McALLEN - Addressing a sea of colorful stoles and eager students, South Texas College President Dr. Shirley A. Reed took a moment to reflect on their academic journey, and where they go from here.
“Graduates, everyone here at South Texas College have been committed to helping you turn your hopes, your goals and all your dreams into reality,” Dr. Reed told graduating students. “This is the day we celebrate with you, your many accomplishments. I know every graduate is equally proud to have attended and graduated from South Texas College.”
More than 2,000 students conferred their certificate, associate or bachelor’s degrees from STC this December 2016 at State Farm Arena. The ceremony for Business and Technology and Bachelor’s degrees held their commencement ceremony at 10 a.m.. Liberal arts graduates had their ceremony at 2 p.m.
This is the third year STC held December commencement ceremonies in order to accommodate the rapidly growing number of graduates. Earlier this year, approximately 4,027 students earned their certificate, associate or bachelor’s degrees from STC, including approximately 2,066 dual enrollment students who earned certificate or associate degrees before graduating from high school.
“We talk amongst our staff to let them realize that this is why we are here. We are here for this day. We have excellent staff who work at graduation, and who are dedicated to making this day special for students,” said Matthew Hebbard, STC Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “This is a great reminder of why we are here and why we do what we do. Every single moment we come to work, every student we talk to, every process that we improve and every area we look at is for this day and to see students have their special moment.”
Included in the December graduation number are more than 100 Bachelor Program students who earned either a Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) in Technology Management, Computer and Information Technologies, Medical and Health Services Management or a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Organizational Leadership. STC is one of only three community colleges approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer Bachelor’s degrees.
“I’m proud to be a part of all the changes at South Texas College. I’m proud to be here in this program. There is no better college,” said Ricardo Ginez who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Health Services Management. “I’ve always been passionate about the health field, and I have always wanted to be a part to the health field. To be a hospital administrator, that’s something that’s unbelievable.
“I’m excited and I couldn’t be any happier,” Ginez said. “I’m just waiting to get this chapter over in my life, get into the work field and then going for my Master’s degree.”
STC offers more than 119 degree and certificate program options in a variety of liberal art, social science, business, math, science, technology, advanced manufacturing and nursing and allied health fields of study. With more than 150 agreements with colleges and universities across the nation, transfer opportunities for students who wish to continue their education beyond STC’s offerings are also available.