STC helps dual credit student ‘build’ his future
Student of the Week: Luis Medrano
“I found out about the program because STC came to my high school and did a presentation showing us what it was all about. They said the engineering program was going to be very difficult, but I was looking for a challenge and it sounded exciting to me, so I decided to apply.”
First-year engineering student Luis Medrano saw an opportunity to reach his dream of designing buildings through the support of South Texas College’s Dual Credit program.
Medrano, 16, will begin his junior year at the Science Academy of South Texas this fall and hopes to complete his associate degree in Engineering by spring 2025 through the Dual Enrollment Engineering Academy (DEEA).
DEEA is a two-year, year-round dual enrollment program developed for high school juniors and seniors of the Pecan and Mid-Valley campus area who are seriously interested in pursuing a career in engineering.
The purpose of STC’s DEEA program is to increase the number of rural area students committed to careers in manufacturing, electrical, industrial engineering and others by providing college course-work and engineering-related opportunities to students as they complete their associate degree in Engineering.
“I found out about the program because STC came to my high school and did a presentation showing us what it was all about,” Medrano said. “They said the engineering program was going to be very difficult, but I was looking for a challenge and it sounded exciting to me, so I decided to apply.”
Medrano said he has always felt confident in the fields of math and science and has carried an interest in engineering since childhood.
“I used to enjoy building with Legos when I was little, and my mom would always tell me I’d make a very good architect,” Medrano said. “As I grew up, I loved drawing and designing, so I decided I wanted to be an architectural engineer. It just seemed like the right path for me and then I had this opportunity with STC.”
This summer session marks Medrano’s first semester with DEEA and he said he’s eagerly awaiting the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Along with earning an associate degree in Engineering, DEEA participants are also offered extra experiences to increase the students’ knowledge of engineering and professional skills, like volunteer opportunities with area engineering facilities and businesses, seminars by math and science professionals, field trips to engineering businesses and other activities.
“I’m looking forward to reaching the advanced math and engineering parts,” Medrano said. “We’re taking an engineering class right now and I’m looking forward to seeing how things are built, structure-wise, and being able to build something myself.”
Medrano said he is encouraged by the hands-on environment created by the college and knows he will be able to balance the rest of his high school career with the demands of DEEA.
“It's a very independent environment compared to what you’re used to in high school,” Medrano said. “But, I would encourage other students to definitely take this opportunity if they’re interested. Study a lot, and if you don’t know something, reach out to people around you. There will always be people who will know more things than you do, and that will help you become a better person.”
Medrano said he is also grateful for the support of his family, who encouraged him to enter the academy.
“I’ve always wanted to be an engineer and my parents tell me in order to be successful I have to attend college,” Medrano said. “My older sister is also in a dual credit program, but for medical science because she wants to be a doctor. That program will take two years off her college time, so these programs can really help you become successful faster.”
And, although this summer only marks his first step into higher education, Medrano said he is glad he chose to build a foundation at STC to help him reach his ultimate career goal.
“My dream is to work in New York designing buildings,” Medrano said. “That’s what I want to do."