Ready for the college world
Student of the Week: Leonel Jorge Cano
“It’s very rewarding, but you have to understand how a college course works. It’s not going to be at a high school level. The professors are going to treat you differently and the technology and assignments are going to be very different. Don’t take the classes lightly and don’t give up.”
Leonel Jorge Cano, a senior at Weslaco East Early College High School, feels ready for a seamless transition from high school to college thanks to the South Texas College Dual Credit Program.
“I’m glad I took these college courses while in high school because I now feel like I’m prepared for what STC has to offer,” Jorge Cano said. “Being in classrooms with professors from so many different backgrounds and with different teaching methods has been a great experience. All of that really opened my eyes to the environment STC provides for their students.”
As a first-generation college student, Jorge Cano is determined to make his family proud and help create a new path for his three younger siblings to follow. He plans to continue studying engineering at STC in fall 2023.
“I’m grateful to all my teachers and obviously my parents who really sacrificed a lot so that I can be where I am,” he said. “My parents are obviously very proud, and they also expect a lot from me. They hope that I can continue my education after STC. They always hope for the best for me, and now I have also molded the steps that my three siblings have to follow and surpass.”
STC’s Dual Credit Academic Pathways department oversees a total of 43 designated high schools. By design, each school district provides high school students the opportunity to earn college-credit hours and/or an associate degree while pursuing their high school diploma.
“I know many professors may agree with me that taking STC classes while in high school can be more challenging,” Jorge Cano said. “Mostly because you have less time and more classes. At STC, students can be taking maybe four classes a semester, meanwhile, we (dual credit students) are taking eight.”
While Jorge Cano said he enjoys the variety of classes he’s taken in dual enrollment, he still has the most interest and academic strength in science and mathematics.
“That is what engineering is mostly about,” he said. “I also wanted to choose something that was attainable within the next six years. Something I can accomplish rather quickly, so I can start working. I was debating a lot, especially with the number of careers that are possible, but I finally put my foot down and said, ‘Yep, civil engineer. I have to do this.’”
Jorge Cano said he has even been researching the field of civil engineering and the branches he could specialize in.
“If I were to specialize, it would be in structural engineering,” Jorge Cano said. “I try to study and get information from videos and from people who are in the industry. I get their opinion on what it’s like to work in that environment, so when I eventually intern for a company, I won’t be lost. I want to be prepared.”
Jorge Cano wants potential dual enrollment to know that although the classes are challenging, the satisfaction of completing the courses and saving money in tuition is worthwhile. Jorge Cano was named to the Vice President’s Honor Roll in spring 2022. To be named to the Vice President's Honor Roll, a student must be enrolled in 12 or more credit hours and earn a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.75 on a 4.0 scale for the semester.
“It’s very rewarding, but you have to understand how a college course works,” he said. “It’s not going to be at a high school level. The professors are going to treat you differently and the technology and assignments are going to be very different. Don’t take the classes lightly and don’t give up.”
For more information about the STC Dual Credit Programs, visit www.southtexascollege.edu/dual/.