Texas Tech University officials have announced that their Health Sciences Center campus in El Paso will now be able to serve as a full university.

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso was approved as the fourth university under Senate Bill 120, authored by state Senator José Rodriguez and sponsored by state Representative Naomi Gonzalez, both of El Paso.

“This is a great day for the Texas Tech University System and the community of El Paso,” said TTU System Chancellor Kent Hance. “We are proud of the outstanding work completed as a regional campus and excited to continue our commitment to the area as an independent university.”

El Paso is home to the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine and the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, and the TTUHSC at El Paso is also home to a Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Texas Tech says that preparations for the transition from a regional campus to a freestanding university with degree-granting authority have been underway since 2011. The Tech Board of Regents gave its approval for undertaking the initiative in May of 2012.

According to a press release from Tech, TTUHSC at El Paso will benefit regional priorities by promoting access to health care and attracting more doctors and health care professionals to the area.