Other Voices

Tarleton-Fort Worth: The big dream

If past is prologue, Fort Worth’s history suggests the brightest of futures.

Fort Worth is known worldwide as a dynamic, progressive city — a thriving business, cultural and educational center. Tarleton State University is proud to contribute to that reputation and to share in that bright future.

Our 10 percent enrollment increase in Fort Worth this fall is proof that people benefit from the successful partnership we forged with community leaders.

Since 2010, when we enrolled 788 students in our expanded programs in Fort Worth, we’ve more than doubled our enrollment to 1,733.

If our projections are right, Tarleton-Fort Worth will have more than 2,500 students by the time we move into the first building on our new Chisholm Trail Parkway campus.

More than 35 years ago, leaders at Tarleton and the Texas A&M University System had a hunch that there was room in Fort Worth for the types of outstanding educational experiences we offer.

In the late 1970s, we brought our medical technology programs, from associate’s to master’s degrees, to Fort Worth. Located at the Schaefer Building on Enderly Place, they are among the best in the nation and prepare students for well-paying and prestigious positions in medical laboratories.

Our other location in the Hickman Building on Camp Bowie Boulevard provides classes evenings, days, weekends and online, convenient for a diverse population of working adults and a true testament of our commitment to be a student-focused university.

As the only state-supported university providing bachelor’s degrees in the city, we bring an affordable, high-quality educational experience to Fort Worth. With 48 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, Tarleton-Fort Worth helps the region meet its workforce needs and improves the quality of life for today’s families and future generations.

Community college students as well as local professionals find Tarleton-Fort Worth the go-to university to complete their education, whether that means finishing a bachelor’s degree or adding a graduate degree to aid in their career development.

As Tarleton prepares local residents to enter the professional workforce, it positions Fort Worth for continuing prosperity.

To say that Fort Worth’s economic future is full of potential is an understatement. Local enterprises — like American Airlines — are expanding, and new ones — like Facebook — are moving to Fort Worth.

When new businesses consider a move to Fort Worth, they ask about the education of our workforce as well as the educational opportunities available to employees who relocate with them.

Tarleton-Fort Worth increases the options. We complement Fort Worth and area colleges and universities, enjoying partnerships with Tarrant County, Hill and Weatherford colleges.

We’re excited to be in Fort Worth and excited that more than 1,700 students call Tarleton-Fort Worth home. We’re excited also about our new, full-fledged campus that will anchor economic growth in the southwest quadrant of the city.

Linking downtown with Johnson County, the new Chisholm Trail Parkway will bring new retail, dining, entertainment and residential opportunities to Fort Worth. Tarleton’s new 80-acre campus will be the centerpiece, boosting the city’s overall well-being.

From Brevet Maj. Ripley Arnold, who planted the American flag on the future site of the 16th largest city in the nation, to today’s business, government and educational giants, North Texas leaders are big dreamers, and their dreams come true.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Councilman Jungus Jordan, the Fort Worth area legislative delegation, CEO Bill Doherty of Walton Global Investments Ltd. and Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp are dreamers.

They dreamed of a new Tarleton campus in southwest Fort Worth. With nearly $40 million in funding approved by Gov. Greg Abbott and the 84th Legislature, along with the support of the city of Fort Worth and the North Texas Tollway Authority, this dream is coming true.

As Fort Worth’s state university, we are ever grateful for the big dream.

F. Dominic Dottavio is the 15th president of Tarleton State University.