Working at Amarillo College
Established in 1929, with 86 students answering the inaugural roll call, Amarillo College today is a vibrant, multi-faceted community college that typically enrolls about 10,000 students in academic classes at six campuses and an outreach center.
In 2018, Amarillo College was named a “Great College to Work For” in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s eleventh annual survey on the academic workplace.
With a proven blend of quality and affordability that makes Texas community colleges so appealing – approximately half of the students enrolled in higher education in Texas attend a community college – Amarillo College provides students with a solid academic foundation, whether they are looking to immediately enter the workforce or proceed to a university.
AC, which enjoys unflagging community support, received a major boost in May of 2019 with passage of an $89 million bond issue. Among the many projects this enables the College to undertake are creation of an Innovation Hub, construction of a First Responders Academy and centralization of Student Life Services.
Amarillo College adopted a Culture of Caring in 2015 and since that time has launched a unique and ambitious No Excuses Poverty Initiative that has garnered national attention for connecting first-generation and/or academically underprepared students with social services structured to help them overcome barriers to success.
The College’s game-changing initiatives led national community college reform leader Achieving the Dream (ATD) to name Amarillo College a co-recipient of its 2019 Leah Meyer Austin Award, a significant national accolade contingent upon measurable improvements in student outcomes.
Over the past six years, Amarillo College opened a counseling center, a legal aid clinic, a career and employment center, and a childcare center. AC also launched an Advocacy and Resource Center, which houses a food pantry and connects students with social services provided by more than 60 local nonprofits.
Since their inception, AC’s initiatives have led to steady gains in A-to-C pass rates, fall-to-fall retention, and three-year graduation/transfer rates, which among first generation students have increased from 12 percent to 21 percent.
Additionally, the percentage of students who attend AC on a full-time basis continues to climb – 75 percent of AC students attended the College part time in 2015, while only 57 percent were part-time students in 2018.
The College enjoyed its largest graduating class ever in May of 2019, when more than 1,000 students were awarded credentials of completion.
OUR MISSION & VALUES
The mission of Amarillo College is “enriching the lives of our students and community by helping learners identify and achieve their educational goals.” The mission is driven by our vision to ensure that 70% of our students complete a certificate or degree or transfer within 3 years. Both the mission and vision of the college are lived out among our staff through our Culture of Caring which embodies our five core values: Wow, Innovation, Family, Fun, and Yes.
Caring through WOW:
Every student and colleague will say "WOW, you were so helpful, supportive, and open" after an interaction with us.
Caring through FUN:
We will find ways to have fun with each other and celebrate each other.
We will find ways to make our work fun and effective.
Caring through INNOVATION:
We will see ourselves as "roadblock removers" - for students and for each other.
We will always look for ways to help others and improve our processes.
Caring through FAMILY:
We will find ways to show we care about our students and each other.
We will readily and effectively share information with each other.
We will approach our interactions with each other with trust and openness.
We will put the needs of others before our own.
Caring through YES:
We will think "yes" first and find solutions rather than saying "no."
We will be passionate about our jobs and helping each other.
ABOUT OUR REGION
Amarillo is the largest city in the 26-county Texas Panhandle. It is located in the center of the Panhandle – which produces 30 percent of the nation’s beef – and serves as a crossroads on Interstate 40 for travelers between Oklahoma City and Albuquerque, and a mid-point for Dallas-to-Denver traffic, as well.
Amarillo has just shy of 200,000 residents, while the Amarillo metropolitan area has a population of about 255,000. The city’s central location makes it the region’s natural hub for healthcare services and cultural pursuits – and Amarillo boasts several superlative illustrations of each.
With a diverse economy – from agriculture and oil and gas to aircraft production and precious-metal refining –Amarillo typically has an unemployment rate of less than 3 percent, routinely one of the lowest in the state.
Amarillo received the following accolades in 2018:
- Top 20 Places Where Millennials Are Buying Homes, by SmartAsset
- Best Places to Find a Job, by WalletHub
- Best Small Places for Business Careers, by Forbes
Amarillo is the Spanish word for the color yellow. The entire Panhandle, unlike most of Texas, enjoys all four distinctive seasons each year, and gorgeous sunsets are typical. The region is often referred to as the Golden Spread.