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BRAZOSPORT COLLEGE. Brazosport College, a junior college, serves the Brazosport area, which includes Clute, Lake Jackson, and Freeport, and the surrounding areas of West Columbia, Sweeny, Brazoria, and Angleton. It was voted into being by the citizens of the Brazosport Independent School District in 1948, but several factors delayed its establishment. These included the rapid growth of the Brazosport Independent School District, the Korean War, and Hurricane Carla (see HURRICANES). A maintenance tax for the college was authorized by voters, and the Brazosport Junior College District was officially established on August 1, 1967. J. R. Jackson was appointed president of the new district in 1967 and held the position until March 1, 1978. W. A. Bass, who was the first employee hired by the junior college in 1968, replaced Jackson.
The college opened in the fall of 1968. Classes were held at the Brazosport Education Extension Center in Freeport. Enrollment was 868 in the first semester-637 in credit courses and 231 in noncredit courses. The college had forty-five employees. Brazosport Junior College was renamed Brazosport College in October 1970 to reflect the growing educational role of the school.
In 1968 plans were drawn up for a new permanent campus. A $5 million college bond election for construction of the facility was passed, and a permanent structure was built on 156 wooded acres in Lake Jackson near historic Oyster Creek. The entire college structure, over 300,000 square feet, was built under one roof in order to integrate the academic and occupational facilities and encourage interaction between vocational and academic students. The building was designed to be expanded for future growth.
Student enrollment increased steadily during the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1985 the 50,000th student enrolled. In the fall of 1999 the college enrolled 3,683 students in credit courses. Brazosport College offers academic preparation for four-year colleges, technical-vocational-occupational training, and continuing education courses. The college also has programs for inmates in area prisons to encourage prisoners to attend college as a rehabilitation tool. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and courses and programs in technical and vocational education have been approved by the Texas Education Agency. Brazosport College also grants associate degrees or certificates to vocational students. Dr. Millicent M. Valek became president of Brazosport College in 1996.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Brazosport College, Southern Association Self-Study Report, 1983–1984 (Brazosport, Texas, 1985). Brazosport Facts, August 22, 1967, February 21, 22, 1968, January 6, 1984, August 29, 1985.
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