Stay Informed: STC hosts annual Counselors Update
STC Student Financial Services Coordinator of Scholarships and Outreach Judy Martinez, during the college’s annual Counselors Update, spoke with counselors about new financial aid processes, deadlines and application formats.
Nearly 100 counselors from school districts across Hidalgo and Starr Counties gathered recently at South Texas College for its annual Counselors Update.
Counselors Update is hosted by STC’s College Connections Department with the focus to give counselors the latest updates regarding Admissions, Financial Aid, Testing and non-credit and short-term credentials.
STC Director of College Connections Larry Barroso said this year’s event was especially crucial because of changes in financial aid ranging from a new format in financial aid applications and a later application start date.
“This year, there are many changes in Financial Aid which will affect students if their counselors are not well informed, and that’s what we’re doing here; we’re making sure every counselor gets the information they need to take back to their students,” said Barroso. “We’re also really showcasing that STC is a world-class institution. We know it’s about preparing students for the workforce and getting those jobs and we want students to feel proud of their decision to enroll at STC.”
With financial aid applications opening in December versus October, students are given less time to apply and meet admission deadlines, according to Barroso.
And although he said it won’t affect those applying to STC because of the college’s year-round enrollment, counselors and advisors like Gilbert Briones, college advisor with La Joya Independent School District said he appreciates that STC keeps every student’s best interest in mind.
We’re also really showcasing that STC is a world-class institution. We know it’s about preparing students for the workforce and getting those jobs and we want students to feel proud of their decision to enroll at STC.
“This is my third Counselors Update, and they are so important because we get the latest news on the things that affect our students the most,” said Briones. “A lot of our students stay in the Valley for college, many attending STC, and this allows us to help them the best way we can.”
Briones added that every Counselors Update leaves him impressed with the growth of the college and its program offerings.
Liana Nicole De Leon, a Financial Aid officer for Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) T. Jefferson T-STEM Early College High School and former STC College Connections employee, said despite the growth she has seen in her career, she always enjoys returning to STC for this event.
This is De Leon’s sixth Counselors Update.
“This is a wonderful event and to see how much the college has grown, makes me miss it,” she said. “But learning what I can offer our students and how I can connect them to the college is amazing…we’re learning so much and having opened discussions about how we can come together for our students. I want to thank STC for always giving us this opportunity. This is something I’ve always appreciated.”
STC President Ricardo J. Solis, Ph.D., told counselors that STC is the place that changes and adjusts with industry to ensure students who attend the college get the relevant training they need to get hired.
“With the new funding formula that is outcome-based, we need to ensure that we meet industry needs to meet student needs, and that’s what makes us unique,” said Solis. “Here at STC, we are constantly changing with the latest technology and latest programs that are customizable. Our students are hired when they graduate, and part of this is the new paradigm of short-term programs and certificates. This is a remarkable opportunity, and counselors are the key to guiding students to these options. We thank them for all they do for our students and for education in this region.”
For more information on programs and resources offered at STC, visit catalog.southtexascollege.edu/support-services/college-connections/.