About

Welcome to the Centers for Learning Excellence at South Texas College. All tutoring, supplemental instruction, and skills instruction is provided free of charge to any STC student. Faculty members can visit our Faculty Connection page for more information regarding our faculty-related services.

About Us Credentials History

The Centers for Learning Excellence is all about student success. By visiting the CLE at your campus, you have access to everything listed below.

  • Walk in and work with a tutor (individually, group, or online)
  • Schedule an appointment to get tutoring or testing services (once your instructor has submitted a Test Proctoring Request Form)
  • Work with an academic coach on building study and time management skills to be successful in your course and program
  • Get scheduled for a TSIA or StudentLingo workshop (in person or online)
  • Learn about supplemental instruction or embedded tutoring
  • Learn about student success skills and workshops
  • Learn about independent study and using CLE study rooms

CRLA Certification

Tutors, Supplemental Instruction Leaders, and staff are trained using criteria from the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). CRLA's tutor training program certification process sets an internationally accepted standard of skills and training for tutors. Once granted CRLA certification, the tutor training programs each have the authority to recognize their tutors as having met the approved International Tutor Training Program Certification (ITTPC) tutor training program requirements. South Texas College certifies tutors at Level I (Regular), Level II (Advanced), and Level 3 (Master).

AVID for Higher Education

AVID for Higher Education’s comprehensive and strategic approach to student success promotes student and faculty engagement in curricular and co-curricular activities. Building relationships with faculty and staff to support students is a unique and key element in the professional learning modules, which focus on high engagement instructional strategies. The modules are designed to assist faculty in engaging students in the learning process within AVID’s Writing to learn, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organizing, & Reading to learn (WICOR) framework. There is additional support for advising, Socratic peer tutoring, and peer mentoring to provide students with comprehensive wrap-around support.

Professional Development

The Center for Learning Excellence provides tutors with a wide variety of opportunities for specialized professional learning in subject-matter content and career development. Trainings are delivered through a series of collaborative workshops and are created to meet the needs of our staff and student population. Tutors are required to demonstrate mastery of various tutoring skills and knowledge, in order to move to the next level of certification through the internationally recognized tutor training program. Through these professional learning opportunities, tutors cultivate effective learning strategies to assist students in achieving their goals and success.

How the CLE Began

South Texas College is a relatively new community college that begin in September 1994. Led by the Division of Developmental Studies, a committee met to designate a department where students could receive tutoring and other academic assistance. The first two tutoring centers were located at the Pecan campus and the Downtown campus.

In 1997, with a growing institution, tutoring centers were established at the Mid-Valley, Starr County, and Technology campuses, with the center being renamed as the Centers for Learning Excellence.

How the CLE Thrived

With the generosity and support of Sylvia Esterline (see below) and her family, the CLE moved from surviving to thriving. STC was named the prime beneficiary of her estate, when she left $1.9 million to the college. The Sylvia Esterline Student Success Center at the Pecan Campus was dedicated on Wednesday, September 20, 2006.

Though the CLE is present at the five main campuses, her gift has created a 20,000 square foot facility, known as The Sylvia Esterline Student Success Center, that provides students with tutoring, study rooms, and computer access and support. Sylvia Esterline’s gift has added to educational attainment throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

Sylvia Esterline

Sylvia EsterlineIn the early 1920's, five-year-old Sylvia Esterline, an immigrant from Russia, came to America with her family to start a new life on the East Coast in Boston, Massachusetts. As was the case with many immigrants during this time, the family was poor and came to America to seek a better life. Esterline, one of six children, worked for many years in a Boston mattress factory to help provide basic necessities for the family.

It was her marriage to Herman Esterline, an Indiana native, which eventually brought her to the Rio Grande Valley. He worked for more than 30 years as a mechanic for Texaco before working at Calvin Bentsen's Ridgegate Ranch, a job he held for nine years prior to retiring. During their marriage, the Esterlines led a simple life, saving money whenever possible. When her husband passed away, Sylvia became a student of the stock market and kept on top of her investments, executing sound decisions that grew their shared nest egg.

Esterline, who died in 2003, named South Texas College as the prime beneficiary of her estate, leaving STC $1.9 million. Due to her generosity, the College was able to open the Sylvia Esterline Student Success Center on the Pecan Campus in McAllen. South Texas College commemorated the generosity of Sylvia Esterline at the dedication of the College's state-of-the-art Sylvia Esterline Student Success Center on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006. The Center is a 20,000 square foot facility dedicated to offering students a variety of academic support services including tutoring, computer-assisted instructional labs, and open computer access. The College celebrated the building dedication with the unveiling of a portrait of Esterline, which is on display at the Center.