Texas Border Business
MCALLEN, TEXAS – South Texas College is seeking to be the first point of contact for students from mixed status households seeking to improve their lives through education.
STC has established an informational portal for DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and undocumented students to better engage with the college, albeit anonymously. The new website can be found at https://www.southtexascollege.edu/dreamers/.
The informational website contains state and federal legislation, legal resources, financial aid options, and will include scholarship opportunities as they become available. It also includes an FAQ for undocumented and DACA recipient students.
Staff and faculty say the resource center will act as the starting point for DREAMers looking to become familiar with everything STC has to offer.
“While we don’t have a physical location for it, we want it to be a page that is full of answers,” said Hector Cerda, STC Coordinator of Enrollment Services and DREAMer Center Project board member. “Part of the benefit of having it as a website is that we allow students to engage with us without fear and make them feel more comfortable exploring all of the resources we have available for them.
“South Texas College is interested in helping these students advance their education, as well as giving them the opportunity that this represents,” Cerda said. “We want to help them open the door and continue their education.”
The DREAMer Center is a collaborative effort among many at STC. Faculty, who are often the first point of contact with students, have assisted with research and language as well as the FAQ section for the website in order to make it a vital resource for students, Cerda said.
“We want it to be the first point of contact so that students who want to continue their education will be able to see what is available for them,” Cerda said. “The primary obstacle for many of these students is financial, and there is a lot of a lack of communication about the opportunities available to them, so one of the primary things we want to maintain on this portal is scholarship opportunities.
“Some students don’t know that they may qualify for some state grants and financial aid,” he said. “We’re hoping that faculty members will be able to direct students to this resource, or to my office, so we can discuss what options may be available for them.”