Past, Present and Future, 1970-2020
In August of 1970, the men and women who were to become the first faculty and staff of Mountain View Community College met to formalize the college's opening that fall. Prior to that, Dallas County voters had voiced their approval by overwhelmingly voting to support the newly organized Dallas County Community College District, of which Mountain View was to be a part.
When Mountain View officially opened in the fall of 1970, along with sister college Eastfield, it was the second phase of the DCCCD grand plan. El Centro had opened first, and Richland, North Lake, Cedar Valley and Brookhaven were added after.
The site for Mountain View was unique for its primitive beauty. When work began in the spring of 1969, surveyors and workers encountered thick wild grasses, mesquite trees and various species of wildflowers. It was also home for all kinds of wildlife. A small stream, lined with cedar, willow and elm trees, wound through the site and tumbled over and through the limestone canyon and shale outcroppings, and disappeared into the woods.
It was over this limestone canyon that Mountain View was constructed. The long, flat-roofed limestone building blended into the natural ambience of the terrain. Two enclosed windowed walkways now connect the east and west complexes with a beautiful view of the creek below.
Mountain View's beginning was like no other. With opening planned for fall 1970, construction was behind schedule due to rain and labor disputes. The day before students were to begin registration, opening looked impossible. There was no way of knowing how many students would show up, and if they did, there was nowhere to put them.
At the last moment, it was decided that the college would open on schedule. DCCCD board member Franklin Spafford made the suggestion to put up tents and mobile buildings. Despite all the chaos and the challenge that very few people even knew where the college was located, students began showing up on September 14, 1970. Eventually 2,060 enrolled that first semester.
In October, the college officially moved inside the still-unfurnished building. Offices were shared by instructors and administrators. Students and instructors endured the sound of jackhammers outside their classrooms. By April 1971, the building was officially completed. Its total cost was $12,323,007.
Dedication ceremonies were conducted on April 18, 1971. US Senator John Tower gave the dedicatory address.
The college was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on December 13, 1972.
Mountain View continues to serve as a center of learning for thousands of people in southwest Dallas County, which includes Oak Cliff, Duncanville, Cedar Hill and parts of Grand Prairie. In Fall 2019 Mountain View enrolled 12,218 credit students, with over 1,600 of those students attending college for the very first time. Mountain View continues to meet a broad range of educational needs by providing a variety of academic, technical, cultural and recreational programs.
Mountain View is certified through the Department of Education as a Hispanic Serving Institution, one of a few in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. More than 25 percent of the campus' undergraduate full-time equivalent (FTE) students are Hispanic.
The current overall ethnicity of MVC's student population is very diverse: 61 percent are Hispanic, 20 percent are African-American, 9 percent are Anglo and 10 percent are of other ethnicity. The student population is 79 percent part-time and 21 percent full-time with 59 percent of the student body being female and 41 percent being male.
MVC offers traditional transfer credit classes and a host of technical programs, including nursing, occupational therapy assistant, mechatronics, welding and computer-aided design. Continuing Education and contract training programs can be tailored to meet the needs of corporate and community clients. The college also offers conversational Spanish and English classes for speakers of other languages.
The future of Mountain View is bright! With the passage of the $1.1B bond package in 2019, Mountain View will expand allied health, nursing, technical and early college high school programming.
New buildings and expanded training opportunities will allow the college to better meet the needs of businesses, respond to changes in technology and increase the number of students graduating with a job-ready degree or certificate.
The positive effect of Mountain View College in southwest Dallas County over the last 50 years is immeasurable. Its success stories involve students who have become doctors, lawyers, school principals, administrators, teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters, elected officials and business owners. This does not include the thousands who are in the workplace and at home making a difference in our community. The next 50 years will bring even greater achievements in the lives of those we serve at a local, state and national level.