During the visit, Bailey had the opportunity to speak to current STC Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy (DEMSA) students and an alumna currently doing research with Yale University. They are all prime examples of the quality education and bright futures South Texas College provides for students pursuing careers in the medical field.
DEMSA students Tania Vargas and Marco Cruz were both interested and eager to hear about UTRGV and their possible future prospects with the medical school. As a student at McAllen High School, Vargas has plans to attend a medical school in Texas and pursue a degree in anesthesiology. Cruz is a student at Sharyland High School, and his goals consist of obtaining a bachelor’s in biology and then pursuing a doctorate degree to eventually practice psychiatry in the Rio Grande Valley.
Even though both students are still enrolled in high school, they are scheduled to graduate in 2015 with an associate’s degree from South Texas College, making them optimal candidates to transition to the new university.
According to recently approved admissions criteria,
students with associate’s degrees will have automatic admission into UTRGV. “The programs that are going to be very focused with the new university are the ones that prepare students who are strong in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” Reed said. “Much of this work is going to be done in partnerships with our public schools. Students who want to go to medical school must work towards a strong associate’s degree in the sciences so they are well prepared to do the upper division work.
Well prepared students from South Texas College are making great strides in their educational and professional careers.
Recent graduate Karina Cerda was also in attendance to share her success story with Bailey.
“I am South Texas College’s biggest cheerleader,” exclaimed Cerda. “I earned my Associate of Science in Biology and Chemistry and then continued at South Texas College to pursue a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Medical and Health Services Management. It’s because of STC that I am continuing my education and reaching my goals.”
Cerda is currently pursuing a Master in Public Health at Texas A&M University and is employed by Yale University’s School of Public Health, conducting research at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.
“South Texas College students are already battle-tested, tried and true,” Bailey said. “Those with associate’s degrees will have automatic admission into UTRGV. I understand the role of community colleges and look forward to working with STC in the future.”