Officials with a for-profit college in Longview are looking at expansion less than a year after opening.
The campus is one of six Vista Colleges, five in Texas and one in New Mexico. The college also has an online program.
Armstrong said the school offers short-term programs designed to get students quickly into the core courses in their discipline where they can get hands-on training.
The Longview campus offers diploma and associate’s degree programs in medical assisting, business administration/management, and network administration.
It also has a diploma program in medical information/office specialist and dental assistant.
The company decided to come to Longview after conducting an assessment of the area and determining there was a need for short-term programs that could get people to work faster than traditional programs, Armstrong said.
“So far it’s been a good formula for us,” he said. “Longview and the surrounding areas have really embraced us and the programs that we offer.”
Vista College Marketing Director Ted Downing said the cost of programs range from about $23,000 for the business administration diploma to more than $40,000 for the network administrator associate’s degree. These prices include tuition and all fees.
Armstrong said the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA determines how much financial aid students can qualify. The college then works with them to find grants, loans, outside scholarships and more to meet their financial needs.
Frances Parker is one of the Vista College students. The 48-year-old Longview resident is in the medical assistant diploma program.
After this program, she will take a state exam to become a certified medical assistant.
“I’m hoping it will give me more options, more opportunities, certainly a better pay rate,” she said.
Ms. Parker, who expects to graduate in December, said she already is applying for jobs and has some opportunities in the Dallas area. Once she finishes this program, she plans to work toward becoming a licensed vocational nurse or a registered nurse.
“Over the years I’ve been in this particular field, I’ve come across some wonderful people,” she said. “There is nothing more that I like other than what I do and that is being in the nursing and medical field and taking care of people.”
Armstrong said the college has rolling admission, enrolling people every five weeks. He said the typical diploma program takes about 10 months to complete and the associate’s degree programs take about 18 months.
Students must meet certain requirements for admission such as having a valid high school diploma or GED and meeting standards on a basic skills assessment test.