Saturday, June 5, 2010

New STC Dual Enrollment Academy Coming to Starr County

Krystal Flores, a graduate of STC’s DEMSA, is now a 
pre-medical student at Texas A&M Kingsville.

If you are an entering junior in high school and interested in computers, then South Texas College has a great new, free program for you. Launching in fall 2010, STC’s Dual Enrollment Computer Science Academy (DECSA) is now open for enrollment.

“Building on the success of our Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy, we are currently seeking Starr County students to help us launch DECSA,” said Lupe Chavez, STC director of high school programs. “The new academy is built on the same model as DEMSA, but is geared at students in computer science, with an emphasis in programming and the new field of medical electronic records.”

Interested participants must be enrolled in high schools in Roma ISD or Rio Grande City CISD. Upon acceptance to the program, participants will have the opportunity to participate in community service activities, attend special seminars, activities and field trips related to the computer science field, and receive mentorship from technology professionals. DECSA students will receive specialized tutoring and advising, academic workshops and scholarship search support. Lastly, students can expect to participate in college site visits and summer internship opportunities.

Upon completion of the two-year round program, each participant will earn an Associate of Science in Computer Science weeks before graduating from high school. The degree is transferable toward earning a bachelor’s degree at colleges across the state and is a step in preparing students for careers in computer software engineering, computer systems analysts, information systems and computer programming. The best part? It’s free for qualifying students. 

“To date, Starr County students have performed remarkably well under our Dual Enrollment Academy Program,” added Chavez. “Currently, 46 students are enrolled in DEMSA, with 63 graduating from the program since its launch in 2005. We know students choosing to enroll in DECSA will be just as successful.”

DEMSA graduates have earned more than $764,330 in scholarships to universities across the state including Texas A&M, Baylor University, Texas State University and Texas A&M International University and The University of Texas-Pan American.

“The advantages are clear – finishing your degree faster, taking college classes close to home and the environment is good,” said Krystal Flores, a graduate of STC’s DEMSA and a pre-medical student at Texas A&M Kingsville. “Dual enrollment can be difficult and time consuming, but it really helps you to take the colleges classes in a familiar environment and then be prepared to go on and transfer. If you can set aside being a traditional high school student, you can do it.”

For more information about STC’s new Dual Enrollment Computer Science Academy available through its Starr County Campus contact Lucia Salinas at 956-872-1274 or at

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