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Local School Districts And Families Saved $340M

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Since 2000, the Dual Credit Program at South Texas College has saved its partnering school districts and its dual credit students $340 million dollars. STC Inmage
Since 2000, the Dual Credit Program at South Texas College has saved its partnering school districts and its dual credit students $340 million dollars. STC Inmage
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Texas Border Business

By Amanda Sotelo

Since 2000, the Dual Credit Program at South Texas College has saved its partnering school districts and its dual credit students $340 million dollars. 

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STC’s dual credit program is unique as it waives tuition for its 21 Hidalgo and Starr County partnering school districts and families to begin their college journey while in high school.

“These savings further validate South Texas College’s success in offering dual credit opportunities to the community,” said Rebecca De Leon, STC Dean for Dual Credit Programs and School District Partnerships. “School districts, students and their families are taking advantage of this great program which saves students time and money. Affording a college education may be challenging for many families therefore completing two years of college while in high school is a game changer, especially in our region.”   

According to De Leon, annually, STC has nearly 10,000 dual credit students enrolled from local school districts.

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One of those school districts is the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District with 7 of its high school campuses participating in STC’s dual credit programs. 

In 2021-2022 Academic Year, the district had a cost savings of $7.6 million and over the decade of its partnership with STC, has had a total savings of more than $73 million, the highest cost savings among STC’s partnering schools.

PSJA Superintendent Jorge L. Arredondo, Ph.D., said the relationship they have with STC is setting their students up for success. 

“Our parents and students value the expectation we provide our students with a first-class education that includes dual credit courses, and as the leading district, we appreciate the partnership and relationship with South Texas College,” said PSJA Superintendent, Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo.  “We want to position our students ahead in their trajectory with post-secondary opportunities, and that is why we make an annual investment close to $2 million for our students and families to lesson economic barriers in achieving post-secondary readiness. When you factor the dual investment made by both PSJA and STC, it really is a big win for our students and families.”

One of those students taking advantage of the partnership between his school district and STC is Paul Gonzalez, a senior at Preparatory for Early College High School in Rio Grande City.

The 18-year-old has taken dual credit course since his freshmen year, beginning in the spring of 2020. 

“I’ve always had high scholastic goals and I found dual credit courses to be beneficial and fundamental for me and my family,” said Gonzalez. “It has allowed me to finish nearly two years of college, giving me a head start, saving me time and money. And for students here in the RGV, that’s a big deal. Thank you to STC and my school district for giving us this opportunity.”

Gonzalez will be earning his associate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from STC this December. 

De Leon said that the mission of STC’s dual credit programs is creating a college-going culture, like it has for Gonzalez.

“The future of our region is looking much brighter, as we continue to provide high school students the opportunity to earn a college credential prior to graduating with their high school diploma,” she said. “Establishing partnerships with school districts such as PSJA and Rio Grande City Grulla ISD, is key to ensure that we are able to reach more students. STC’s Dual Credit Programs is committed to our partners, students, and community to increase educational attainment and minimize barriers.” 

For more information on STC’s Dual Credit Programs, visit https://www.southtexascollege.edu

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