College, dual credit administrators celebrate partnerships
South Texas College is committed to forging new and innovative partnerships with all school districts in order to transform the region, according to STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed.
In honor of School Board Appreciation Month, South Texas College hosted its 6th annual Board Appreciation Breakfast Friday Jan. 24. The event was organized as a ‘thank you’ to its many partners in education across Hidalgo and Starr Counties. At the event, STC’s Board of Trustees gathered with superintendents and board members from local school districts as well as Region One Education Service Center, and were lauded for their leadership, hard work, and dedication.
STC trustees in attendance included Vice Chair Rose Benavidez, Gary Gurwitz, Dr. Alejo Salinas Jr., and Victoria Cantu.
“When we talk about partnerships there is absolutely no question that there is a genuine effort to work on having the best kind of collaboration, partnerships, and friendships between many of us at South Texas College and each of your school districts,” Benavidez said. “When we are talking about where we go next, it is quite evident that the changes that have transpired in the region are attributed to many of the partnerships we have in common.”
Districts in attendance at the event included leadership from McAllen ISD, PSJA ISD, Hidalgo ISD, La Joya ISD, La Villa ISD, Valley View ISD, Vanguard Academy, Mercedes ISD, Edcouch-Elsa ISD, South Texas ISD, Mission ISD, as well as Region One.
At the event, school district leadership was updated on the continued success of the college’s dual credit program, which serves over 15,000 dual credit students throughout Hidalgo and Starr Counties.
“January is Board Appreciation Month, and this is our way of saying ‘thank you’,” said STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed. “The great work we do simply cannot be done without partnerships, and I always reflect that they are not always easy.
“Partnerships can be challenging but we can’t lose sight of that greater good,” Dr. Reed said.
“Every single superintendent believes wholeheartedly that the way to go is to continue to partner with STC and continue to innovate in order to offer our students the best curriculum programming possible.”
At the event, attendees were informed on STC’s Dual Credit Programs as the most effective pathway to creating a college-going and college-completing culture for families in the Valley. Now in its 21st year of academic excellence, the program has grown to more than 200 college faculty and over 300 dual credit faculty across both counties.
Since 2000, STC has served over 106,000 dual credit high school students tuition-free, and has saved families over $200 million in tuition and fees.
Beginning with the first early college high school in 2006, to date there are now 33 Early College High Schools across the Valley with a pipeline of more than 15,000 students and 200 unique dual credit courses in partnership with South Texas College.
“People say college for all, but we say careers for all,” said Mission ISD superintendent Dr. Carol G. Perez. “It’s about offering children options and also meeting their needs and interests.
“This meeting just validates what we believe as well as our philosophies,” Dr. Perez said. “Every single superintendent believes wholeheartedly that the way to go is to continue to partner with STC and continue to innovate in order to offer our students the best curriculum programming possible.”
La Villa superintendent Alejos Salazar said the event reaffirmed the positive work done to transform his district and community.
“These events are crucial to our success because it validates what we are doing, and that is the important thing,” Salazar said. “It validates our work and us validating the support that STC gives us as a dual enrollment partner.”