3 Ways to Explore
One of the highest priorities for relocating families is locating a new school for their children and providing a smooth transition so that learning can continue and new friends can be formed. This chapter will provide a good overview to learn more about the many educational resources available in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. You’ll also find information about private schools, a list of recommended immunizations for children from 0 to 18 years of age and data about Dallas-area independent school districts.

The Dallas/Fort Worth region is rich in educational and care opportunities – from early child care to graduate school, there are many options. The public school system educates more than one million children in Dallas/Fort Worth and surrounding counties with more than 1,900 schools in various independent school districts (ISDs).

Parents can select from more than 350 private schools offering pre-K through high school education which include institutions rooted in religious traditions, schools that provide intensive academic experiences or reflect a particular pedagogy, and some that are specialized for specific populations. These diverse schools help fulfill the American ideal of educational pluralism and collectively contribute to teaching, nurturing and inspiring young minds.

Upon arrival to the Dallas area, one main priority can be determining child care, especially for children under the age of six. Many couples are both professional, dual-income earners and may not have close or extended family nearby to help. Luckily, the region can offer many options and resources, including licensed facilities, independent child care homes, and in-home professionals.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) licenses day-care centers, registered family homes in addition to other services. According to the DFPS, child care can be broken down into the following types of operations:

— Listed Family Homes
People who must list with the division are those who are compensated to provide regular child care (at least four hours per day, three or more days a week, for more than nine consecutive weeks) in their own homes for 1-3 unrelated children. After receipt of an application and licensing background check clearances, a certificate is issued. The listed family home caregiver must be at least 18 years old. However, there are no minimum standards, orientation or training requirements for listed homes. They are not inspected unless a report is received alleging child care is offered subject to registration and reports of abuse or neglect are investigated.

— Registered Child Care Homes
Registered Child Care Homes provide care in the caregiver’s home for up to six children under age 14; they may also take in up to six more school-age children. The number of children allowed in a home is determined by the ages of the children. No more than 12 children can be in care at any time, including children of the caregiver. The application process requires that a registered child care home provider complete an orientation class and receive clearances on background checks. A registration certificate is issued after licensing staff completes an on-site inspection to ensure minimum standards are met. Registered homes are inspected every one to two years and if a report is received related to child abuse/neglect or standards deficiencies.

— Licensed Facilities
All types of licensed facilities have published standards they are required to follow and are routinely monitored and inspected. The application process requires that the licensed operation provider receive orientation and background checks are conducted. A license is issued after licensing staff completes on-site inspection(s) to ensure minimum standards are met. Licensed facilities are inspected at least once every 12 months and to investigate reports alleging violations of standards or child abuse/neglect.

— Nannies

Nannies are employed by the family on either a live-in or live-out, part-time or full-time basis, to undertake all tasks related to the care of children. Duties are generally restricted to child care and the domestic tasks related to the children. The nanny may or may not have had formal training, though often have extensive child care experience and a background in early childhood education. Typically, full-time employed nannies will work 40–60 hours per week. Usually work is unsupervised.

According to the International Nanny Association (INA) (www.nanny.org), you can look for a nanny in many places, including help wanted ads in newspapers and magazines, bulletin boards and referrals from friends. These approaches can be time-consuming and also can result in negative experiences. The association suggests that you contact nanny training programs about the availability of their graduates or that you take advantage of the services offered by nanny placement agencies.

A placement agency is a service company that matches the skills and qualifications of nannies with the needs of families looking for in-home child care. The agency charges a fee to locate and screen nannies for you to consider hiring for your family. A reputable agency will carefully consider your needs and preferences when helping you find a suitable candidate. Placement fees range from $800 to $5,000 and should include a provision to replace the nanny or refund a portion of the fee if the placement does not work out within a certain period of time.

As part of its screening process, the agency should verify the nanny candidate’s personal and employment references and previous child care experience. Many agencies also take nanny fingerprints, check for a criminal record, check the driving record and require a blood test, TB test and/or request a doctor’s statement that the candidate is in good health and free of contagious diseases. Some agencies also require psychological testing or evaluation. In the U.S., the agency should verify that the candidate is an American citizen or is eligible to work legally in the U.S.

Just as the agency will want to ensure that nannies referred to you are suitable candidates, for the nanny’s protection, the agency may also ask you for references. Most agencies will assist you in preparing a job description that summarizes your family’s job duties, comprehension package and other important considerations.

Many placement agency owners are members of INA, and the association suggests that you select an INA member if you decide to use a placement agency’s services to help you locate a nanny.

— Au Pair
Au Pairs are foreign nationals between the ages of 18-26 who enter the United States through the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Au Pair Exchange Program, to experience American life for up to 24 months. Au Pairs in good standing can apply to extend their initial 12- month visit an additional six, nine or 12 months. Au Pairs participate in the life of the host family by providing limited child care services (maximum 10 hours per day, 45 hours per week) and are compensated for their work according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Au Pairs may not be placed in homes with infants three months of age or younger, unless a parent or responsible adult will be in the home supervising the Au Pair. An Au Pair may not be placed in the home with a child two years of age or younger unless they have 200 or more hours of documented child care experience.

The Texas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (TACCRRA) is a statewide network of member agencies representing child care resource and referral agencies, early childhood education programs and other agencies and organizations interested in promoting the development, maintenance and expansion of quality child care services in Texas. (

A membership organization of TACCRRA’s located in Dallas is ChildCareGroup (www.childcaregroup.org) and Camp Fire USA First Texas Council (
www.firsttexascampfire.org) in Fort Worth. Both organization’s resource and referral departments are your link to information and programs that can assist you with your child care needs. The resource and referral consultants provide parents with direct connections to local child care resources and community agencies, as well as national agencies and information. There are no fees for the association’s basic services and anyone interested in assistance with child care information is encouraged to contact the organization directly for individualized information on child care and other resources. The referrals provided are intended as referrals only, not as recommendations. Referral consultants do not license, endorse or recommend any particular provider.

As you learn more about the Metroplex, you’ll find many private day care facilities including names you already be familiar with such as KinderCare Learning Center, La Petite Academy and neighborhood YMCAs.

Chances are that before you moved to the Dallas area, you were in contact with a real estate agent and already know where you’ll be living. However, some new residents with school-age children first examine the education landscape before deciding where to purchase a home. Either way, you’ll want to explore the area’s private schools and public school districts to determine the best educational options for your children.

While your child’s previous school is responsible for sending records of all grades and in-school testing, it’s wise if you can have these records with you once you’ve selected a school:
  • The most recent report card
  • Any education or psychological test results from private or in-school testing
  • The Instructional Educational Plan (IEP) for special education students
  • Immunization records
  • Any medical records indicating learning or diet, which would include diabetes

The Texas public school system celebrated its 150th birthday on Jan. 31, 2004, marking the anniversary of the Common School Law of 1854. Now, school attendance is compulsory for every child between ages six and 18. The Texas Educational Code provides the framework for the current public education system, which is overseen by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the State Board of Education. Led by the commissioner of education, the TEA is the administrative unit for primary and secondary education and, among other duties, develops a statewide curriculum, administers statewide assessment programs and rates school districts under the statewide accountability system.

There are one hundred plus school districts in the 12-county Dallas/Fort Worth area that includes Collin, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties. Dallas/Fort Worth educators and the community are committed to creating a high-quality educational environment to serve the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. All Dallas-area independent school districts operate with the basic premise that every child can and should learn.

Similar to other U.S. schools, Dallas-area schools are mostly divided into three levels: elementary schools for pre-K through fifth grade, middle schools for sixth through eighth grade and high schools for ninth through 12th grade. State law requires that each school district employ enough teachers to maintain an average teacher-to-student ratio of one-to-20, and that a school district not enroll more than 22 students per teacher per classroom from kindergarten through fourth grade. English language arts, fine arts, languages other than English, mathematics, science and social studies comprise the core curriculum. Generally, teachers use numerical grades, with report cards sent to parents of elementary students every nine weeks and to parents of middle and high school students every six weeks. Students are promoted based on academic achievement, measured in certain years by statewide tests.

In the last six years, the state of Texas has spent more than $7 billion on education reform as well as to improve learning in core subject areas like math, reading and science; and has proposed targeted incentives tied to achievement in the classroom.

The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) is a standardized test used in Texas primary and secondary schools to assess students’ attainment of reading, writing, math, science and social studies skills required under Texas education standards. It is developed and scored by Pearson Educational Measurement with close supervision by the Texas Education Agency. Though created before the No Child Left Behind Act was passed, it complies with the law. Those students being home-schooled or attending private schools are not required to take the TAKS test.

Recently, the Commissioner of Education Robert Scott announced that the next generation of student tests will be called the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, which will replace the TAKS test. The new tests will be used beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. Students in the graduating Class of 2015 will be the first students who must meet the end-of-course testing requirements, as well as pass their classes, in order to earn a diploma. The new tests will be significantly more rigorous than previous tests and will measure a child’s performance, as well as academic growth. The grade 3-8 STAAR tests in reading and mathematics, by law, must be linked from grade to grade to performance expectations for the English III and Algebra II end-of-course assessments. During a speech at the Texas Association of School Administrators’ Midwinter Conference in Austin, Commissioner Scott also said the last TAKS-based school accountability ratings will be issued in 2011. Ratings will be suspended in 2012 while a new accountability system is developed. The new state rating system will debut in 2013. For more information, visit

The Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) reports provide a great deal of performance information about every public school and district in the state. These reports also provide extensive profile information about staff, finances, and programs. The TEA recommends that you narrow your search to neighborhoods you like, and then print AEIS reports for the schools there. Once you have this background information contact the principal and/or counselor of each school to get a more complete picture of the school. It’s recommended that you visit and tour the school to get a general feel for the atmosphere and programs available. Look at several ones to determine which offers the best curriculum. Visit www.tea.state.tx.us/ to access AEIS reports.

Magnet schools are part of the public school educational system and generally offer a particular focus such as science, technology or the arts. Students from elementary, middle and high school can attend a magnet school throughout a district. To learn about magnet schools, check with a local school district office to identify their particular magnet school program. The Dallas area supports more than 30 magnet schools that offer career focused classes including dentistry, forensic science, banking law, and computer engineering. The School of Science & Engineering and School for the Talented & Gifted ranked as the No. 1 and No. 2 high schools in the state for the second straight year, according to Children at Risk, a Houston nonprofit group.

In 1995, the Texas Education Code established the charter school concept – a type of public school operated under a state-granted charter or contract. TEA charter schools are autonomous, open-enrollment institutions that use state funding to offer innovative learning opportunities with greater flexibility than traditional public schools. Although subject to fewer state laws than traditional public and magnet schools, charter schools still are monitored and accredited under the statewide testing and accountability system. Many school districts in the area also have charter schools that then operate with the approval of the Board of Education and within the jurisdiction of their particular district. Lindsley Park Community School, Peak Preparatory, and North Hills Preparatory are top Dallas charter schools performing with high achievements. In Tarrant County, Arlington Classics Academy, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts and Harmony Science Academy are also among Metroplex charter schools receiving local and national accolades.

Each year Texas school districts given an accountability rating by evaluating performance on the TAKS, completion rate, and annual dropout rate. The districts are rated as Academically Unacceptable, Academically Acceptable, Recognized, or Exemplary. Currently, many Dallas-area school districts are rated above average with a Recognized status and ten districts have earned the highest possible rating of Exemplary. The following list are those districts going beyond the minimum requirements for their 2009 Exemplary rating.

Lovejoy ISD (Collin County)
About 25 miles north of Dallas, in the fast developing region of central Collin County, is Lovejoy ISD. Serving the residents of Fairview, Lucas, and other surrounding neighborhoods, the district covers approximately 19 square miles. Lovejoy ISD has five campuses which are currently responsible of the education of over 3,200 students. Each elementary, middle, and high school campus is also individually rated as Exemplary.

Highland Park ISD (Dallas County)

In the affluent area of North Dallas is Highland Park ISD which administers about 6,000 students at seven schools. The district is able to pay its educators a competitive salary which starts at $46,055. Highland Park High School was named among the Top High Schools in the country in 2010 by Newsweek magazine.

Sunnyvale ISD (Dallas County)
The small district of Sunnyvale has under 1,000 students which until recently were only kindergarten through eighth graders. Sunnyvale ISD has 1:14 teacher/student ratio and 10.5 years is the average teaching experience of educators. With the construction of the district's only High School, the seniors of 2011 will be the first-ever graduating class.

Celeste ISD (Hunt County)
About an hour drive east of downtown Dallas is Celeste ISD. The mission of the Celeste Independent School District is to prepare all students to live and work in an ever-changing society. With 3 schools in the district, the success of Celeste ISD is highlighted by the modest city population of 900.

Lone Oak ISD (Hunt County)

Regaining its Exemplary status since the 2002-2003 school year, Lone Oak ISD has approximately 950 students and a staff of about 157. 100% of classes are taught by highly-qualified teachers at all three Lone Oak ISD campuses.

Wolfe City ISD (Hunt County)
Wolfe City ISD fills the educational needs of approximately 620 students from Pre-K through High School. Graduating classes average about 40 students each year. The district is widely known in northeast Texas as a leader in academics and technology as well as athletics.

Mabank ISD (Kaufman County)
Achieving an Exemplary rating for the first time during the 2008-2009 school year, Mabank ISD cited the important role of community and family support for the accomplishment. 50 teachers educate the 625 students at all seven campuses, five which are also rated as Exemplary.

Brock ISD (Parker County)
Flanked by Millsap ISD and Weatherford ISD, Brock ISD is the only Exemplary rated district in Parker County. One elementary, middle and high school serve the 800 students. 15% of the 65 teachers have Masters degrees and 70% have more then 11 years of teaching experience.

Carroll ISD (Tarrant County)
The 21-square-mile district consists of 11 schools serving more than 7,900 students and 1,000 employees. Carroll ISD is the largest district in the state to make the Exemplary rating during 2008-2009 school year. Approximately 98 percent of seniors in the district go on to attend a college or university after graduation.

Alvord ISD (Wise County)

Located in the Caddo-LBJ National Grasslands, northwest of Dallas is Alvord ISD. Both the city and school district of Alvord are little-known around the Metroplex and occupy only a small space with a low population. The 715 students have a 97.4% attendance rate and a zero percent annual drop-out rate.


As one of the largest school districts in the region and in the state, the Dallas ISD has a 2010 enrollment of nearly 160,000, representing 226 schools. The district encompasses 384 square miles in the eastern portion of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and includes all or portions of the municipalities of Addison, Balch Springs, Carrolton, Cockrell Hill, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Highland Park, Hutchins, Mesquite, Seagoville, University Park and Wilmer. Representing a wide diversity of student populations, almost 70 languages are spoken within the district’s schools.

With nearly 80,000 students, Fort Worth ISD in Tarrant County has 80 elementary schools, 24 middle schools and 6th grade centers, 13 high schools and 21 alternative campuses. Of total schools, 12 were rated Exemplary and 43 are Recognized. Under the leadership of Superintendent Melody Johnson, the District is undergoing a series of initiatives that will redesign, transform and revitalize Fort Worth ISD schools. Also in located in Tarrant County is Arlington ISD, the 8th-largest district in Texas with an enrollment of 62,953 in 74 schools and a TEA Acceptable rating.

Richardson ISD (RISD) is located in northern Dallas County and covers 38.5 square miles. Sixty percent of the district is located in Dallas, 35 percent is in Richardson and 5 percent is in Garland. Four high schools, eight junior high schools, one freshman center, 41 elementary schools and one alternative-learning center serve more than 34,000 students. Student test scores show that the RISD’s overall performance is above state levels for all grade levels in math, reading and writing. Continuing the trend of increasing numbers of high performing schools, 27 RISD schools were rated in the top two categories and more RISD seniors are named as National Merit Finalists and Semifinalists than in most districts in Texas. In the last 25 years, more state honor bands, choirs, and orchestras have been selected from RISD than from any of the remaining 1,050 school districts in Texas.

In a June 2002 report, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that private school students scored higher on standardized tests, had more demanding graduation requirements and sent more graduates to college than public schools. The report said that students who had completed at least the eighth grade in a private school were twice as likely as other students to graduate from college as a young adult.

NCES statistics also showed that students in private schools are much more likely than others to take advanced-level high school courses. Students thrive when allowed to learn in a safe and supportive environment. Joint reports by the NCES and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and a private study by the Horatio Alger Association have found that private school students are significantly more likely than others to feel safe and be safe in their schools. Visit, www.RelocatingToDFW.org for a complete list of Metroplex private schools.

One notable private institution is the Winston School that admits bright students who learn differently in grades 1 through 12. The process is selective and based on diagnostic testing, a full three-day visit in the classroom or personal interview, and additional information pertaining to a child's academic history. Among high-achieving Catholic schools are Jesuit Preparatory School of Dallas, which is a U.S. Department of Education Recognized School of Excellence and Ursuline Academy, an independent Catholic college preparatory school for young women in grades 9 to 12 and the oldest continuously operating school in Dallas.

Good for Families
Choosing a school for their children is one of the most important decisions parents must make. Whether they move into a school district, apply to a private school, or adjust family duties to make home schooling possible, most families want school choice.

For the parents of more than six million children, the choice is private education. They choose a private education for many reasons, with quality academics, a safe and orderly environment, and moral and ethical values the common reasons cited. And choice makes them satisfied consumers.

The NCES reports that more than three-quarters of private school parents are “very satisfied” with their child’s school compared with less than half of parents whose children were assigned to a public school. Parents often look to private schools as an extension of the home in promoting the values they embrace, and private schools respond. A recent NCES survey found that promoting religious/spiritual life was second only to academic excellence in the goals of private school principals.

Montessori Schools
Montessori is a type of private school which emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching or reading. More and more educators are turning to the child-centered Montessori approach of learning and schools to support this type of learning are popping-up around the country. In the Dallas-Fort Worth region, there are more than 40 Montessori schools to select from. Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups (3 to 6 and 6 to 9, for example), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. According to the Montessori Foundation “Montessori classrooms incorporate art, music, dance, and creative drama throughout the curriculum” and “many are focused on meeting the needs of the working family and others describe themselves as college-preparatory programs.”

According to Economy.com, the Dallas-Fort Worth region claims 26 percent of the state’s population, 27 percent of the labor force, 28 percent of all wage and salary jobs and produces 33 percent of the state’s total product as measured by GDP. As a result, the region plays a significant role in educating and training the future workforce. Leading industries in the region benefit from an educated workforce, including those specializing in technology and life-sciences; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; and government. Among the specialty programs students can select  are Engineering/Math, Medical/Dental, MIS-Computer Science, Business, Chemistry, Biology/Botany and Physics among others. Currently, there are more than 260,000 full- and part-time students enrolled in local institutions.

— Dallas Baptist University
Dallas Baptist University (DBU) was originally founded as Decatur Baptist College in 1898 and was the first two-year institution of higher education in Texas. After moving to Dallas in 1965, DBU has maintained its roots to Decatur and its commitment to a Baptist heritage. Dallas Baptist University sits atop 293 acres on the hills of Southwest Dallas overlooking Mountain Creek Lake. The average class size has 13 students and as of Fall 2009, total University enrollment stood at 5,400 students.

— Southern Methodist University
Founded in 1911 by Dallas leaders and the United Methodist Church, SMU opened in 1915. The University is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to freedom of inquiry. A nationally recognized private university and center for research located in the heart of Dallas, SMU offers strong undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the humanities and sciences; performing, visual, and communication arts; business; engineering; education; law; and theology. SMU consistently ranks in the top third of national universities in U.S. News & World Report and its 11,000 students benefit from small classes, leadership opportunities and its international reach.

— Texas Christian University
On 272 acres in a residential neighborhood five miles from the heart of downtown Fort Worth, sits the 137 year old Texas Christian University (TCU). TCU is the largest of 17 colleges and universities associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a denomination committed to demonstrating true community, deep Christian spirituality and a passion for justice. More than 59 religious groups are represented in the student body. The denominations with the largest representation are Roman Catholic, United Methodist and Baptist. Total enrollment is 8,853 in 117 undergraduate areas of study, 41 master's level programs, and 15 areas of doctoral study. Estimated annual cost, including tuition, room and board, books and fees, is $39,030.

— Texas Woman’s University
Texas Woman's University occupies a notable position in higher education as the nation's largest university primarily for women. Its campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston are joined by an e-learning campus offering innovative online degree programs in business, education and general studies. Eight consecutive years of growth have produced a record enrollment of 13,338. TWU serves the citizens of Texas in many important ways, including: graduating more new healthcare professionals than any other university in Texas, easing the teacher shortage by placing highly qualified professionals in the classroom, offering a liberal arts-based curriculum that prepares students for success in a global society and conducting research that impacts the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, osteoporosis, stroke and diabetes.

— University of North Texas
Founded in 1890, the University of North Texas is a student-centered public research university and the flagship of the UNT System. One of Texas’ largest universities, UNT offers 97 bachelor’s, 101 master’s and 48 doctoral degree programs, many nationally and internationally recognized. UNT is in Denton, a college town of 122,000 people located 35 miles north of Dallas and Fort Worth. The campus, the largest residential campus in the region, has 165 buildings on 882 acres and had a Fall 2009 enrollment of 36,123. Expert rankings in U.S. News & World Report put UNT among the top national universities that are “leading the pack” in innovative changes.

— The University of Texas System
With nine academic and six health institutions, The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest public higher education systems and one of Texas' largest employers. The numbers from 2010 are undeniably impressive — 202,240 enrolled students, 41,779 degrees conferred, 116 National Academies members on faculty and $2.25 billion in research expenditures.

University of Texas at Dallas

UT Dallas is a young, dynamic research institution on the cutting edge of science, technology, medicine, business and the arts. Originally established as the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest in 1961 by the founders of Texas Instrument, University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) was not included in the University of Texas System until 1990. In recent years, the University’s teaching mission has expanded, its external research funding nearly doubled, its program offerings grew and its reputation has gained notice nationally. The Fall 2009 enrollment was 15,783 with 38% graduate students and an 84% freshman retention rate.

University of Texas at Arlington

After changing names and missions several times since 1895, University of Texas at Arlington (UT Arlington) has now been part of The University of Texas System since 1967. The Mavericks nickname was adopted in 1971 and since then the University has advanced quite an amazing distance. Its ever-expanding facilities span 420 acres and include over 100 buildings, with a newly established campus in downtown Ft. Worth. UT Arlington has become a high-activity research university with an active and diverse campus of 28,000 students, 5,000 on-campus residents, 12 NCAA Division I athletic teams, and over 180 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
As one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, UT Southwestern Medical Center trains the physicians, medical scientists and allied health-care professionals of the future. One of four medical schools in The University of Texas System, UT Southwestern Medical School admits about 230 students each year, and admission is highly competitive. By law, 90 percent of students are from Texas, assuring the state a consistent source of high-quality physicians. UT Southwestern's three degree-granting institutions offer students the opportunity to learn from medical science's best and brightest. The facility enrolls 3,255 postgraduates and is home to four Nobel Laureates.

— University of Dallas
The University of Dallas (UD) is a Catholic, co-educational university located in Irving. Since it was founded in 1956, the University of Dallas has been consistently ranked as one of the top liberal arts universities in America. It is one of only eight in Texas to receive Phi Beta Kappa status, and is one of 124 schools nationwide recognized for stressing character development among students. During the Fall 2008 semester 1,299 undergraduate students were enrolled, 45 percent coming from states other than Texas and about 40 percent estimated to go on to graduate school. UD was named a “Best Western College” by The Princeton Review in 2008.

— Paul Quinn College

Paul Quinn College is a private, historically black college located just eight minutes south of downtown Dallas. Paul Quinn College was founded by a small group of African Methodist Episcopal preachers in Austin, Texas on April 4, 1872. The school’s original purpose was to educate freed slaves and their offspring. The College was chartered in 1881, accredited in 1972 and eventually relocated to Dallas. The school enrolls about 3,000 undergraduate students who study Business & Legal Studies, Education, or Science & Technology.

Often times a community college is the stepping stone between high school and 4-year university. In fact, almost half of the undergraduate students in the United States are served by community colleges according to the American Association of Community Colleges. Other times students solely seek an Associates degree, certificate, professional development, or noncredit enrichment and cultural activities. Whether the community college student seeks to purse a degree in order to compete and excel in the workplace or they are taking classes for any other number of reasons, the Metroplex has six Community College Districts to accommodate their needs. Furthermore, meeting your educational requirements at a community college is very affordable when compared to university costs.

— Collin County Community College District
Since offering its first classes at area high schools in 1985, Collin College has expanded to serve about 46,000 credit and continuing education students each year. The only public college in the county, the college offers more than 100 degrees and certificates in a wide range of disciplines. Seven campuses and centers are located in McKinney, Plano, Frisco, Allen, and Rockwall.

— Dallas County Community College District

Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) is the largest undergraduate institution in the state of Texas. Since 1965, DCCCD has served more than 1.5 million people and adds one and half million dollars annually to the area’s economy. Seven colleges — Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland — are accredited to award the associate degree.

— North Central Texas Community College District
Established in 1924 under the leadership of a Texas community college pioneer, North Central Texas College (NCTC) is the oldest continuously operating public two-year college in the state. From its roots as a small, rural "junior" college NCTC has grown and matured into a comprehensive, full-service community college, serving students from three major campuses located across its three-county service area.

— Parker County Community College District

Currently operating only one campus, Weatherford College (WC), you can choose from more than 35 study areas or train for a career in one of 19 professional/technical programs. In each of these disciplines you'll enjoy small, intimate classes led by highly qualified instructors. You'll meet students from around the area and abroad, and find collegiate sports, clubs, and activities to enjoy with them.

— Tarrant County College District
Tarrant County College District (TCC), a comprehensive two-year institution established in 1965, with five major campuses in the cities of Hurst (Northeast Campus), Fort Worth (Northwest, South and Trinity River campuses), and Arlington (Southeast Campus). More than 45,000 students are enrolled in TCC's associate degree and technical programs, making it the sixth largest among Texas colleges and universities.

— Trinity Valley Community College District
Trinity Valley Community College District (TVCC) serves more than 6,500 students at campuses in Athens, Palestine, Terrell and Kaufman, many of who are opting to enroll in Internet-based classes. TVCC is also ideal for those who need one or two years of training before beginning a career in a trade such as cosmetology, horticulture or ranch management.

In 2001, the Dallas Public Library celebrated 100 years of serving the community. With a collection of 2 million plus books and an operating budget of more than $22 million, the library is staffed by hundreds of professionals and many more volunteers. The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, the flagship of the Dallas Public Library system, ranks amongst the largest public library facilities in the United States. The Central branch spans eight floors and serves as the hub for a system whose collections comprise nearly 4 ½ million items. The library’s website provides an audio tour of the facility which includes the following divisions: Children's Center; Humanities; Fine Arts; Business & Technology; Government Information; Grants Center; Urban Information; Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division; Fine Books; History & Social Sciences; Genealogy. Obtaining a Dallas Public Library card is free to any City of Dallas resident and City of Dallas employee. Students and certified teachers of public elementary and secondary schools located
in the City are also eligible to receive free library cards.
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