08:16 AM

South Texas College awards 1,400+ dual credit certificates and degrees during first day of commencement


South Texas College graduated 1,463 dual enrollment students, out of 3,156 total graduates, during the college’s commencement ceremonies on Friday. Ceremonies continue through Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Graduating from South Texas College was one of the most unbelievable moments of her life and it’s only the beginning, so said Madison Taylor Alaniz.

As a Dual Credit student who graduated with her associate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from P.S.J.A. North High School, Alaniz talks about the impact STC made in her future as she looks ahead to a career in forensics.

“Today was nothing like I have ever experienced, and it happened through the inspiration and support of my family,” said Alaniz. “Here at STC, I was sure that I took advantage of the opportunities that were given to me, and I worked every day to make sure I made my parents proud.”

Alaniz, 17, now plans to attend STC university partner Texas A&M in College Station to receive a bachelor’s degree in forensic and investigative studies with the hopes of entering a career as a crime scene investigator.

“There have been incredible breakthroughs in forensic science, and I want to be a part of it,” Alaniz said.

I pushed myself through this even more to prove that females could do this job; and now I’m here receiving my degree. 

Anita Garcia, sophomore at Vanguard Academy graduating with a certificate in Structural Welding

Alaniz’s mother, Vanessa Rivera-Ortiz, who was present to see her daughter walk across the stage to receive her degree, said Madison’s accomplishments are even more significant because she is the first in her family to receive a college diploma.

“She has worked so hard throughout her entire school life and even I have been inspired by how she sees her own future,” Rivera-Ortiz said. “To all parents who want to see their children succeed we always have to remember to support them. We have to be there for them every single day, encourage them and give them the credit they deserve. We have to celebrate every accomplishment they do, big or small.”  

Another student, Anita Garcia, received her certificate in Structural Welding as a sophomore at Vanguard Academy and is now seeking to receive her degree in Combination Welding.

“I pushed myself through this even more to prove that females could do this job; and now I’m here receiving my degree,” she said. “No matter if it’s a male-dominated field, you have to push yourself because you have to believe that you can do better than any of the men out there. Remember to be that independent woman that you know you are, because that is what got me through.”

Alaniz and Garcia were among the 1,463 Dual Credit students, out of 3,156 total STC graduates, to receive degrees during commencement ceremonies on Friday.

The 9 a.m. ceremony included dual credit graduates from local charter schools, Edcouch-Elsa ISD, PSJA ISD and Valley View ISD.

STC dual credit graduation ceremonies will continue Friday at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Overall, STC is set to award 637 certificates of completion, 2,358 associate degrees and 161 bachelor’s degrees to students when commencement is complete this weekend.

STC dual credit graduation ceremonies will continue on Friday at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Saturday ceremonies include graduates of the college’s Business, Public Safety and Technology Division and Nursing and Allied Health at 9:30 a.m. followed by Liberal Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Bachelor’s Programs and Math, Science and Information Technology at 1:30 p.m.

“What an exciting time to be a graduate of South Texas College,” said STC President Ricardo Solis, Ph.D., in his commencement speech. “You are the select few who decided early on in high school to obtain a head start in college. You did it. Your decision to complete a college degree while in high school speaks volumes of the person you are today and the remarkable leader you will be tomorrow, and you now serve as inspiration for others in your family.”