For five years straight, South Texas College (STC) has provided a complimentary breakfast to those who have worked alongside the college to create better opportunities for residents of the Rio Grande Valley.

The support between the school districts and STC has created longtime relationships where the number of incoming college students and graduating seniors has increased.

Because of this, Friday Jan. 18th STC’s Board of Trustees gathered with superintendents and board members of local districts to praise them for constant support and dedication they have showed to grow the community.

South Texas College President Dr. Shirley Reed played host to those in attendance, who have help STC make education accessible and more affordable for students in the Rio Grande Valley.

“The number of young people going to college is increasing, and when you have more young people graduating they get better jobs, it improves the economy, it increases regional prosperity,” Reed said. “This fall we may have as 15,000 high school students taking college courses.”

Dual enrollment classes have been an essential factor to the improvement in the number of students graduating, and the dual enrollment program has been successful because of the partnerships between STC and the local school districts.

Because of this STC has continued to host the annual board appreciation breakfast, by giving thanks and reminding those who are part of the success that their hard-work does not go unnoticed.

“We have had the dual enrollment since 2000,” Reed explained. “We started small and it kept growing because there was such a tremendous amount of interest. Getting up to 15,000 students that’s bigger than a lot of colleges and universities in this state.”

Districts in attendance at the event included leadership from McAllen ISD, Hidalgo ISD, Edinburg CISD, La Joya ISD, Vanguard Academy, Mercedes ISD, Edcouch-Elsa ISD, South Texas ISD, Pharr Oratory, as well as Region One.

Rebecca De Leon, the first dean for dual credit programs was another one of the attendees that morning. She started her position officially Sept. 2018. Her position focuses on ensuring that the collaboration with the 24 school districts continue and there is further improvement in the dual credit programs.

“For the future, definitely it’s going to be receiving the accreditation from the national lines of concurrent enrollment partnerships,” De Leon said. “Currently no one in the state of Texas has this accreditation so this is a priority for us to receive this in May of 2020.”

The May 2018 commencement ceremonies was one of the largest accomplishments for STC with 1,300 students earning an associate degree. This is where leadership at South Texas College sees the difference they are making in the Rio Grande Valley.