STC president continuing higher-ed vision for south Texas region
Dr. Solis visits with Hidalgo County elected officials at Mid-Valley's stakeholder luncheon in continuing higher education opportunities for South Texas College Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021.
On Wednesday’s stakeholder luncheon at the Mid-Valley campus, Hidalgo County elected officials and judge, Richard F. Cortez along with Valley school leaders, met with Dr. Solis to hear his continuing vision on higher education.
Solis’ credited the college for being the only community college in the region to offer five baccalaureate programs and the continued expansion of its five campuses.
“We are the largest institution in higher education in South Texas,” said Solis. “We’ve grown astronomically and now we’re close to 30,000 students with our new programs.”
Since his new employment with the college as president, he says the successes STC has accomplished over the years have impressed him compared to other colleges in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.
“The College has achieved outstanding accomplishments and has transformed the region by providing educational opportunities to our students. The Board of Trustees and I are committed to continue working together to further improve the quality of life for our students, their families, and our communities.” Solis said.
His vision for higher education in South Texas focuses heavily on working together with partners.
“We have the largest demographic from Hidalgo to Starr County working with over 20 municipalities and 21 school districts,” he said.
With county officials and school leaders present, he addressed their support in continuing to partner with STC. Recent opportunities that have allowed students to earn career experience include NAH volunteer students who have administered the COVID-19 vaccine shot at campus clinics as well as offering dual enrollment courses through partnerships with 21 Valley school districts to high school students.
With STC’s specialized campuses, the college provides program certificates in technology, public safety, and health.
“We will continue to innovate by offering more academic and technical programs. It will be crucial to work with entities like the cities, economic development groups and elected officials in order to achieve this goal,” said Solis.
In light of the pandemic, South Texas College has also been the largest provider of nurses in the Valley.
“We graduate over 250 nurses a year, and have 13 health-related programs producing graduates in nursing and allied health fields,” said Solis.
Though the future is unpredictable, Dr. Solis believes in bringing new opportunities for students to enter the workforce well equipped.
“We are going to be driven by creativity, responsiveness, and above all innovation,” said Solis.
As for his vision on higher-ed, the demand for nursing, manufacturing, welding, and electric vehicles are expected to have a growing need.
In attendance at Weslaco’s Mid-Valley campus were STC Trustee Board Members, chair Rose Benavidez, vice-chair, Alejo Salinas, member Paul R. Rodriguez, member Gary Gurwitz, member Danny Guzman, member Rene Guajardo, president Ricardo J. Solis, Mid-Valley Campus Administrator, Daniel Montez, Hidalgo County leaders, judge Richard F. Cortez, commissioner, David Fuentes, state representative Armando Martinez, City of Donna mayor, Rick Morales, city of Donna commissioner, Eloy Avila, City of Weslaco mayor, David Suarez, city manager of Weslaco, Mike Perez, city manager of Mercedes, Alberto Perez, City of Edcouch mayor, Virginio Gonzalez, city commissioner of McAllen, Pepe Caveza de Vaca, assistant city manager of Pharr, Anali Alaniz and valley school leaders.