Vista College held a grand opening ceremony for its Killeen location Tuesday afternoon, inviting members of the public to stop by and learn more about the school and its programs.
The college, an accredited for-profit post-secondary institution, began classes in January in a 32,000-square-foot building at 1001 S. Fort Hood St.
“As the new campus director, I really want to make this campus a viable educational option for the community in Killeen and Fort Hood,” Shawn Washington said.
Vista’s Killeen campus offers five programs, which are focused on specific career training. Those programs are medical assistant, medical insurance billing and coding, business administration, cosmetology, and information technology and network administration. Currently, the campus has approximately 140 students enrolled in classes.
“I decided to enroll because I liked that the classes were small, so you get a lot of one-on-one attention,” said April Fruchey, a 27-year-old student in the school’s medical insurance billing program. “They also have a flexible schedule for classes, which is good for me because I have an 8-month-old daughter.”
In addition to its Killeen campus, Vista College operates campuses in Amarillo, Beaumont, El Paso, Longview, Lubbock and Las Cruces, N.M. The colleges are operated under the umbrella of Education Futures Group LLC, a firm that specializes in the acquisition of post-secondary education operating companies.
Jim Tolbert, Education Futures Group CEO, said Killeen was chosen as a Vista location because of its diverse community and its strong economy.
“Texas is a vibrant economy with a lot of growth,” Tolbert said. “Killeen reflects that.”
While Vista celebrated the opening of its campus in Killeen, the issue of so-called “for-profit” colleges, and their role in higher education, was touched on during the event. Speaking Tuesday, Tolbert said there was more than enough room in the field of education for both public and private higher education institutions.
“There’s room for all types of education in the community,” Tolbert said.