South Texas College President, Dr. Shirley A. Reed, was invited by the Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA) to accept the 2019 annual Pioneer Award on behalf of the College.

The award recognizes an individual who has shown great leadership, as well as someone who went above and beyond to provide financial support and resources for a higher education institution.

The event took place Saturday, Feb. 23 in New York City.

The CCBA strives to promote better access to baccalaureate degrees on community college campuses and serves as a resource of information for community colleges interested in offering bachelor degrees.

As the founding president, Dr. Reed developed STC from a “blank canvas” to serve South Texas, formerly a region that was once plagued by limited access to higher education and workforce training.

Because of Dr. Reed’s leadership, STC is now

Offering over 120 degrees and certificate options with 32 fully-online programs.

Among the top 50 most affordable online bachelor’s degrees in the nation.

One of only four community colleges approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer bachelor degrees.

Offering applied baccalaureate degrees with over 1,700 graduates and helped secure legislative approval for expansion to other Texas community colleges.

As a pioneer, Dr. Reed says you have to stay focused on your goal to expand educational opportunities for students in the Rio Grande Valley. It is not always easy.

Dr. Reed says her accomplishments represent a collective effort among communities to improve the lives of residents of the Rio Grande Valley.

“Community colleges offering bachelor degrees are a driving force to help improve the preparation of graduates for high-wage and high-skill, competitive jobs. Graduates with an Associate of Applied Science degree are well prepared for the technical needs of the workforce; however, the bachelor degree prepares graduates for supervisory and management positions in those same fields,” said Dr. Reed.

Dr. Ali Esmaeili, Dean for Math, Science & Bachelor Programs at STC, says Dr. Reed’s leadership has been essential to the success of South Texas College offering bachelor degrees.

“Due to her support, our programs have been very successful. What we do is add value to our graduates and respond to the immediate needs of our employers,” said Dr. Esmaeili. “Dr. Reed has been instrumental with her leadership.”

For more information about applying for bachelor programs at STC, please contact Mary Jo Chapa at 956-872-2672.