Public higher education came relatively late to Tulsa.
In April 1969, state lawmakers addressed the lack of a public post-secondary institution for Tulsa area residents by chartering Tulsa Junior College. The creation of TJC, a two-year college, provided access to public higher education for thousands of people.
The College’s Board of Regents met in May 1969.
And in August appointed Dr. Alfred M. Philips as TJC's founding president. The selection of Dean P. VanTrease as executive vice president and the addition of administrators, faculty and support staff followed as the College prepared for opening day.
TJC’s doors opened
To a first class of 2,796 students on Sept. 14, 1970. The original campus consisted of three floors of leased space in the Sinclair Oil Building, 909 South Boston. TJC opened its doors with 50 classrooms, 48 full-time and 106 part-time instructors and 15-hour class days.
The Student Affairs Committee
TJC’s original student government organization, received official status in 1971. The College presented its first eleven graduates with their degrees on May 28, 1971. The TJC student newspaper published its first edition on Oct. 19, 1971.
The Capping Ceremony
For TJC’s first nursing class was held in spring 1972. The program has since grown to provide more than 100 new registered nurses for the Tulsa area each year. Special Programs non-credit classes were added to TJC’s academic programming in spring 1972. Fifty classes were offered and filled immediately with 1,175 enrollments.
Multi-campus master plan
The College acquired 80 acres of land at the corner of Harvard and Apache to develop the second element of the multi-campus master plan in 1973.
The College purchased the Sinclair Oil Building and adjacent property to serve as a permanent location for the Metro Campus. The entire six-floor structure was completely remodeled over the next two years.
Enrollment at Tulsa Junior College stood at 6,169, up from the fall 1970 opening enrollment of 2,796 students.
Career counseling and instruction programs
In order to meet the growth of its student population, TJC leased three floors of additional space in the State Office Complex and hired more than 40 additional faculty members in 1976. Shuttle buses ran between the Metro Campus and the State Office Complex. In just five years, the graduating class at TJC grew from 11 to 444. To streamline student services, the College added computer assisted career counseling and instruction programs to provide students with help outside the classroom.
Diagnostic and Prescriptive Learning Center
Fully committed to accessible higher education all, TJC’s Diagnostic and Prescriptive Learning Center for students with disabilities opened in 1977. Later renamed the DisABLED Student Resource Center, the facility offers a variety of academic support services and adaptive technology for students with disabilities.
The Northeast Campus
The Northeast Campus, which would eventually house a cadre of engineering and industrial programs, began to take shape on 80 acres at the corner of Harvard and Apache in 1978.
The Northeast Campus opened its doors to approximately 500 students in January 1979. Students who had taken fall classes in temporary classrooms at Douglas Elementary School were pleased to initiate the new campus. TJC added telecourses to supplement on-campus instructional programs in fall 1979. On-campus enrollment exceeded 9,000 and telecourse enrollment totaled 554 that year.
Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing opened and provided sign language interpreters, tutors, speech-to-text services and assistive listening devices.
Another Campus Opens
The Southeast Campus, located off of Highway 169 and 81st Street, opened.
Enrollment reaches an all-time high
TJC enrollment stood at an all-time high of 15,756.
International Language Center established
TCC established the International Language Center with instruction in 14 languages, including English as a Second Language and American Sign Language.
Second TJC President Named
After 20 years, TJC’s founding president, Dr. Alfred M. Philips retired. Dr. Dean P. VanTrease was named president.
First Endowed Chair Funded
The College announced its first endowed chair, the Natalie O. Warren Chair of Nursing, funded by the Saint Francis Auxiliary with a matching grant from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
More Space for Nursing Program and Dental Hygiene Clinic
The Alfred M. Philips Health Sciences Center opened on the Metro Campus and provided more space for programs such as nursing and the open-to-the-public Dental Hygiene Clinic.
Joint Purchase with Tulsa Technology Center
Tulsa Junior College and Tulsa Technology Center jointly purchased the Skyline East building for use as a conference center and administrative offices.
Tulsa Junior College changed its name to Tulsa Community College to reflect the College’s role in providing quality education for the community and its citizens.
Performing Arts Center of Education
The College unveiled the new Performing Arts Center for Education at the Southeast Campus.
Marking the final component of TCC’s master plan, the TCC West Campus opened.
A Growing Number of Graduates
More than 1,600 students completed requirements for graduation this year.
Responding to area needs for qualified veterinarian technicians, TCC created the Veterinary Technology program in 1999.
Oklahoma Sinfonia became the professional orchestra-in-residence for TCC. In 2001 the name was changed to Signature Symphony.
TCC Names Third President
President Dean P. VanTrease announced his retirement and Dr. Thomas K. McKeon was selected to replace him.
TCC opened the Educational Outreach Center in East Tulsa.
Health Sciences and Biotechnology
The Health Sciences and Biotechnology Learning Center at Southeast Campus opened marking the completion of the first Tulsa’s Vision 2025 project.
Tulsa Achieves Program Announced
TCC announced the Tulsa Achieves program, a gap funded program that covers tuition and fees after federal student aid is exhausted for eligible high school seniors who live in Tulsa County.
Air Traffic Control Program
Approved by the FAA, the TCC Air Traffic Control Program opened at Jones Riverside Airport.
Center for Creativity
The state-of-the art Center for Creativity, designed and constructed to serve as a multidisciplinary learning environment that brings communications, digital media and traditional visual arts education together, opened at the Metro Campus.
Tulsa Alliance for Engineering/STEM
Leaders from TCC, Tulsa Tech, Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, Oral Roberts University and The University of Tulsa formed the Tulsa Alliance for Engineering, which later became the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance. TCC, Tulsa Public Schools, Union Public Schools and the Community Service Council developed the EXCELerate program, a two-year pilot project aimed at offering college courses on the high school campuses.
TCC, Tulsa Public Schools, Union Public Schools and the Community Service Council developed the EXCELerate program, a two-year pilot project aimed at offering college courses on the high school campuses.
Owasso Community Campus
The TCC Owasso Community Campus opens in the newly completed Tulsa Tech Owasso Campus.
Our Fourth President Named
President Thomas K. McKeon announced his retirement and Dr. Leigh B. Goodson was named as his replacement. The Nate Waters Physical Therapy Clinic opened Metro Campus.
Nate Water Physical Therapy Clinic
The Nate Waters Physical Therapy Clinic opened Metro Campus. The facility provides clinical learning opportunities for TCC students.
Signature Symphony Artistic Director and Conductor Named
Maestro Andrés Franco was named Artistic Director and Conductor of the Signature Symphony at TCC.
Fire Safety Training Center
The Tulsa Fire Safety Training Center opened Northeast Campus. The Center provides an enriched education environment for students in TCC’s Fire and Emergency Services program, one of the College’s original degree program.
The College was named one of 30 community colleges in the nation selected to join Pathways, a national initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and led by the American Association of Community Colleges.
Riverside Community Campus and Aviation Center
TCC embarked on reorganizations of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs to support a “One College” model and incorporate best practices learned through Pathways. The Riverside Community Campus and Aviation Center opened at Jones Riverside Airport.
Corrections Education had record enrollments as TCC was part of a pilot program to allow PELL Grants to incarcerated individuals in the Second Chance program.
Clearing the Pathway: The Campaign for Competition
TCC kicked off the public phase of Clearing the Pathway: The Campaign for Completion, the largest fundraising campaign in TCC's history on September 27, 2018. The Campaign will raise $20 million in private funds to support student scholarships, academic advisors, Student Success Centers, science lab renovations and diversity and inclusion outreach.