We will be known for enriching the lives and futures of those we serve as a unique rural community college national model of success that includes a campus specializing in deaf education.

role, mISSION, and purpose

The Howard County Junior College District provides oversight for its two-year institution Howard College Big Spring campus and extension campuses in Lamesa and San Angelo as well as the Southwest College for the Deaf. The district primarily serves the communities of its local taxing district of Howard County and the twelve other Texas counties in its state-legislated service area (Dawson, Martin, Glasscock, Sterling, Coke, Tom Green, Concho, Irion, Schleicher, Sutton, Menard and Kimble) as well as the deaf and hard-of-hearing community-at-large in its state-legislated responsibility for the Southwest College for the Deaf. (Texas Education Code 130.084, 130.183 and 131). Students who choose to attend the college district from places outside of its designated responsibility are integrated into the college community. Based on Texas Education Code 130.0011 and 130.003, the role, mission and purpose of the campuses are to provide preparation for a career or for transfer to a senior college or university as follows:

  • Career Technical programs up to two years in length leading to associate degrees or certificates;
  • Vocational programs leading directly to employment in semi-skilled and skilled occupations;
  • Freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences;
  • Continuing adult education programs for occupational or cultural upgrading with certifications as
  • Compensatory education programs designed to fulfill the commitment of an admissions policy
    allowing the enrollment of disadvantaged students consistent with open admission;
  • Workforce development programs designed to meet local and statewide needs;
  • Adult literacy and other basic skills programs for adults; and
  • Such other purposes prescribed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or local governing boards in the best interest of post-secondary education in Texas.

Appropriate student services to include counseling and guidance are also provided. The campuses strive to enhance economic, community, cultural and personal development across the service area and to the deaf community through appropriate partnerships and services in meeting its public service mission. Although research is not a primary function as a community college, research in innovative teaching and student development practices to enhance learning, including best practices in deaf education, is encouraged and supported using appropriate resources. Excellence in all academic areas- instruction, research, and public service, as well as student success with a specialization in deaf education, is expected.


A family culture based on:

  • Students
  • Community
  • Diversity
  • Unity
  • Excellence
  • Integrity


Howard College … for Learning, for Earning, for Life!