The University of Texas-Pan American and South Texas Community College (STCC) signed an agreement in September which facilitates the transfer of students seeking an education degree from the community college to the University.
The agreement ensures that students who graduate with an Associate of Arts degree in Teacher Education/Preparation at STCC have an easy transition to the UTPA College of Education Teacher Preparation program.
Arévalo said STCC currently has more than 2,000 students majoring in teacher preparation courses, and he expects a percentage of those students to filter into UTPA. Currently, UTPA enrollment is more than 14,300 students. The University currently produces the most teachers in the state and the most bilingual teachers in the nation.
Dean of the College of the Education, Dr. Hilda Medrano, said the agreement will also help alleviate some of the teacher shortage occurring in the Valley and statewide.
"This agreement will allow us to double the preparation of teachers from the population that come through the four-year degree program," Medrano said. "STCC has about 2,000 education declared majors and that will mean a great increase in our enrollment and add to the teacher workforce."
Dr. Frank Williams, South Texas Community College vice president for Instructional Services, said STCC's partnership with UTPA is strong and anticipates more agreements between the institutions.
"I'm very pleased with this because a very high percentage of our students transfer to UTPA," Williams said. "We want to make the transfer as smooth as possible and have them transfer everything applying toward their degree plan, and that is the reason for putting together these articulation agreements for particular programs."
Already, the two institutions have a "2+2" articulation agreement assuring students that associate degree programs at STCC satisfy the freshman- and sophomore-year requirements of four-year baccalaureate degrees at UTPA.
In 2001, STCC and UTPA also signed an articulation agreement to ensure nursing students receive their degrees efficiently.