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Weatherford College’s role in Parker County
Weatherford College’s new president Dr. Tod Farmer is no stranger to education in Parker County. He is a 1985 graduate of WC and his wife, Kathleen, is a teacher at Stuard Elementary School in Aledo.
Farmer is thrilled to be at the helm of an institution he once attended, especially at such a turning point for the college, which continues to grow and expand.
“We are celebrating our sesquicentennial next year, which is a really great time to be coming in,” said Farmer. “Weatherford College is the oldest continuing community college west of the Mississippi. We were founded in 1869. That’s 150 years of very rich history.”
Today, Weatherford College serves five counties: Hood, Jack, Wise, Palo Pinto, and
of course, Parker County. The college has four campuses in Weatherford, Granbury, Wise County, and Mineral Wells, and is looking to expand to a fifth campus in eastern Parker County in an undecided loca- tion.
“We originally purchased land north of I-20, near where the second high school for Aledo ISD will be located,” Farmer said. “But we are look- ing at some other options.
The vacant medical building on Bailey Ranch Road is of particular interest to us. We’d love to open a Health Sciences campus there. It will all just depend on what we are able to do with the land we current- ly own and whether we can acquire the building.
“It’s very early in the pro- cess.”
Farmer said the college is looking heavily at programs
it can develop to help prepare students for today’s changing workforce. The college current- ly serves 30 school districts,
48 2019
offering a wide variety of dual credit courses.
“Each ISD has different needs,” Farmer said. “We have some programs where students can take so many dual credit courses, they actually graduate with their Associate of Arts degree prior to getting their high school diploma.
“Other schools have a more limited course selection, but we are always trying to look for ways to improve.”
One idea, Farmer said,
is combining students from smaller districts into a single class to fill a section, allow-
ing the class to be offered to students in more than one location at a time. Students
are turning more and more
to Weatherford College as a practical, affordable way to get an education that will get them earning a living without rack- ing up student debt. Farmer hopes to expand programs like truck driving and cosmetology, as well as create tech programs like robotics and artificial intelligence.
“It is absolutely shocking how many students we have who already have a four year degree,” Farmer said. “They get out of school and they have all this student debt and they can’t get a job. So they come back to us to acquire the high
demand skills sets that have high wages.
“I’d advise young people to think beyond frat parties and having fun,” said Farmer. “There are a lot of options available at Weatherford College that allow you to con- trol your debt.”
Farmer says health science occupations are hot right now, as well as skilled trades such as welding, HVAC, and construc- tion. He is excited to help mold the future of the school.
“Weatherford College is a great place. There’s no place in the world I’d rather raise my family than Parker County,” said Farmer. “WC is a great place to make friends and cre- ate relationships.
“My favorite thing about my return is reconnecting with the culture here. Everyone is so rich and positive and commit- ted to improving the human condition.
“I’ve been reminded how much Weatherford College changes lives.”
- Rosealee Hoffman
Main Campus
225 College Park Drive Weatherford, Texas 76086 817-594-5471 800-271-5471
Wise County Campus
5180 Hwy . 380 Bridgeport, Texas 76426 940-627-2690
Granbury Campus
210 N . Jones Street Granbury, Texas 76048 817-598-6339
Mineral Wells Campus
704 Hood Road
Mineral Wells, Texas 76067 940-325-2591
• Weatherford College will celebrate its 150th anniversary throughout the 2019 calendar year.
• WC was originally established in 1869 and is the oldest continuing public community college west of the Mississippi River.
• Approximately 6,300 students attended WC on the official count day in the Fall 2017 semester.
• At 12.9 percent year-to-year enrollment growth, WC was the second-fastest growing community college in Texas in the Fall 2017 semester.
• Aledo High School is one of WC’s largest feed- er schools, with 344 AHS graduates attending WC in the Fall 2017 semester.
• WC in-district (Parker County) tuition is $85 per credit hour, below the state community col- lege average.
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