Achievements, Awards, National Rankings & Accreditations

South Texas College has continued its tradition of being recognized and honored for its dedication to excellence and its innovative endeavors. The College has received numerous awards from national, state and local organizations that confirm the college’s leadership among the community colleges in the State of Texas and the nation.

Achievements

  • 34,000 students each semester on 5 campuses and a virtual campus;
  • Over 121 degree and certificate options, and 32 fully online programs;
  • Authorized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as one of four community colleges in Texas to offer the Bachelor of Applied Technology and Bachelor of Applied Science degrees.
  • South Texas College was granted the legislative authority by the passage of SB2118 during the 85 th Legislative Session to offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. (Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board).
  • Received bequeaths and endowments valued at over $6 million.
  • Pioneered tuition-free dual enrollment to over 90,000 high school students, saving families over $120 million in tuition since 2003.
  • South Texas College leads the nation in the number of partnerships that it has developed with area Independent School Districts, which includes 30 Early College High Schools and 6 Dual Credit Academies with over 15,000 students in the pipeline to earn up to Associate Degree in addition to their high school diploma.
  • Partnered with 9 local school high schools to develop the High School Recovery Program which has helped over 4,500 high school dropouts earn a diploma and college credit since 2007
  • Established the North American Advanced Manufacturing Research and Education Initiative (NAAMREI) designed to develop the regional workforce to be the national leader in advanced manufacturing and serves as the Corporate Headquarters/Executive Office.
  • Received community approval to establish a taxing district for operation of the College and successfully passed three bond elections resulting in the issuance of $277 million in construction bonds.
  • Developed the Valley Scholars Program in 1997 to provide two year scholarships to top 10% of local high school graduates.
  • Since the creation of South Texas College in 1993, the unemployment rate in its two-county district has dropped significantly from 24.1% to 8% for Hidalgo County, and from 40.3% to 11% for Starr County, as of August 2017. Additionally, the population below the poverty level has dropped from 41.5% to 31% for Hidalgo County, and from 59.6% to 31% in Starr County.
  • Recognized as a catalyst for regional economic prosperity and social mobility for Hidalgo and Starr counties.
  • Awarded a $2.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education, for 5 years, to increase the higher education success of Hispanic students in 2014.
  • Selected to participate in the Integrated Planning and Advising for Success (IPAS) in Higher Education Initiative to engage in bold and holistic institutional change to improve student success.
  • Invited by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden to participate in the White House College Opportunity Summit in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 4, 2014 .
  • Selected by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics “Bright Spots in Hispanic Education National Online Catalog.” Over 230 Bright Spots featured in the catalog are helping ensure the educational attainment for the country’s Hispanic community, from cradle-to-career in 2015.
  • Selected as one of nine colleges to serve as a Co-Development Partner with the New Mathways Project, led by the Texas Association of Community Colleges and the Charles A. Dana Center, to redesign developmental mathematics course offerings. The project is a statewide approach to reforming mathematics developmental education.
  • Developed the JagExpress in partnership with LRGVDC to provide free shuttle service with Wi-Fi, connecting five campuses across Hidalgo and Starr counties.
  • Invited to Join Excelencia in Education’s launch of the Presidents for Latino Student Success’ program which included leaders throughout the country to make America stronger by increasing degree attainment for Latino students and all students.
  • Received approval from the Texas Board of Nursing to pilot the nation’s first dual enrollment nursing program with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and the PSJA Independent School District.
  • Established the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) and train over 3,200 workers in Advanced Manufacturing annually.
  • Certified as a globally recognized FESTO Certified Training Center for Robotics and Industrial Automation.
  • Accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) to establish manufacturing skill standards and competency assessments.
  • Host an annual College and Career Readiness Summit focused on improving College and Career Readiness of all students.
  • Established the Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence to provide college level training for Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) Certified Peace Officers.
  • Selected as one of five recipients in the State of Texas to be awarded an $800,000 Texas Regional STEM Degree Accelerator (TRSDA) Grant, and Educate Texas initiative, focused on regional collaboration, changing STEM teaching and learning, increasing student success, and ensuring that education and workforce are aligned. The overall goal is to impact up to 100,000 underrepresented students across the state of Texas.
  • Established South Texas College Online as a virtual campus with 32 online degrees and certificates and a full complement of online student services.
  • Established Center for Mexican American Studies to expand cultural programs promoting Hispanic Heritage and includes the acclaimed Ballet Folklorico South Texas College.
  • Established the South Texas College Department of Public Safety with 16 police officers and 33 security personnel.
  • Selected as one of four community colleges in the State of Texas to be awarded a $672,021 Accelerate Texas grant from Texas Workforce Commission to provide career pathway training through Continuing Education to individuals lacking secondary credentials.
  • Selected as one of six community colleges in the State of Texas to mentor other colleges through Continuing Education in the area of Integrated Education and Training Career Pathways.
  • Since the creation of Continuing Education in 2006, enrollment has increased from 1,790 to 13,904 in all eleven institutes: Arts and Design, Business and Corporate Training, College and Career Preparation, Conferences and Workshops, Education, Healthcare, Online Training, Police Academy, Real Estate, Technology and Trades, and Truck and Bus Driving.
  • Invited by Catch the Next, a national organization that enhances opportunities for at-risk and first generation students, to develop and implement in the State of Texas, the first of three Puente Projects.
  • Awarded $1.2 million dollar, 4-year grant by Department of Labor to address the critical shortage of Computer and Information Technology (CIT) professions in Hidalgo and Starr counties by establishing strategic partnerships with key members of the business community to identify and address regional workforce challenges. The college and its partners engaged in capacity building activities to develop and tailor CIT training curricula and competency models that are specific to the workforce needs of the region. The activities aligned with the vision and strategies of the four regional economic development corporations that service the two-county area. The program served 1,225 participants and leveraged $775,000 from our partners.
  • South Texas College nationally recognized by Exelencia in Education among 2017 ‘Examples of Excelencia’ institutions for accelerating academic success for Latino students.

Awards

South Texas College has a two-decade history of national recognition and rankings. It is embedded in the institutional culture to exceed all expectations in our commitment to serve the needs of all residents of deep South Texas.

  • South Texas College was recognized by Excelencia in Education as the 2017 national winner in the Baccalaureate category for its Competency-Based Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership.
  • 2013 Leah Meyer Austin Institutional Student Success Leadership Award by the Kresge Foundation.
  • MetLife Foundation: 2008 Community College Excellence Award for promoting educational and economic advancement
  • Association of Community College Trustees: 2005 Western Region Equity Award.
  • Association of Community College Trustees: 2012 M. Dale Ensign Trustee Leadership Award.
  • First round Achieving the Dream College in 2004, ATD Leader College since 2009, and selected as an ATD Texas Peer Coach in 2012
  • Awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association in 2016 for the 14 th consecutive year.
  • Received a Partnership Award from the Texas Workforce Commission, which recognizes South Texas College’s work with employers and workers to meet the demands of a global economy by aligning skills with current and future workforce needs.
  • North American Council for Staff Professional and Organizational Development (NCSPOD): Institutional Merit Award in 2014.
  • Awarded eleven Medallion Awards and three Paragon Awards, including the National Pacesetter Award, by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations for outstanding achievement in communications at community and technical colleges.
  • In The Making advertising campaign garnered a Best of Show award from the Higher Education Marketing Report; a Judge’s Choice award from the Collegiate Advertising Awards; and an ADDY Silver Star Award for the Visual – Illustration campaign component.
  • Awarded 17 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards for the commitment to the professional development of faculty, administrators, and staff, and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success in 2014 (With over 150 NISOD awards since 2007).
  • 2011 Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr. Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE).
  • Received the Government Treasurers’ Organization of Texas Certificate of Distinction for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. The certificate was issued for the District’s success in developing an investment policy that meets the requirements of the Public Funds Investment Act and the standards for prudent public investing established by the Government Treasurers’ Organization of Texas. The Certificate of Distinction is effective for a two-year period ending August 31, 2016.
  • Early College High Schools Program selected by Excelencia in Education for the ¡Examples of Excelencia!
  • Valley Scholars Program recognized in the 2014 edition of What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education by Excelencia in Education.
  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Star Award for the Exemplary Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy in 2012; and the Star Award for development of the PSJA College, Career and Technology Academy for recovering high school drop-outs in 2009.
  • Recognition of the Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy as Top Finalist for the Association of Community College Trustees 2013 Legacy Award.
  • Recognition as Finalist for the 2013 Student Success Excellence Award by the American Association of Community Colleges.
  • 2013 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education for significant contributions to increase the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds who enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
  • In 2013, President Reed was recognized as part of the Good Samaritan Community Services-Rio Grande Valley’s third annual event, for dedicating her career to changing the lives of youth and adults in South Texas.
  • Texas Distance Learning Association Institutional Commitment to Excellence and Innovation Award.
  • South Texas College Online (Distance Learning) became recognized as a Military Friendly, GoArmy Ed Portal Partner, and Air Force Academic Institutional Partner.
  • Commendation from SACS COC: Dual Credit
  • National Recognition of Cyber Security Applied Science Program

National Rankings

  • Community College Week's Top 100 Associate Degree & Certificate Producers, 2016 ranks South Texas College 2 nd in awarding Associate Degrees to Hispanic students and 25 th out of more than 1,100 community colleges in awarding Associate Degrees in all disciplines.
  • In 2017, Hispanic Outlook's Top 100 list ranked South Texas College:
    • 2 nd in nation for enrolling the most Hispanics among the nation's colleges and universities
    • 4 th in nation for awarding Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, and Firefighting Degrees to Hispanics
    • 6 th in nation for awarding Computer and Information Science Degrees to Hispanics
    • 7 th in nation for awarding Education Degrees to Hispanics
    • 9 th in nation for awarding Paralegal Degrees to Hispanics
  • Diverse Issues in Higher Education's 2017 list of "Top 100 Degree Producers " ranked South Texas College:
    • 1 st in the Nation in awarding Associate Degrees to Hispanic students in Education
    • 2 nd in the Nation in awarding Associate Degrees to Hispanic Students in all Disciplines
    • 6 th in the Nation for awarding Bachelor Degrees in Health and Medical Administrative Services to Hispanic students
  • #1 in the nation as the most affordable Public 4 year institution by the Department of Education, the College Affordability and Transparency Center, 2014-2015 Rankings.
  • South Texas College Online Ranked by ONLINEU as 1 Most Affordable Online College in the Nation
  • Top 150 for Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence
  • South Texas College among Top Nursing Schools in the Southwest.

Accreditations

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Collages accreditation to award Baccalaureate and Associate degrees
  • The Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
  • Texas Board of Nursing (ADN and VN)
  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (accredits Health Information Technology)
  • National Accreditation Commission for Early Child Care and Education Programs
  • Texas Department of Aging and Disability (accredits Patient Care Assisting)
  • Texas Department of State Health Services (accredits Emergency Medical Technology)
  • Committee on Accreditation of Education Programs for the Emergency Medical Service Professions
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
  • Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
  • National Automotive Technical Education Foundation (NATEF)
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS)
  • Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas (Vocational Nursing)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA)
  • Council for Business Schools & Programs