Cox notes that by an act of the 35th Legislature the institution was made a branch of A&M College and the State took control of the property September 1,1917. Cox continues that a "good faculty was secured, some advertising was done and the institution was opened for students Sept. 18th." In the first year 261 students enrolled. "Of these 174 were enrolled in the literary department and 87 in the Music." Summer enrollment was125 making a total for the year of 386 students. Students from Stephenville numbered 110, with 122 from other parts of Erath County. Students from counties adjoining Erath County made up 35 per cent of the remaining students.Of the 386 students 137 were working in Home Economics and 83 in the School of Agriculture. The enrollment for 1918 increased by 50 per cent to 273 students. Clearly John Tarleton Agricultural College was growing.
Dean Cox goes on to note challenges of changing from a local institution to a State institution and branch of the Agricultural and mechanical College of Texas. He notes that more than 200 students were turned away due to lack of means or lacking the required educational requirements. However, the school is crowded as it is needing more class rooms, offices, and laboratory space. Cox wanted to make sure that the courses taught at Tarleton were academically equal to those at the parent institution. He also felt the role of the junior agricultural college in Texas was to bridge the gap between the rural high school and the junior year of a standard college. Cox additionally felt the junior college should strive to serve those in the neighboring community first.
Looking forward to the future Cox states that steps have been taken to establish affiliations with the rural high schools of Erath County and Tarleton. He believes this would be beneficial to the schools and Tarleton. He hopes that a program can be developed that would allow these students to enter Tarleton without examination. he closes the report by stating that the $75,000 raised by the citizens of Stephenville for a student loan fund will be very helpful and that due to severe drought the farm was not an asset.
So as we celebrate our Centennial of joining the A&M System read Dean Cox's report below and think of what the future held and holds for Tarleton.