Panola College is a comprehensive public community college serving the citizens of Harrison, Marion, Panola, and Shelby counties. Founded in 1947, Panola College has a rich tradition of helping students achieve their academic and personal goals at its main campus in Carthage and at centers in Marshall and Center, Texas. The Marshall College Center was established in 1983, the Shelby College Center in 1984, and the Shelby Regional Training Center in 2002.

Enrollment at the open admissions institution has grown from fewer than 100 students at the first registration in January of 1948 to its highest enrollment of 3,018 (including continuing education) in the fall of 2015. The enrollment not including continuing education was 2,685 students. It is part of the Small College Cohort recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. It has for several years been in the Top 10 Digital Colleges in the nation and has for five consecutive years been named a Great College to Work For.

The College provides many services that enrich the lives of individuals in the region by offering a wide range of educational and training opportunities to citizens of all ages. Students can choose from a variety of technical programs that provide quick employment and career enhancement opportunities, or they can pursue a two-year associate degree and academic courses for transfer to a four-year university. Panola College offers 17 degrees and 26 certificates. Also, nine degrees and ten certificates are offered online through Canvas Learning Management System, among them an Associate Degree in Nursing.

An associate degree from Panola College is equivalent to the first two years of a four-year degree but at a fraction of the cost charged by state and private universities. Graduates transfer to a wide range of four-year institutions that include Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Tyler, East Texas Baptist University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Louisiana State University and many others.