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A Pinnacle Panhandle Performance


Glendon Forgey
President, Frank Phillips College

To reach a pinnacle is to reach the highest or culminating point of success.  Such is the case with the academic accomplishments at Frank Phillips College (FPC).

At a recent budget workshop, one FPC regent asked, “How does the administration, or the public in general, know if FPC is preparing our students to excel in the workplace or in their future academic pursuits?” 

The facts give evidence of the academic excellence occurring at FPC.  Here’s the proof.  Let’s begin with the nursing program.  FPC offers one of the best licensed vocational nursing (LVN) programs in the state.  How do we know?  Our LVN students have had a 100% pass rate of the state licensing exam for four consecutive years.  It is the ONLY Texas community college LVN program that can say that!   In addition, for the first time in its history, the LVN program was ranked in the top 10 programs in the State of Texas.   Not to be outdone, FPC cosmetology students also have a 100% pass rate. This is a great compliment to the outstanding faculty who instruct our LVN and cosmetology students. 

What about the academic preparation and performance of FPC students who transfer to universities such as WTAMU?   A recent study by WTAMU showed that FPC students had just as good of grade point average (GPA), or sometimes better, than students who were attending WT for the first time (FTIC) or of students who transferred to WT from another college. Here are some additional statistics from the WT study regarding FPC students:

  • The GPA for FPC students in the WT College of Business was 23% higher than FTIC students.
  • The GPA for FPC students in the WT College of Education was 15% higher than students who transferred from another college.
  • The GPA for FPC students in the WT Nursing and Health Sciences program was 12% higher than FTIC students.

Not only are FPC students well prepared for their future academic pursuits, but they are also 7% more likely to continue their education than other Texas community college students.  Furthermore, FPC students are more likely to graduate with their degree than students from other colleges and do so in almost half the time.

Another huge performance measure is in FPC workforce programs.  Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board data shows that FPC students are 20% more likely to be employed than other Texas community college students.  This measurement reflects the exceptional quality of instruction received by FPC workforce students and the value area employers place on FPC graduates.

The academic reputation of FPC has resulted in a record enrollment for FPC this fall.  For the first time ever over 1,600 students have enrolled at FPC!!  More and more students are taking advantage of the outstanding education and workforce opportunities. 

There are even more statistics that reveal the excellence that is occurring at FPC, and with the support and partnerships with our local independent school districts, industry, and community partners the excellence will continue.

And as the song goes….”the best is yet to come.”

Health Matters


Glendon Forgey
President, Frank Phillips College

Some people think they need to lose weight but are not into exercise.  Their idea of exercise is lifting the fork from the plate to their mouth.  Not the best way to lose weight. Most, if not all, physicians highly recommend some type of physical exercise.  In fact, the Apostle Paul writes to Timothy in 1st Timothy 4:8 that physical exercise has some value. So, not only is bodily exercise recommended by your doctor, but God is okay with it too.

Some people enjoy working out.  Count me as one of those.  Working out has been part of my weekday routine since 2004.  To my great pleasure, Frank Phillips College (FPC) has a tremendous facility at which one can do about any type of exercise one could imagine.  Treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, step mill, ellipticals, stair masters, weight machines, free weights, a handball court, a swimming pool, hot tubs, a sauna, a steam room and other amenities, the Borger Community Activity Center (BCAC) has something for everyone and at very low rates.

Based on comments from facility patrons, the BCAC has needed some upgrading (kind of like some of our bodies).  Over the last few months, the BCAC has added new equipment and refurbished machines and cushions to improve the facility.  The women’s weight room was moved upstairs close to the steam room.   A small play area was added in the women’s weight room so that ladies who want to exercise but have no childcare can keep an eye on their children.

Many people who work out in the weight room like to swim afterwards.   Swimming is one of the best methods of exercise as it puts less stress on joints and uses almost every muscle in our bodies.   As you may have heard the BCAC swimming pool was affected by the extreme cold weather in February and the heater and pool pump had to be replaced.  Getting the parts took longer than anticipated due to manufacturing and shipping delays.  However, during that replacement process, the pool was thoroughly cleaned and has been repainted.  The wait has been worth it.  The pool looks brand new, and the water appears very refreshing and is just waiting for all swimmers or people who like to participate in water aerobics.  In addition, the college is exploring the possibility of adding a diving board and slides to make the pool even more fun!

As the BCAC is a publicly supported facility, accessibility is important.   FPC is aware that many people prefer exercising or swimming later in the evening or on weekends.  To better meet the needs of the community, the BCAC is now open longer in the evenings and on Saturdays. Plus, you never have to worry about parking around the BCAC.

In addition, be on the watch for volleyball leagues, basketball leagues, indoor soccer leagues, and other activities on the newly designed and painted BCAC gymnasium court.  The court had not been repainted in several years and has a new design.  If nothing else, come visit the BCAC and look at the new design of the court.  You will be amazed!  Also, the BCAC will be offering yoga and other classes in the future as interest warrants. 

So, do your body (and mind) a favor and start an exercise program.  There is no better time than today, and there is no better facility that has all the amenities described above than the Borger Community Activity Center on the Frank Phillips Campus.

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


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.