South Texas College welcomes new PASS Program advisor to Starr County Campus
Lizbeth De Leon, STC ‘s new Pass Program Advising Specialist, will now be based at the Starr County campus to assist students seeking a variety of services without the need to travel to other campuses.
Dedicating her professional career to advisement services at South Texas College, Lizbeth De Leon says she understands how important retention is when it comes to student success.
A longtime academic advisor for the college, De Leon now begins her new role as Starr County campus’ first advising specialist for STC’s Providing Academic Support to Students (PASS) Program, which aims to provide resources for students looking to enter in-demand jobs in the region.
“Here at Starr County, we are assisting students to get into careers that are very much in demand including degrees for nursing, electricians, welding, licensed vocational nursing patient care and so much more,” said De Leon. “But before they get there, they need basic things like textbooks and child care. We focus on providing these critical resources for students.”
The PASS Program at STC provides support services to Career & Technical Education (CTE) students it designates as “special populations” to assist them in completing their educational goals, this includes individuals with disabilities; students from economically disadvantaged families, low-income youth and adults; English learners; single parents, pregnant women; homeless individuals; students in the foster care system; and youth with a parent in the Armed Forces who is on active duty.
PASS includes a wide range of services meant to establish a stronger connection with the college including intensive case management, career and academic advising, child care assistance, instructional materials and enrichment workshops.
“Here at Starr County, we are assisting students to get into careers that are very much in demand including degrees for nursing, electricians, welding, licensed vocational nursing patient care and so much more. But before they get there, they need basic things like textbooks and child care. We focus on providing these critical resources for students.”
As someone born and raised in Starr County, De Leon says the impact of PASS for students in the region is significant.
“These students succeed because we focus so intently on their retention,” De Leon said. “We understand that they need the help but sometimes don't ask. This is why we constantly call or email them to assist them with whatever questions they may have. We are here to make a difference, and I know me being here will make a positive change for students.”
STC Starr County student Eliud Estrada says the college has gone the extra mile to ensure he has as much experience in the field of welding as possible as he enters the workforce.
He has received certificates in structural welding and combination welding and will be graduating with an associate degree in welding this fall.
As part of the campus’ Student Leadership Academy, as well as Student Government Association, Estrada said the resources available through STC, especially the Center for Learning Excellence have all contributed toward his academic success.
“There are good jobs here in Starr County, but you need the right experience to really do well in the field,” he said. “Programs like PASS help students be who they want to be by giving them the extra push they need to get there. It’s really making a difference in the community.”
De Leon said her new position with the PASS program will bring her into the community as she begins outreach with families in the region.
“This goes hand-in-hand with the culture here in Starr County because we are a community that helps each other. There is no shortage of mentors here,” De Leon said. “When we begin assisting students, we also become close with their families. It helps us to go that extra mile for them.”
For more information on STC’s PASS program or to begin the application process visit studentservices.southtexascollege.edu/pass/.