Texas A&M forges partnerships with STC, Edinburg school district

Officials announce a new partnership between Texas A&M and South Texas College for Engineering Academy on Feb. 13, 2023. (Courtesy: South Texas College/Facebook)

Texas A&M University has partnered with South Texas College to launch the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at South Texas College.

According to a news release Monday, the co-enrollment partnership is intended to meet the state’s growing need for engineers.

The academy will enroll its first group of students this coming fall. Students who qualify will be admitted to the Texas A&M College of Engineering. They will complete their first two years of school at STC before finishing their engineering degrees at College Station.

We’re excited about this partnership and what it means for our students and our communities.

Students who want to participate in the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at STC will have 22 majors to choose from within the College of Engineering at Texas A&M. The program will be accepting applications for the fall semester through June 15.

“We continue to work with our outstanding community college partners across Texas to offer students a unique path to earn an engineering degree,” Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp said in the news release. “Now students in South Texas have the opportunity to start their college career closer to home for the first couple of years while being part of one of the best engineering schools in the country.”

According to the release, students will save an estimated $4,600 in tuition and fees each semester that they are enrolled in the academy before moving on to Texas A&M.

“I’m excited about the creation of our newest Engineering Academy and the opportunities it provides for students in South Texas,” Dr. John E. Hurtado, interim vice chancellor and dean of engineering at Texas A&M, said in the release. “It is always important to offer students an affordable premier education. We look forward to welcoming our first cohort to the Aggie family this fall.”

According to the release, the need for engineers in Texas is projected to reach 51,000 by 2028. The two entities are hopeful that the academy, along with programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) will help meet that need.

“We have great talent in our region; talent that is being recognized state and nationwide,” STC President Dr. Ricardo J. Solis said in the news release. “Our job is to ensure that this talent is fostered, and students are given opportunities to excel through partnerships like this one with Texas A&M. Through this initiative, qualified Valley students accepted into this Engineering Academy will have the opportunity to gain guaranteed admission into one of the most competitive engineering colleges in the country.

“We’re excited about this partnership and what it means for our students and our communities.”

It’s a great partnership, I see it going a long way and I’m excited to see what the future holds.

News about the partnership came the same day that Texas A&M University RGV Advanced Manufacturing Hub and the Edinburg school district ​​signed a memorandum of understanding to provide training to students, school district staff and teachers in applied engineering, manufacturing, cyber security, robotics and other programs to develop a highly skilled workforce development pipeline for the local advanced manufacturing industry.

“We are going to guide these students as they get ready to lead and take on new roles here in South Texas,” Sharp, the Texas A&M chancellor, said in a news release. “They’ll learn about Cybersecurity, they’ll learn about robotics, advanced manufacturing and other industries. Our instructors from A&M will offer them all the tools they are going to need to be successful in all of these fields, especially in this part of South Texas where the growth is limitless in my opinion. We are very proud to be here with Edinburg CISD to sign this MOU.”

Edinburg CISD’s partnership with Texas A&M is another effort to create collegiate opportunities for students following the partnership with the University of Texas for the creation of the new Collegiate High School.

“It’s not only going to be teaching our kids, but our teachers will have the opportunity to learn more as well,” ECISD Board President Miguel “Mike” Farias said in the release. “It’s a great opportunity to give all of our students to get into the tech world and to work directly with manufacturing companies.

“It’s a great partnership, I see it going a long way and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

The signing of the MOU was held Monday at South Texas College in McAllen. According to the release, the partnership is the first of its kind between the two entities.

“This is a historic day,” Dr. Mario Salinas, Superintendent for Edinburg CISD, said in the release. “Texas A&M as everybody knows is a world class institution and when the opportunity to partner with them came up we knew it would be good for our students and that’s the idea, providing more opportunities for our students.

“It will also be good for our staff, they will be introduced to newer technologies that they can teach our students. These technologies are in high demand so students have a pathway to college and a future job.”

For more information about the programs and how to apply for the Engineering Academy, visit www.engineering.tamu.edu/academies.