campuses at Dalhart and Perryton also have exceptional facilities and are beacons of educational enlightenment in their respective communities.

Being new to campus, it was inspiring to communicate with eager and engaging students.  Although the students come from all over the world, they have bonded together to create a familial environment where everyone knows everyone’s name.  These bright, polite, and positive young people give hope for the future. 

The FPC faculty and staff are perhaps the biggest impression.  One can immediately tell that students are first in everything done on the FPC campuses.  The expression “We love our students” can be frequently heard.  Helpful, friendly, and caring, are just a few attributes to describe these wonderful people.  The hospitality exhibited by the dedicated employees at FPC extends into the communities as well.  One would expect nothing less in Texas! Several community members have stopped by the campus and extended a warm welcome to Borger. 

It is a well know fact that things are bigger in Texas.  Frank Phillips College and the communities it serves has certainly left a BIG Texas first impression and better things are sure to come.