Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Skip navigation
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Skip navigation
Top navigation skipped

Texas Community Colleges

West Texas Region

Created to expand Texans’ access to higher education, the state’s 50 community college districts serve a vital role in our state’s economy by developing our workforce, preparing students for further academic study and meeting the specific educational and vocational needs of the local areas they serve.

The 30 counties in the West Texas region — one of 12 economic regions defined by the Comptroller’s office — include three community college districts.

List of community college districts in the Upper Rio Grande region

  • Howard College
  • Midland College
  • Odessa College

Regional Impact of Community Colleges’
spending, Fiscal 2019




$253.7 million


$130.9 million

Note: Figures include direct, indirect and induced economic impacts.

Sources: JobsEQ, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas community colleges.

Wages by Educational Attainment

Community colleges provide their students with a good return on their investment.

In 2018, workers in the West Texas region with some college or associate degrees and stable jobs earned an average of $3,331 more annually than high school graduates.

Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, West Texas Region, 2018

Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, West Texas Region, and Texas, 2018
Educational Attainment Average Annual Earnings, Region
Less than high school $46,649
High school or equivalent, no college $54,196
Some college or associate degree $57,527
Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree $72,517
Educational attainment not available $30,065
Total $54,379

Average overall: $54,379

 Source: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ

Average wage Increase Over High School or Equivalent


Number of workers, Some College or Associate Degree


Total Regional additional wages

$254.1 million

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, JobsEQ and
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Certificates and Degrees

Top Certificates and Degrees, West Texas Region

Top Certificates and Degree Awards in the West Texas Region’s Community Colleges, 2017-18 School Year
Certificates and Degrees Number Awarded
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 1,215
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences 509
Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services 275
Personal and Culinary Services 171
Security and Protective Services 162

Source: JobsEQ

Regional Employment Needs

Fastest growing Occupations, West Texas Region

Fastest growing Occupations, West Texas Region
Occupation Total Employed 5-Year Employment Change
Construction Trades Workers 19,761 4,389
Motor Vehicle Operators 16,432 3,760
Extraction Workers 19,185 3,581
Food and Beverage Serving Workers 16,717 2,333
Material Moving Workers 11,566 1,610

Source: JobsEQ

The West Texas region’s community college districts awarded more than 1,200 certificates and associate degrees in general studies and liberal arts in the 2017-18 school year; the next most-common award areas were health professions and business administration.



  • The SouthWest College for the Deaf (SWCD), a Howard College campus, is the only community college setting for the deaf and hard-of-hearing in the country.
  • Howard College plays a key role in training in the area of health professions to address regional skills gaps and put graduates to work in the community as first responders, nurses, phlebotomy technicians, EKG technicians and more for daily and emergency health care.
  • Howard College maintains a dental hygiene program to prepare hygienists in the West Texas area and a dental lab technician program for its deaf students.
  • Howard College works to prepare student inmates at the federal prison to have new lives and trade skills such as building construction and heating, air conditioning and ventilation upon release.


Community colleges play a vital role for students and businesses by offering postsecondary education and job training at great value. As the West Texas region’s three community college districts work to address local skills gaps and meet the needs of area employers, they support more than 2,300 jobs and add nearly $254 million in economic output annually. Furthermore, the higher pay of those with some college or an associate degree helps raise total wages in the region by another $254 million per year.

Learn more about community colleges AND THE TEXAS ECONOMY.

Glenn Hegar

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material on this page, please contact the Comptroller’s Data Analysis and Transparency Division.