Texas Southmost College continues to increase the number of graduates earning associate’s degrees and certificates each year. It celebrates their achievements with friends and family as they walk across the stage during Spring Commencement. Students in TSC’s Dual Enrollment and Early College High School programs earning associate degrees are a great contributor to this increased number of graduates. This spring, 364 dual students earned college degrees from TSC, breaking the record from the previous year of 304 Scorpion graduates.
Two departments at Texas Southmost College work hand in hand to ensure a smooth relationship with school partners. Executive Director of High School Programs and Services Jose Arambul develops relationships with school partners and executes memorandums of understanding with them. At the same time, Judy Moreno, Executive Director of Strategic Enrollment, manages a team of college transition coaches who provide students and their counselors with comprehensive support services from Texas Southmost College.
Both departments collaborate with school partners, dual program faculty, and students to maintain an exceptional experience, resulting in educational success.
“Providing our partner schools with access to high-quality dual credit courses, whether they are public schools, private schoolsor charter schools, helps us expand higher education,” said Arambul. “We are here to serve all secondary schools so students across the Rio Grande Valley can access dual courses.”
Moreno said the college transition team is critical in helping dual program students feel. “The coaches provide wrap-around services for students,” said Moreno. “They provide students with encouragement as they assist them with course advisement and accessing services they need, such as tutoring and access to the college library, to be successful in completing an associate degree and transferring to four-year institutions.”
Moreno pointed out that students gain self-confidence in achieving college success as they complete dual enrollment courses in high school.
“The Dual Enrollment program provides students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in their familiar high school environment,” she said. “For some students, obtaining a college degree may not have been part of their original plans, but through our partnership, it is now possible–because of the high-touch support services we provide, as well as the fact that they take our courses at no cost to their families.”
TSC Board prioritizes high-quality, affordable education
Affordability is a high priority for the Texas Southmost College Board of Trustees while maintaining a high-quality education. The board has lowered tuition to make TSC the most affordable institution of higher education in the entire Rio Grande Valley. In addition, they have reduced the tax rate for the past two years, providing relief to local homeowners.
“Earning an associate of arts degree in general studies at Texas Southmost College costs $7,724, less than half the cost of earning the same course credits at local universities,” said Texas Southmost College President Dr. Jesús Roberto Rodríguez. “Because dual enrollment courses are offered completely free to families, earning an associate’s degree from TSC is an exceptionally wise financial decision.”
“Earning a college degree puts graduates directly on a pathway toward upward economic mobility,” he said. “Our TSC board of trustees is dedicated to providing our community with high-quality education and an ideal collegiate environment to meet new people, develop life-long relationships, gain new experiences, and access the support services that will help students succeed.”
Texas Southmost College Board of Trustee Chairwoman Adela Garza said the Board of Trustees strongly supports the dual enrollment program and encourages students to take advantage of an excellent college degree opportunity.
“As a TSC alumna, I can tell you from firsthand experience about the wonderful benefits of earning a college diploma,” Garza said. “At Texas Southmost College, we are proud to serve the entire family. Whether you are still in high school and seeking to get a head start on college with dual credit or whether you are a parent seeking to retrain for a new career or earn a college degree–we are here to support your success. Together, we are Scorpion Strong!” connected to Texas Southmost College.