As Collin County’s population has boomed in recent years, Collin College’s enrollment has followed suit.

The school rebounded from an enrollment dip in 2020, and its student body increased 8% heading into the 2023 fall semester.

As much of higher education was “hit very hard” by the pandemic, Abe Johnson, Collin College senior vice president of campus operations, said Collin College has expanded over the last three years, opening new campuses, launching programs and expanding dual enrollment opportunities for local high school students.

The gist

Dual enrollment students make up 28% of Collin College’s credit enrollment and have been the biggest area of growth for the school, which partners with all of the independent school districts in its service area.

Since 2021, Collin College campuses have opened in Celina and Wylie, and a technical campus opened in Allen. The new campus locations were chosen because data showed that students were less likely to attend if they had to commute more than 20 minutes, Johnson said.

The school has also expanded to offer four bachelor’s programs.

Diving deeper

Population growth and Collin College’s affordability has caused dual enrollment to grow, said Raul Martinez, Collin College associate vice president of primary-through-12th grade partnerships.

Collin College supplies academic counselors to Frisco ISD schools, said Tiffany Carey, FISD’s director of innovative learning. This helps students navigate the college application process and provides customer service to the district for the dual credit partnership.

The district’s student participation in dual credit programs has grown by 35% over the last semester, Carey said. This growth comes from holding the classes on FISD’s campuses, the classes working with the schools’ schedule and including dual credit in the online course selection process, she said.

“It takes all of us collaborating to make it happen for students and we are excited to see a continued growth in the program,” Carey said.

What else

Collin College’s technical campus has allowed the school to offer several high-demand programs.

“We started offering programs that we’ve never offered before,” Johnson said. “The technical programs like welding, automotive, construction management and things of that nature—our region was hungry for those programs. All of those programs have grown by leaps and bounds since we started.”

The college has continued to expand opportunities within those programs as well. The most recent example is a partnership with Toyota for its automotive technician program, which provides a fast track for automotive technician students to work in Toyota and Lexus dealerships.

Martinez added these programs have contributed to the growth of dual enrollment students.

“Four-year universities are not for everybody,” he said. “Some people just need a little bit of training to get them into a high-wage, high-demand job.”

What’s next

New campuses and new programs could be in Collin College’s future.

Johnson said school officials plan to expand workforce programs and add a fifth baccalaureate program to its current lineup which includes:
  • Clinical Operations Management
  • Construction Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Nursing
He also added Collin College owns property in Anna, but any new campuses won’t be built until “much further down the line.” Right now, the focus is fine tuning what the school already offers.

“Our immediate plan of attack is to look at the campuses we do have,” Johnson said.