Austin College, a four-year residential college located in Sherman, is the oldest institution of higher learning in Texas operating under its original charter. Since 1849, Austin College has maintained an unwavering commitment to the transformative power of education. With more than 50 areas of study in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, including renowned pre-professional preparation for law, medicine, dentistry, the ministry, engineering, and other graduate programs, Austin College students experience breadth and depth in academic study.
At Austin College, students strive to be environmentally conscious. This year, Austin College electricity will be entirely powered by renewable energy sources. This transition represents the college’s overall goal of environmental sustainability. In 2013, the Austin College IDEA Center received LEED Gold certification for innovative environmental measures. Students lead environmental stewardship on campus: more efficient lighting, and recycling policies are a result of student proposals. Students also organize events like GreenServe, during which students assist in projects in the community, and manage the Student Sustainability Fund.
93% of the 2015 graduates were employed upon graduation or are pursuing a graduate degree. Austin College Gateways is a program that helps simplify the process of entering graduate school. Gateways provides a clear path to graduate studies through accelerated admissions, partial and full scholarships, and advanced coursework. To date, Gateways includes 80 programs at 20 partner universities.
Recognition of the preparation of Austin College students extends far beyond campus. Current students and graduates receive prestigious awards for their work. In fact, Austin College is a top producer of Fulbright awards in the state of Texas. Many students have been chosen for the highly selective Teach for America program. The college also is one of only 283 schools in the nation with a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. In 2015, Austin College was named among the top 10 “Best Colleges in Texas” by USA Today.
The college provides a variety of cultural opportunities for members of the Grayson County communities in areas of music, art, and theatre, and Austin College students regularly participate in local groups affiliated with the arts. The presence of the college also makes a significant economic impact in the north Texas area. The recently established Austin College Center for Community and Regional Development serves as a resource for Texoma communities to work with the college to achieve local goals.
Guided by ambitions and opportunities for students to see and experience the world’s complexities first-hand, Austin College graduates are prepared to be leaders and active participants in their communities. As former New York Times education editor Loren Pope wrote in Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College “is doing the essential work of producing the enlightened, responsible, creative people with moral compasses who make democracy work.”