Ozarks Technical Community College's main campus in Springfield.

The president of Ozarks Technical College will speak July 19 in Houston about plans to locate a campus in Texas County.

Dr. Hal Higdon will highlight the plan during a 6 p.m. public meeting at the Houston Storm Shelter at Pine and First streets in Houston. Voters in the Houston School District will vote on the issue on Aug. 2. Voters at Success, Summersville and Raymondville will follow with elections in the spring. Under state law, school boards are required to place community college matters on the ballot. Beyond that, the OTC campus in the county will be governed by community panels that give guidance and the leadership at the institution’s flagship campus in Springfield.

Students who live within the districts approving the measure receive nearly a 30 percent discount on tuition costs compared to the normal rate. If approved, a 15-cent per $100 assessed valuation also would go on the books. Someone with a $100,000 house (the median home price in the county is $61,000) would pay about $29. Similar small levies also support the county health department, the library and sheltered workshop. The savings in tuition costs for students in significant: The tuition for fall will be $86 per credit hour for schools in the OTC district. Students not living in an OTC district pay $126.50. MSU’s charge will be $194 per credit hour at Springfield and $107 at West Plains.

An OTC student in the Houston School District would save $40.50 per credit if the measure is approved. A 12-hour load per semester translates into a savings of $486 per semester.

Students who complete the state’s A+ program during the high school years are eligible for free tuition at OTC.

OTC’s nearest campuses to Texas County are at Lebanon and Waynesville. Others are at Ozark, Branson and online.

General education classes and technical education would be offered in Houston. Employers would be able to work with OTC to create tailored classes for their workforce.

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