by: PAMELA GANDY/Editorial Assistant
Selecting which college to attend is a very big decision.
There are many factors to consider, such as location, cost and available programs of study. The number of options can be overwhelming. However, for freshman Katelyn Hall, attending South Plains College was a simple choice to make.
Katelyn is the third generation of Halls to attend SPC. The family tradition began with her grandfather, Randy Hall, who began his education at SPC in 1969. Randy was born in Levelland, but had grown up in California. He chose SPC because he was attracted to West Texas. Randy studied middle management and lived nearby on a farm with his aunt and uncle.
Katelyn’s grandmother, Candy Hall, also began her college career at SPC, enrolling in the fall of 1971. She studied elementary education and minored in English. Having grown up in Brownfield, SPC met all of her requirements.
“It was close, it was a small school,” Candy said. “It was just a good fit.”
Katelyn’s grandparents met while attending SPC, which made their experiences at the Levelland campus even more significant.
When Candy and Randy’s son Russell began looking into different colleges, they encouraged him to go to SPC as well.
“We were living in McKinney at the time, and I knew that I wanted to come to Tech,” recalls Russell. “I couldn’t afford Tech, but I wanted to move out. They ordered catalogs. We got the catalogs in, and they told me they had student housing so I could move out and live on campus and go to school. Eventually, I made my way to Texas Tech.”
Russell began his education at SPC in 1993, majoring in agri-business and minoring in commercial music. He went on to work at SPC for eight years before his family moved to Dallas.
When it came time for Katelyn to decide which college she would attend, SPC was one of the first schools she considered.
“What interested me was, because my dad worked here for eight years, I grew up around here,” said Katelyn. “I knew a lot of people here. It’s my home away from home.”
Although SPC seemed like a good fit for her, Katelyn did consider other colleges.
“Because we live in Dallas, I did consider going to the community college there,” Katelyn explained. “But, I kind of wanted that away-from-home experience, so this was a really great place to come.”
She said that the academics at SPC also enticed her to come to South Plains College. Katelyn started school at the Levelland campus this fall, and is majoring in education.
Her family is very excited about her decision to attend SPC.
“I felt good knowing she was coming here,” said Krystal Hall, Katelyn’s mother. “We know a lot of the faculty and the administration here. It was a home away from home. If she needs someone, we have lots of family that live close and lots of friends. It was a safe place.”
Russell, Katelyn’s father, also felt that SPC was a good school for Katelyn. He felt that it was important that she gain independence, but did not want her to feel alone.
“It was the one place where we could send her six hours from home to be off at college, but not be on an island by herself,” explains Russell. “Not just with family and friends in Lubbock, but with the faculty and the staff. We were just friends with so many people because we lived here for eight years.”
Russell also added that all of the family connections at SPC made him feel confident that Katelyn would be able to get help if she ever needed it.
“That’s also how we felt as students, before we knew anybody,” Russell continued. “That was part of the family atmosphere, you didn’t have to be anybody special to get special treatment.” He adds that part of why he hoped Katelyn would choose to attend SPC was, “the family atmosphere of the college.”
Randy said that the family atmosphere at SPC was also why he and Candy had encouraged Russell to go to SPC in 1993.
Beyond the close connections, SPC’s small class sizes and wonderful professors also made a big impact on Katelyn’s decision. Russell added that SPC’s smaller academic setting would help his daughter to get more interaction with her professors, and, therefore, learn the material more in depth.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Katelyn said of her SPC experience so far. “I’ve been staying busy with my classes, but I love my teachers. All of my teachers are amazing.”
With the encouragement and support of her family, Katelyn has had a wonderful time at SPC so far.
“I love it here,” Katelyn said.