First MOU Signing Ceremony Between STC and UTRGV

MEDIA ADVISORY – First MOU Signing Ceremony between South Texas College & University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will be on August 10.

WHAT: A ceremony during which a memorandum of understanding (MOU) will be recognized and signed in order to facilitate student success through seamless transfer from South Texas College (STC) to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).  The MOU will create a framework for students and their advisors, in order for them to understand how courses will move between the two institutions.

WHERE: South Texas College – Pecan Campus

Rainbow Room (Library Bldg. F 2nd Floor)

3201 W. Pecan Blvd.

McAllen, TX 78501

WHEN: Monday, August 10, 2015

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

WHO: Leadership from both institutions will be in attendance including South Texas College President Dr. Shirley A. Reed and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley President Dr. Guy Bailey.

MEDIA: Representatives from South Texas College and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will be available for interviews and photos before and after the ceremony. Your RSVPs via phone or email are appreciated.549449c133fdd.imageSTC Logo Vertical

 

Press Release: Education Grants for Plus 50 Population

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South Texas College (STC) has joined the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in an initiative to engage and support students age 50 and over. Organized by AACC, the Plus 50 Initiative is a grant program focused on workforce training and career preparation for the plus 50 student population.

Since the partnership began in 2013, students have earned certificates in areas including health care, social services, and education through the Department of Continuing Professional & Workforce Education (CPWE) at STC.

It was an honor to have received this grant from the American Association of Community Colleges” said Juan Carlos Aguirre, associate dean of CPWE. “It’s an even greater honor to serve the local plus 50 population and empower them with knowledge and skills that lead to demand occupations.”

Eligible participants interested in gaining marketable skills and credentials are encouraged to apply for the grant as funds are still available. In total, 29 students are expected to benefit from the program. One of those students is 59-year old Juan Torres of Pharr, TX.

Last fall, Torres walked into an advising office to gain information about degree options. It was then that he learned of the Plus 50 Initiative. With an interest in the health care field, he decided to apply for a grant. Just seven weeks later, Torres completed the Phlebotomy Program and is currently gaining hands-on experience at Nuestra Clinica Del Valle in San Juan.

“From basics to more advanced biology and anatomy, every course subject has been interesting and very useful,” he said. “My favorite aspect about the field is analysis. It’s our job to collect blood samples so that a physician can have the necessary information to find a diagnosis and treat the patient.”

Since opening its doors to the community in 2006, CPWE has served thousands of students, 15 percent of them being age 50 and over. Among the growing number of CPWE programs include Alternative Teacher Certification, Cake Decorating, Floral Design, English as a Second Language, Phlebotomy, Real Estate, Computer Applications, Welding, GED, Bus Driving, and Truck Driving.

For more information on the Plus 50 Initiative or other continuing education opportunities, contact the Department of Continuing Professional & Workforce Education at (956) 872-3585 or visit cpe.southtexascollege.edu.

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Continuing Professional & Workforce Education instructor Leonel Oyervidez teaches a class at the Pecan Plaza.

AQUíneañera: Culturally Charged Two-Day Music Fest Hits McAllen on Saturday

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If you follow Patrick Garcia — South Texas College English instructor, local concert promoter and creative mind behind alternative art fest Galax Z Fair — on social media, you’ve witnessed his awareness of Latino and pop culture.

Whether he’s driving around with a Donald Trump piñata (which he’s guaranteed will make an appearance at his inaugural two-day, Chicano-infused fest, AQUínceañera) or expressing his desire to extend an invitation to Ann Coulter (who’s made recent headlines promoting “Adios, America!,” a book critical of immigration policy), Garcia has a knack for mashing Hispanic issues with entertainment to create something culturally relevant.

And it was in this spirit that AQUíneañera was born.

“Regarding the name and theme, I love where I’m from and I love the border community. I’m on a relentless fight to make people really appreciate the place,” the Brownsville native said.

Including a play on the word “aqui” is a celebration of this place, Garcia said.

“You can move to Austin or New York and someone can say, ‘that’s so Valley,’ and that’s a cool thing,” Garcia said. “People don’t realize that their cultural identities come from places. How can we combine the cultural element with the alternative element?”

Garcia plotted AQUíneañera — an outdoor music event that avoided the punishing summer heat by taking place at night — and felt confident in the idea of a Latino-centric fest when he booked Downtown Boys.

“This is what we need. They’re on a national scale. The Hispanic, Spanish-speaking narrative is now breaking the national consciousness with some of these artists,” Garcia said. “They want to come back.”

Downtown Boys, who “might just be the most relevant band in America,” according to Paper Magazine, will drive 14 hours after their El Paso performance to make the show.

“They made a humongous impression on the local, Hispanic punk community because their singer sings in Spanish and it’s politically charged. They were 100 percent down,” Garcia said. “They’re a hugely popular band right now. They’re perfect. They’re the reason I thought I could do this. As long as I have them on board, I feel good.”

This is not going to one of those festivals with…

Read more at The McAllen Monitor.

Maquila Workers Expected to Utilize STC’s Festo-Certified Training Center

Photo courtesy of Joey Gomez/The Rio Grande Guardian.

Photo courtesy of Joey Gomez/The Rio Grande Guardian.

South Texas College is taking the lead to begin training maquila workers on the use of cutting-edge automation at its Technology Campus in McAllen.

By announcing the Festo Certified Training Center for Robotics and Industrial Automation, STC is launching the first program of its kind in the nation, one that will enable manufacturers from Mexico to have the first shot at the groundbreaking technology.

Festo refers to a privately owned German industrial control and automation company, which is a leading global supplier of automation technology.

The Festo Certified Training Center will provide the local workforce with state of the art training and globally recognized credentials in different technologies of advanced manufacturing and industrial automation such as pneumatics, electro-pneumatics, mechanics, sensors, stepper and servo motor technologies, programmable logic controllers, and industrial robotics.

Festo, which has 17,800 employees in 176 countries, says its mission statement is the maximum productivity and competitiveness for customers in factory and process automation.

“A lot of what they do today in the maquilas is use a lot of automation technology and it is increasing,” said Carlos Margo, interim associate dean of industry training and economic development at South Texas College. “STC has wanted to bring Maquila workers over here for training for some time but getting the permits was not easy. We did have some border crossing issues and visas and permits but we were able to work that out with the help of McAllen EDC and the Mexican Consulate’s Office and Customs and Border Protection.

STC has received a special permit that will enable employers in Reynosa to send their staff to the college for specialized training without the usual formalities like student visas. The permit will be used specifically for customized training, according to Margo.

While grants are available for U.S. companies, training for workers from Mexico will be paid for by the employers themselves. There are more than 200,000 manufacturing employees employed within a 50 mile radius in Mexico, and there are more than…

Read more at The Rio Grande Guardian.

Festo Certified Training Center is First in Nation, Ceremony May 28

The Office of Industry Training & Economic Development and the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) at South Texas College (STC) will announce their certification as a globally recognized Festo Certified Training Center on Thursday, May 28, 2015, during a ceremony starting at 10:00 a.m. at the STC Technology Campus in McAllen. Festo is a privately owned German industrial control and automation company and is a leading global supplier of automation technology.

During the certification process, STC IAM Instructor Ernesto Avila was evaluated by a Festo audit team while conducting trainings. Photo courtesy of South Texas College.

During the certification process, STC IAM Instructor Ernesto Avila was evaluated by a Festo audit team while conducting trainings. Photo courtesy of South Texas College.

The Festo Certified Training Center for Robotics and Industrial Automation is the first of its kind in the nation, opening a world of opportunities for students and companies who are utilizing automation technology.

“Giving students the opportunity to earn a globally recognized certification is going to make them more valuable in the workforce,” said Carlos Margo, interim associate dean of industry training & economic development. “Companies on both sides of the border will also be able to benefit from this high level of automation certification.”

urrently STC-IAM training partners include Alps Automotive, Cinch Connectors, Coca Cola, Fiberio Technology, Fujitsu Ten, GE Energy, Grand Rapids Foam Technologies and Royal Technologies to name a few.

“A combination of having the appropriate robotic and other automation equipment in our IAM Lab, certified trainers, classrooms and our proximity to manufacturers in our region is what ultimately qualified South Texas College for the certification,” said Margo. “We are located in a unique area where we have proved automation technology can be utilized now and also shows growth potential in the future. Our Festo Lab will also serve as an inducement for prospective manufacturers who may be considering the Rio Grande Valley to establish or relocate their operations.”

The Festo Certified Training Center will provide the local workforce, new and incumbent, with state of the art training and globally recognized credentials in different technologies of…

Read more at SouthTexasCollege.edu.

Festo Ceremony Invitation

STC Secures Festo-Certified Training Center Status

Festo, a worldwide leader in automation and industrial training and development, will send one of its top executives from Germany to McAllen next Thursday for a unique certification ceremony.

Photo Courtesy of the Rio Grande Guardian. Story by Steve Taylor.

Photo Courtesy of the Rio Grande Guardian. Story by Steve Taylor.

The Office of Industry Training & Economic Development and the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) at South Texas College will be recognized for developing the first Festo-certified training center for robotics and industrial automation in the United States.

The STC ceremony starts at 10:00 a.m. on May 28 at the STC Technology Campus in McAllen. Andres Alcantar, chairman and commissioner representing the public on the Texas Workforce Commission has confirmed his attendance at the ceremony.

“We are proud to have achieved this certification,” Carlos Margo, interim associate dean of industry training and economic development at South Texas College, told the Rio Grande Guardian. “The Festo Certified Training Center for Robotics and Industrial Automation is the first of its kind in the nation. It will open a world of opportunities for students and companies who are utilizing automation technology. Giving students the opportunity to earn a globally recognized certification is going to make them more valuable in the workforce.”

Festo, which has 17,800 employees in 176 countries, says its mission statement is the maximum productivity and competitiveness for customers in factory and process automation. Asked to explain who Festo is, Margo said: “Festo is a global, a major multinational company, headquartered in Germany. They provide a lot of industrial control and automation equipment for manufacturing companies. They also specialize in higher education, providing equipment and trainers for the purpose of providing education and training for industrial applications in automation and robotics.

“As part of their education line they have a process whereby they can certify a center or an organization as a Festo-certified training center. That allows that organization to provide credentials to individuals or trainees who complete a certain number of training hours or courses. They in turn receive an actual Festo certificate. Our instructors here at South Texas College have become certified instructors in Festo technology and so they now can be the providers of this instruction and through them we can provide training and certification for trainees.”

Among the local manufacturers that use Festo equipment, Margo said, are Alps Automotive, Cinch Connectors, Coca Cola, Fiberio Technology, Fujitsu Ten, GE Energy, Grand Rapids Foam Technologies and Royal Technologies.

Margo said he believes the Festo certification will help local economic development corporations lure more manufacturing companies to the Rio Grande Valley.

“Everything we do here is tied to economic development. I think this certification will not only help our students but help the economic development corporations around the Rio Grande Valley as they try to bring manufacturing companies to our region. Companies on both sides of the border will be able to benefit,” Margo said.

“Essentially what we are doing is replicating what advanced manufacturing is today. That has a lot to do with automation, their conversions to automation and automated systems. We are looking to replicate that to provide training, to get workers from industry up to par when it comes to those skills. We also want to make sure industry knows that they can count on us to provide this training for their employees.”

Ernesto Avila, project manager for Institute of Advanced Management at STC, is one of two instructors at STC to receive Festo Trainer certification said: “We are very proud. We are the first center in the United State to be a…

Read more at the Rio Grande Guardian.

Reed: STC-TAMHSC Articulation Agreement is Just The Beginning

Dr. Shirley Reed did not get to speak publicly at last Wednesday’s articulation agreement between South Texas College and Texas A&M University Health Science Center.

However, the STC president was present to sign the document. Under the agreement, TAMHSC School of Public Health and South Texas College will launch an undergraduate program to help students earn a bachelor of science in public health.

Reed has provided the Rio Grande Guardian with these remarks:

“This articulation agreement allows students to spend two years at South Texas College and transfer to Texas A&M Health Science Center’s new bachelor’s program in public health. It’s a great opportunity for students interested in the public health field with high demand and tremendous need in the Valley and throughout Texas.

“This is one of many articulation agreements we have with Texas A&M. Our relationship began in 2000 when the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine provided an opportunity for the very best South Texas College students to get advanced admissions into medical school. We then went on to articulate our associate degree in nursing to Texas A&M’s bachelor’s degree in nursing.”

“These are strong articulation agreements, and it’s just the beginning. The Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health is located adjacent to the South Texas College Nursing & Allied Health Campus. The expansion South Texas College is planning right next door is going to provide…

Read more at The Rio Grande Guardian.

STC Approves Location of Proposed $21M Library

Location of the new library for STC (Pecan Campus). Story by Danya Perez-Hernandez of the McAllen Monitor.

Location for future library of STC (Pecan Campus). Story by Danya Perez-Hernandez of the McAllen Monitor.

South Texas College’s board of trustees Tuesday approved the future location of a proposed $21 million library at its Pecan Campus.

A 6-0 vote assigned the proposed four-story building to a site that will become the main entrance to the campus. Trustee Graciela Farias was absent at the meeting.

College administrators proposed building a 100,000 to 140,000 square-foot-library during the facilities committee meeting on March 19. But its location was the only decision during Tuesday’s meeting.

This site had been set aside for a new South Academic Building, which will be built using the $159 million bond approved in 2013.

STC President Shirley Reed said the urgency to reassign the location came after…

Read more at the McAllen Monitor.

 

STC and UH College of Pharmacy Sign Collaboration Agreement

South Texas College is partnering with the University of Houston College of Pharmacy to help Rio Grande Valley students earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

An academic collaboration agreement was signed at STC’s Pecan Campus on Friday between STC President Shirley Reed, Dr. F. Lamar Pritchard, dean of the UH College of Pharmacy, and other leaders from the two institutions.

“It is another great day at South Texas College,” said Reed, in her remarks at the ceremony. “This really is an honor to have the opportunity to establish this agreement with the University of Houston. It is going to open doors for our students; provide opportunities that they may not have thought were possible for them.”

Reed said she hopes and believes the signing will be the start of a long and fruitful partnership between STC and UH.

“We think it is just the beginning. As excited as we are about our students going into the College of Pharmacy we see an opportunity for our students to articulate with every one of your academic programs,” Reed told Pritchard and other leaders from UH. “This is the first and I don’t know why we can’t have 20 more following right behind. Can I ask you publicly to make that happen right here and right now?”

“We’ll try,” Pritchard responded.

Reed then explained how the collaboration agreement will work.

“We think we are going to have a good, collaborative, seamless relationship for our students. We expect the students at South Texas College to…

Read more on the Rio Grande Guardian website.