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Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas Southmost College expand on collaboration through MOU signing

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TAMU TSC Presidents MOU pose

Texas Southmost College President Dr. Jesus Rodriguez, seated left, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville president Dr. Robert vela, seated right, hold up memorandums of understanding during a signing ceremony Monday, February 12, 2024, at the TSC Performing Arts Center in Brownsville.  They are surrounded by, standing from left, TAMUK Vice President of Student Affairs & Community Relations Dr. Rito Silva , TSC trustee Eva Alejandro, State Sen. Morgan LaMantia,  TSC Board of Trustees Chairwoman Adela G. Garza, TSC trustee Delia Saenz, TAMUK Chief Administrative Officer Henry Burgos and TSC Board of Trustees Vice Chair J.J De Leon Jr. 

KINGSVILLE (February 15, 2024) — Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Texas Southmost College signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), furthering the collaboration between the institutions as proactive educational partners Monday, February 12, at the TSC Performing Arts Center in Brownsville.

The agreement was signed by TAMUK president Dr. Robert H. Vela Jr. and TSC president Jesus Rodriguez and expands on the current agreement by allowing more 2 + 2 academic programs between the schools. By doing so, the hope is to strengthen the current agreement, which aims to make transfer to TAMUK from TSC after two years more seamless by having college-level credits earned apply to the greatest extent possible.

Vela said he believes the agreement is a fitting one as it helps both institutions, which have long shared strong South Texas values and want to continue providing local students the best possible options.

“Students need choices,” Vela said. “Wherever they feel comfortable and feel like they can thrive, that’s the institution for them. We just want to be a part of that because we know the tradition that we have in this community is powerful. Texas Southmost College and Texas A&I University were the [originals] of South Texas. We were here for these communities when no one else believed in South Texas. There is an array of excellence that has come from (both institutions).

“When you can marry those values and you can bring what we do day in and day out and the commitment to strategize and figure out ways to make things easier for our students, there’s something special in the air with this partnership,” Vela continued.

Also in the agreement is a pledge to collaborate on student recruitment and raising awareness about the new opportunities in local communities.

The agreement also will make transferring students eligible for the Javelina Promise Program, which will cover tuition gaps remaining after Texas grants and scholarships have been applied.

“This is a win-win for all of us,” Rodriguez said. “Providing high quality affordable education remains a focus for both institutions. TSC is the most affordable institution of higher education in the entire Rio Grande Valley. A student can complete their (general education) or associates degree at one third the cost of a local university and then transfer to Kingsville and be confident that their credits have maximum transferability. They are earning time and money.

“TSC’s Board Trustees are always strategic in who we partner,” Rodriguez,” added. “We don't partner for the sake of partnering, but we bring value added to our communities and the opportunities for their success and TAMUK represents that partnership for us.”

State Sen. Morgan LaMantia was one of the people on-hand for the MOU signing and praised the agreement and expressed its importance to South Texas.

“I wanted to highlight just how important both TSC and Texas A&M-Kingsville have been to both of our communities, to our histories, how they've impacted South Texas generation after generation,” she said. “Whether they went to TSC or A&M-Kingsville or A&I, it's that pride and that history that I think reverberates through all the students through all the professors and the administrators in both schools. And so, partnership between these two schools, seeing these two colors up here together, I think, makes more sense. I can't believe it's taken so long for it to happen, but so glad it has.”


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