South Texas College and Texas Noble Builders have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will create scholarship opportunities for students over the next five years.
The MOU makes official a $25,000 scholarship commitment by Noble Builders to students enrolled in Construction and Public Safety Programs at STC. Administrators at the college will now set up the criteria to distribute the scholarships likely by January 2018.
“We will distribute $5,000 a year for the next five years specifically to students in the construction program and public safety,” said Mario Reyna, Dean of Business, Public Safety and Technology at STC. “Criteria will be based on various things including full-time status, GPA and an essay that expresses their intent in their chosen career. From there we will select the students who fit the criteria.”
Rene Capistran, President and CEO of Noble, and STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed were on hand to complete the MOU signing on Nov. 28. Capistran, who started his career in law enforcement before moving on to construction, said he created the scholarship out of a moral obligation to create much needed human capital in industry.
Capistran is the contractor for STC’s upcoming Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence (RCPSE), which plans to open its doors to students by June 2018.
“I just want to express my appreciation to Noble Builders for having the commitment to provide scholarships,” said Dr. Reed. “Mr. (Rene) Capistran has a very personal story about having been a law enforcement officer, and then made a mid-career change to go into construction, and that’s why he wants to support students pursuing construction as well as law enforcement. What a perfect scenario to help Valley students.”
Located at 4300 S. Cage Blvd. in Pharr, the RCPSE will make STC the first border community college in the nation to establish integrative training for local, state and federal professionals in law enforcement, public safety, fire safety and Homeland Security along the US/Mexico border.
The $71 million master plan is slated to transform the RCPSE into a Public Safety, Law Enforcement, Fire Science and Homeland Security campus by 2030. The facility is located on a 64-acre site in Pharr with 180 additional acres available for future expansion. The master plan includes 534,385 square feet of buildings, structures and a driving track to be completed in three phases over the next decade.
“I think something important to understand is that one of our goals is to get more businesses involved. We have a moral responsibility to help education and create the human capital we need in industry,” Capistran said. “I think this opportunity with the scholarship fund creates an opportunity for students who might not have the financial capacity to go back to school. This gives them a helping hand so they can aspire to continue their education.
“One thing I like about South Texas College is that these students are getting hands-on experience,” he said. “When you find your passion, something that you love to do, and then you tie it in with your education, that’s a recipe for success.”