Now is not the time to slow down, according to Chloe Perez.
In fact, Perez is especially vocal about the need for a school that can keep up with the frenetic pace she endures as she looks ahead to medical school by the end of this year.
Inspired by family, Perez, 19, says she is on the fast track to pursuing a doctorate in pediatric genetics and has actively leveraged all of her resources to achieve this goal. On her journey, South Texas College has stepped up to ensure she gets there without missing a beat.
“My grandpa suffered from Parkinson’s disease and I saw how Parkinson’s took a toll on his life,” Perez said. “I began to realize that there was little to no research being done and not many specialists down here to begin with. We had to drive six to eight hours to see a doctor, so it inspired me to look for ways to provide more specialties here in the Valley.”
Originally from Rio Grande City, Perez said she graduated from STC with an associate degree in biology while she was still in high school. Perez realized that eventually getting into medical school was going to take some grit, so right after she graduated, she opted to take summer courses at the college before heading to Texas A&M in the fall. This was in summer 2019.
Nearly a year later, Perez says she looks forward to returning to STC in summer 2020 to complete a course in organic chemistry, which puts her one step closer to graduating with her bachelor’s degree in biomedical science by December.
“I entered A&M with so many credits, and I saved so much time and money by attending STC,” Perez said. “I’m grateful to know that basically all my courses transferred into the biomedical science degree and it was so easy. I have to admit that I was worried at first about some courses not transferring because I didn’t want to throw away two years for nothing.
“When I met my advisor here, she sat down with me and she compared the classes and it turns out that basically everything transferred and I was super happy because I started off with junior level courses.”
South Texas College has long been considered by students as the ideal place to get ahead while they are home for the summer.
Students are encouraged to begin the admission process in the spring. Pending preapproval from their respective schools, applying to STC can be a formality for most transfer students as long as they make sure their course learning outcomes align, according to representatives from the college.
“A lot of students will reach out to me in the spring semester and ask about our course offerings,” said Dr. Kelli Davis, director of STC’s University Relations, Transfer, and Articulation Center Office. Davis is often the first point of contact for transfer students, and utilizes an array of resources to assist them.
“Students often begin looking for the matching course number with respect to the course at their institution, and a lot of times I can match those courses for them,” Davis said. “Sometimes I also need to help them with the research side of it to make sure that their school doesn’t require preapproval because some institutions want to view the syllabus or the final exam — it just varies — (but) we do our best to help them if they need us.”
Davis estimates that over the course of the summer, possibly half of students on campus are transient students. In her capacity not only as the college’s transfer representative but also as a faculty member in mathematics, she says she has worked with students from the University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas in Austin, to name a few.
“These students understand the benefit that they can come home, pay less, and get ahead,” Davis said. “The summer’s also a great time to take a course because when you are taking the class every day, there’s no brain drain waiting another 48 hours or another four days before seeing it again.”
STC’s transfer office offers these strategic points to students in order make the most out of their summer experience:
- Take classes to get ahead; this also helps to ease the load for the remaining semesters.
- Retake any classes that don’t meet the expectations of your desired transfer institutions.
- Maintain a good GPA.
- Create a list of all courses you will take in the upcoming semesters, making sure you meet the minimum credit hours.
- Connect with transfer admissions counselors at the schools on your list. If you cannot find the information, meet with representatives at the Transfer Center to get assistance.
Students who are interested in transfer opportunities or summer courses at STC can visit the college’s transfer office website at academicaffairs.southtexascollege.edu/transfer-center/index.html or call (956) 872-2659 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for more information.