Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Texas A&M Kingsville System Center-San Antonio marks milestone with 1000th graduate

KINGSVILLE - May 16, 2007

Contact: Melissa Welch
mwelch@rc-co.com or 210-829-1953

William Coleman, 47, walked across the stage of South San Antonio High School auditorium on May 12 as the 1000th graduate of Texas A&M Kingsville System Center-San Antonio, a milestone for the start-up system center that began offering classes at the Palo Alto Community College Campus in August 2000.

“Seven years ago, Texas A&M regents moved to address a major educational need in South San Antonio, an area that has been historically underserved in terms of higher education. Through the creation of our campus, dedicated students like William have achieved success. He is a prime example of how Texas A&M Kingsville System Center-San Antonio can change and inspire a life,” said Dr. Carolyn Green, System Center-San Antonio Interim Executive Director/Dean of Academic and Student Affairs.

Slated to become the Texas A&M San Antonio campus, the Texas Legislature has authorized $40 million in tuition revenue bonds if the system center can enroll 1,500 full-time students by 2010.

“The more successes like William that we can generate, the more we can secure the future of Texas A&M in San Antonio,” said Green.

Coleman, a retired Army Sergeant Major, began classes at the System Center-San Antonio in Summer 2005. “I moved to San Antonio after retiring from the Army and wanted to go back to school to become a teacher,” said Coleman, who considers teaching a privilege, not a job.

“With seven children, I know the importance of teaching. Teachers are the role models for all our kids. They make the biggest difference. I wanted to be a part of that difference—and Dr. Jean Rodman and the staff in the education department at the System Center-San Antonio helped make it happen for me,” said Coleman.

A non-traditional student, Coleman returned to college after receiving his associate degree in 2001. He required assistance in transferring credits to reach his goal of graduating by 2007.

“William brought a high level of professionalism and experience into the classroom. He was a dedicated, prepared student with a great sense of humor and an affinity for working with children,” said Dr. Jean Rodman, assistant professor in the College of Education. “He’s going to be an excellent teacher.”

Coleman will receive a bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary studies, and is seeking a position as a fourth grade teacher with the Southwest Independent School District.

“Never give up on your dreams. The older you get, the better prepared you are to go to school,” said Coleman.

The System Center-San Antonio offers 12, undergraduate programs including: criminology, English, history, mathematics, psychology, sociology, accounting, applied arts and sciences, business administration-management, kinesiology, computer information systems and elementary education. In Fall 2007, the System Center-San Antonio will add a marketing program and begin to offer master’s degree programs in early childhood education and special education. A graduate-level alternative teacher certification program begins in June. Students who complete the program will have the opportunity to earn a master’s degree at.

Beginning Fall 2007, the System Center-San Antonio will host classes at its interim facility located on 1450 Gillette, a few blocks from the Palo Alto Community College Campus. The new facility doubles classroom capacity and provides additional infrastructure needed for its continued growth.

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