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Association History

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-CENTRAL TEXAS (A&M-CENTRAL TEXAS) The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.55 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 148,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.

A&M-Central Texas traces its roots back to 1973, when the American Technological University (ATU) was formed. In September of 1973, more than 30 years before it would become known as A&M-Central Texas, ATU opened its doors, marking an historical effort on behalf of the citizens of this region to establish an upper-division institution in Central Texas. While the early curriculum placed a great deal of emphasis on technological programs—offering baccalaureate degrees in subjects such as general technology, computer science, and industrial technology—ATU progressed toward the liberal arts as it grew, adding degrees in counseling, psychology, criminal justice, and social work. This led ATU to officially change its name to the University of Central Texas (UCT) in September 1989.

ATU experienced a concurrent growth in enrollment, from approximately 550 students in 1988 to more than 1,000 in 1997. In October of 1998, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) supported a proposal from Tarleton State University to create a university system center in Central Texas. UCT gifted more than $7 million in assets to Tarleton State University to facilitate the formation of this new institution.

A&M-Central Texas was established on September 1, 1999, as Tarleton State University-Central Texas, and became a stand-alone university on May 27, 2009, one of 11 universities within the A&M System. A&M-Central Texas is an upper-level institution offering the junior- and senior-level coursework needed to successfully complete baccalaureate degrees, and all coursework leading to the completion of graduate degrees, to include master’s and specialist programs. A&M-Central Texas became a separately accredited institution in June 2013 through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), retroactive to January 1, 2013.

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