South Texas College continues to pave the way in college completion for Rio Grande Valley residents as approximately 4,800 students received their certificate, associate or baccalaureate degree this spring 2014. Included in this number were 1,500 high school seniors who impressively received their college diplomas before graduating from high school as dual enrollment students. Six commencement ceremonies were held at the State Farm Arena May 16 through May 17 where cheering family members, friends and South Texas College faculty and staff showed their support.
The accomplishment of the graduates is a milestone for many who are the first in their family to receive a college education. With a primarily Hispanic student population, more than 70 percent of South Texas College students are first generation college graduates.
South Texas College President Dr. Shirley A. Reed commented on recent Latino College Completion reports that reflect the significant impact the College has on providing higher education to its students. “In April, Excelencia in Education ranked South Texas College as first in the state of Texas and second in the nation in enrolling Hispanic undergraduates. In addition, the College ranked second in the state of Texas and fourth in the nation in awarding associate degrees.” Dr Reed continued, “Excelenica’s report became tangible as I, along with Trustee members, faculty and staff, handed out diplomas to the largest graduating class to date at South Texas College.”
Among the students who received their diploma was Samantha Sauceda, a McAllen High School dual enrollment senior. “It’s an honor to receive my Multimedia Specialist Certificate from South Texas College. Other students do not have this kind of opportunity, and here I am, wearing my cap and gown at a college graduation before I’ve worn my cap and gown from my high school graduation.”
“Because of South Texas College’s commitment to creating a college-going and completion culture, 1,584 of our 4,800 graduates have earned their college degree or certificate while still in high school,” explains Dr. Reed. “This is a testimony to the powerful impact of South Texas College providing tuition free dual enrollment whereby high school students are earning college credit while still in high school.”
Founded in 1993, South Texas College offers more than 112 degree and certificate program options in a variety of liberal art, social science, business, math, science, technology, advanced manufacturing and nursing and allied health fields of study. Additionally, South Texas College is one of only three community colleges in the state of Texas to offer applied baccalaureate degrees. For more information on South Texas College including enrollment for summer and fall 2014 semesters, visit discover.southtexascollege.edu or call 956.872.8311. Summer classes begin June 2.