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STC Tops the Carts as One Of The Nation’s Best Colleges

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South Texas College was recently named a “Top 10” college in the nation by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine for associate degrees granted, its enrollment as a four-year school and for its majors in Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and related services. STC Image
South Texas College was recently named a “Top 10” college in the nation by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine for associate degrees granted, its enrollment as a four-year school and for its majors in Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and related services. STC Image

Texas Border Business

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By Amanda Sotelo

South Texas College continues to top the charts in higher education, recently being named a “Top 10” college in the nation by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine for associate degrees granted, its enrollment as a four-year school and for its majors in Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and related services. 

Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine tracks the national advancements of Hispanics in higher education and spotlights Hispanic Serving Institutions like STC, for their dedication to meeting the educational needs of this community. 

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“We are leading the nation and paving the way when it comes to making college accessible for everyone,” said STC President Ricardo J. Solis. “STC being recognized for its enrollment in bachelor’s programs, not just two-year degrees, is a giant leap for STC in its 30th year. Factor in its trailblazing public safety programming and the number of associate degrees granted, we are making strides toward innovative and bold solutions that are setting us apart from other institutions and making us unique in our region.” 

In the last year, STC, with a population that is 96% Hispanic, saw record enrollment of more than 50,000 students – averaging 30,000 credit and 20,000 non-credit, the latter includes workforce training and continuing education.

For these students, the college offers 130 programs, including 36 online programs. STC is also the only community college in Texas to offer five bachelor’s degree programs.  

Vice President of Academic Affairs Anahid Petrosian, Ph.D., said these rankings are a testament to the dedication and hard work of STC’s faculty, staff and students.  

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“I am thrilled with these rankings. The success that STC is experiencing is the result of several factors, including a focus on academic excellence, a supportive learning environment and a commitment to meeting the needs of our community and industry partners,” said Petrosian. “And being the only community college in Texas with five bachelor’s programs, the recognition as a four-year school is an exciting milestone moment for us. This recognition highlights STC’s growth and evolution as an institution.”

This is also STC’s second national recognition for how many associate degrees granted. Earlier this year, the college was recognized by Excelenciain Education as a top five school in the nation to award associate degrees to Hispanics. 

Within the last two years, STC has awarded nearly 7,500 associate degrees.

“The success we are seeing as a college and the success our students find are a source of pride for everyone associated with STC and underscores the institution’s dedication to providing an accessible and high-quality education for our students,” she said. “It validates the value of an STC education and the positive impact we are making in their lives and our communities.” 

Aiming for one of those associate degrees is STC Interdisciplinary Studies student Elitza Gomez, who expects to graduate spring 2024 and said knowing that STC is one of the “Top 10” colleges in the nation gives her a sense of pride. 

“There are so many negative stigmas surrounding community colleges, but STC is proving them all wrong, and as a “Top 10” college in the nation, we are demonstrating our prestige and putting the Rio Grande Valley on the map,” said the 28-year-old. “We are a real college, with highly qualified and caring instructors and we are getting the same, if not better, opportunities with our certificate, associate and bachelor’s degrees. I am STC and these rankings give me a sense of pride. I’m proud to be an STC Jaguar.”   

STC Dean of Business, Public Safety and Technology Sara Lozano, Ed.D., said being included in this year’s ranking is a true honor and testament to the work STC is doing and the partnerships STC is creating among the public safety community. 

STC, through its Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence in Pharr, provides training for local, county, state and federal professionals in law enforcement, public safety, fire science and homeland security along the U.S./Mexico border. 

The regional center also houses STC’s fire and police academies, this year graduating nearly 40 cadets, with at least half graduating with an associate degree in fire science or law enforcement. 

“STC maintains an unwavering commitment to providing accessible, high-quality public safety training, so to be placed No. 5 within the “Top 10” homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting schools, is an honor,” said Lozano. “As we continue to expand and evolve, the impact our public safety education has in our region and beyond is expected to grow, ensuring a brighter and safer future for all.”

For more information on the programs and services offered at STC and STC’s Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence, visit southtexascollege.edu.

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