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New program makes transition to UTPA smoother
By Lori Ann Prado, Intern
292-7311
Posted: 03/06/2009
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The University of Texas-Pan American and South Texas College representatives met Feb. 27 at the University to discuss the first 10 of 30 articulation agreements between the two campuses for the Start Here, Finish There Student Transfer Success Action Plan, a collaboration in which students who have completed two years at STC may transfer seamlessly to UTPA in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.


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Standing left to right at the meeting are Dr. Juan E Mejia, STC provost; Dr. Martha Ellis, UT System associate vice chancellor for community college partnerships; and Dr. Paul Sale, UTPA provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Sitting left to right are Dr. Ana Maria Rodriguez, senior vice provost for Undergraduate Studies and Ali Esmaeili, STC dean for Bachelor Programs and University Relations.
“The Start Here, Finish There program is important because it ensures greater likelihood that students who begin their postsecondary education at STC transfer to UTPA on the right path to a baccalaureate degree. In the long run, it will save the student time and money,” said Dr. Ana Maria Rodriguez, UTPA senior vice provost for Undergraduate Studies.

Both campuses hosted the meeting at UTPA to begin the curriculum alignment process between 30 articulation agreements. The Start Here, Finish There program, along with its full set of agreements is anticipated to be completed by December 2009. According to Rodriguez, the first 10 agreements discussed at the meeting included the academic programs of anthropology, biology, theatre, education, kinesiology, mathematics, Mexican-American studies, political science, psychology and social work.

“The University of Texas System is fully supportive of this partnership. This partnership may provide a model for other community colleges and University of Texas System universities,” said Dr. Martha Ellis, UT System’s associate vice chancellor of community college partnerships, who also attended the meeting. “The systemic approach being implemented by STC and UTPA is critical to the success of transfer students. This type of partnership is important to reaching the goals of closing the gap in the number of students attending and completing college. The future economic viability of the state of Texas is dependent upon this type of partnership.”

Rodriguez said in fall 2008, 510 students transferred from STC to UTPA and as part of an action plan to improve student transfers, UTPA is joining with STC to advise students during freshmen year, so students are guaranteed to be on the right path.

In addition, the University opened the UTPA Transfer Center, located across the STC Campus in McAllen on Pecan Boulevard and 29th Street, on Jan. 13 to help facilitate the transfer of STC students to UTPA.

For more information about transferring from STC to UTPA, call 956/292-7441 or 956/292-7442.

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