Posted Date: 03/27/2019
Since 1999, South Texas College has collaborated with the La Joya Independent School District to transform the lives of its students and parents in the community. What started as a partnership with the traditional Dual Enrollment Program, has now scaled to numerous programs of excellence, which include: the Dual Enrollment Academies, Valley Scholars Program, Early College High School, Recovery Program, T-STEM Academies, Advanced Academics, Career and Technical Education and numerous other school-year and summer camps in multiple career pathways.
As a higher education partner, South Texas College currently supports the three LJISD Early College High Schools (Jimmy Carter, Thelma R. Salinas STEM, and La Joya Early College High Schools), three school-within-a-school T-STEM and Ford Next Generation Learning Academies (located inside each comprehensive high school), and a stand-alone Academy of Health
Science Professions & STEM.
This invaluable support comes by waiving tuition and fees for students taking advantage of South Texas College’s Dual Credit Program, which provides stellar academic and student support services, library resources, online tutoring, and all other services that traditional college students receive.
“The impact of South Texas College in collaborating with La Joya ISD – this school year alone – is evident through the 3,055+ high school students enrolled in the Dual Credit Program; over 464 dual credit course sections, and over 400 elementary and middle school students that have attended multiple educational camps at South Texas College,” stated Mrs. Gracie Lopez, Director of College, Career, and Workforce Readiness at La Joya ISD.
Moreover, through the strategic planning of South Texas College Board Members and Dr. Shirley A. Reed, College President, South Texas College expanded the availability of higher education to local residents by opening up the South Texas College Higher Education Center at La Joya. The La Joya site affords current high school students, traditional college students, and families from surrounding communities, the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree or Certificate by enrolling in a complete block schedule of various approved programs.
La Joya ISD is fortunate of the STC Partnership which offers the community a higher education facility right in their own backyard with state-of-the-art science labs, lecture classrooms, computer labs, welding labs, and literary resources!
The support from South Texas College goes beyond serving LJISD students, parents and community. The institution has a well-established infrastructure that provides a wealth of professional staff development to the La Joya ISD dual credit faculty, counselors, principals, directors, coordinators, and administrators.
Through the college’s Professional and Organizational Development Office, district dual credit faculty take full advantage of staff development opportunities such as the Ambassadors Cross Training Academy, Ambassadors Leadership Academy, Dual Enrollment Learning & Teaching Academy, FOCUS Academy, Jaguar Academy, and the Teaching and Learning Academy.
In addition to ensuring that students are on track academically, South Texas College provides extensive data workshops on student success metrics. These data workshops have allowed La Joya ISD to secure student retention, persistence, completion and a seamless transition to other institutions of higher education.
“The La Joya Independent School District would like to extend a warm thank you to the staff at South Texas College for their instrumental support,” added Dr. Gisela Saenz, La Joya ISD Interim Superintendent of Schools. “This partnership has undoubtedly made an impact in the lives of the students in this district.”
By: Guadalupe Chavez, Academies Director, La Joya ISD