If you have watched the news or followed social media lately, you know that Collin College has chosen Wylie as the site for their 4th main campus and 8th overall location. This new college is scheduled be built in 2020. Here is the Dallas Morning News story about it: Dallas Morning News Article. Groups like the Wylie Economic Development Corporation, Wylie ISD and the City of Wylie have been working on this project for more than 10 years without much success. Thanks to our persistence and a new President of Collin College, the outstanding trustees of Collin College have made this dream a reality. An anchor like this is enormous to the positive growth of our school and community. This will mean an additional 5000 to 7500 college students that will eat at restaurants, shop at stores and bolster our economy. This doesn’t even include the employees it will take to run Collin College Wylie (which I will cover below).
When restaurants and businesses consider moving into a community, one of the most significant factors they consider is “how big is the lunch crowd.” Well, that lunch crowd just blew up and so should the current and new businesses in Wylie.
I know that Collin College and the City of Wylie have been working to strategically address traffic concerns, including purchasing land that will better handle the future traffic capacity. All this pre-planning and behind the scenes work will contribute the amazing facility we will welcome to Wylie is a few years. There have been tons of questions since the announcement was made. We have compiled a list of most frequently asked questions and provided answers to the best of our knowledge below:
What Collin College Means For Education in Wylie
Q: How will this affect enrollment in Wylie ISD?
Let’s face it, Wylie ISD is what experts call a “destination district” that attracts families who move to the area because of our great schools. Our enrollment will continue to climb as new families continue to choose the neighborhoods within Wylie ISD. While the availability of a college may influence some potential new residents, the biggest factor is the opportunity for more high school students to take dual credit courses, as well as other partnership opportunities.
Q: I thought we offered dual credit now. How will the college affect it?
We do. In fact last year more than 800 students at WHS and WEHS took dual credit classes. But with a campus in the city, more students will be able to take more classes. A student can enroll in a dual credit course and concurrently receive his/her necessary high school credits for graduation as well as college credits, which saves on college costs.
Q: So a student can go from kindergarten to college grad without leaving town?
Collin College offers a wide range of programs, including Associate Degrees, specialized certificates, marketable skills and core curriculum classes. Each of these is designed to help students follow the path that best fits them. Many students utilize Collin College to complete their general education courses before selecting a four-year university. Others take credit technical courses leading to immediate entry into the workforce. Collin College also offers a wide array of non-credit classes that can benefit members of our community.
Q: Isn’t this just a junior college? Why didn’t we go after UNT or UTA?
Collin College is one of the most respected comprehensive community colleges in the country. It has agreements with universities from around the country to make sure credits transfer for completion of a bachelor’s degree. In addition, students can pursue bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at the Collin Higher Education Center, where their university partners offer junior and senior-level courses as well as graduate courses. The college is currently in talks with additional partners to further expand university offerings both at the Collin Higher Education Center and in other locations. BTW: Collin College has the lowest tuition of any community college in the state of Texas. Average cost per class at Collin: $119. At UNT: $1,282 and at UTD: $2,165.
Q: Will this raise (or lower) my school taxes?
Wylie ISD and Collin College are separate. Each Board sets the tax rate for its institution. As a resident of the county, you already pay a tax that supports the College, which, by the way is the second lowest tax rate for community colleges in Texas. This will bring the benefit of those taxes directly back to our community. Wylie ISD is not projecting any tax increases.
Q: How else will Wylie ISD partner with Collin College?
Part of the Wylie Way is to help our students develop their future plan and purpose. Our goal is to connect what our students are good at and interested in with possible careers by providing classes in those fields. We believe Collin College will play a vital role in helping us achieve this goal. We are still in the planning stages, but several exciting topics have come up, such as developing career paths for technical programs that transition students from Wylie ISD to Collin College and into the workforce. These career paths include computer networking, cyber-security, allied health and other high demand career fields.
Q: What types of classes/programs will Collin offer at the Wylie location?
The Wylie campus will be comprehensive, offering a broad variety of general education courses that lead to an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree. Associate degrees include coursework that redily transfers to university baccalaureate degrees.
Collin College will also offer technical programs at the Wylie campus. The specific programs will be identified based on the student, business and industry demands of our community, as well as the current career and technology offerings of the area high schools. Collin College tracks business and industry trends within the county, as well as job vacancies and employment trends in the region. This type of data guides the programming at current campuses, as it will for the Wylie campus.
Q: What are the typical hours of operation?
Hours of operation will be similar to other Collin College campuses. Examples of hours of operation will be:
Monday - Friday 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday - 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday – 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Collin College is also revamping its distance learning offerings, which are available 24/7.
Q: How many jobs will be created (both professional and support)?
At this time, job opportunities have not been determined, but Collin College looks forward to continuing to foster economic development within Wylie and the surrounding communities. As the campus builds to full capacity, it is anticipated that there will be at least 75 full-time faculty as well as administrative and support staff and associate (part-time faculty). These numbers will be refined as specific course offerings are planned out and demand is verified.
Q: What are the economic benefits of a campus?
Some of the benefits of having a campus in the community include:
Students The campus and its programs can help students increase their employ-ability and achieve their individual potential.
Community college students can anticipate receiving a stream of higher future wages that will continue to grow throughout their working lives. For example, the average associate degree completer will see an increase in earnings of $10,700 each year compared to someone with a high school diploma or equivalent.
Businesses & Society The campus and its programs can supply businesses with skilled workers in a range of industries. Society as a whole benefits from an expanded economy and improved quality of life.
Q: How many students from Wylie (75098) are enrolled in Collin College?
In fall 2015, 1,446 students from zip code 75098 were enrolled at Collin College. There are additional students from the southeast region of the county and we anticipate that growth in Collin County will continue. Projections put day enrollment of the new campus at 2,500-3,000 students growing up to 7,500 over the first five years of operation.
I hope this answers your questions and welcome any others you may have.
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