Over 35 STC Ascender students and staff attended a virtual UTRGV Transfer Conference on October 23. The conference lasted from 12:30 until 4 pm.

Starr campus Ascender instructor and program director, Dr. Alaniz, took students through a self-discovery activity as they signed in and waited for the session to begin. Dr. Juan Ramirez, Ascender English instructor from Pecan campus, welcomed participants and told them they were a unique group because they were invited to join the Ascender program. He concluded by saying “I am confident all of you will achieve your goals. Echale ganas.”

Next Larry Montalvo from UTRGV welcomed the students and introduced them to an orientation leader who took them on a virtual tour of the campus. After the tour, Montalvo explained the UTRGV transfer process to participants and answered any questions they had.

Dr. Kelli Anne Davis, STC Director of University Relations, Transfer & Articulation, then talked to students about STC’s transfer support services and discussed the transfer process for those universities with the highest level of transfer students. She also gave students contact names and their emails from several universities.

The last session was a UTRGV Ascender Alumni Panel where alumni shared their journeys and their experiences in transferring from STC to UTRGV. They began by telling the participants where they are now. Yazmin Soto talked with excitement about her present job with in San Antonio. Karolina Vargas is taking master classes for criminal justice with plans to transfer focusing on cyber defense. Marco hopes to get his Bachelor’s degree from STC in seven weeks.

After sharing where they are now, they answered questions like “When did you start the transfer process? and “How does advising work at UTRGV?” They also offered advice on the three most important contacts in the transfer process.   

When asked what advice they would give students if they knew then what they know now, they said, “Start applying as soon as possible for jobs; Manage your time wisely; It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to graduate; Don’t be scared to ask questions; Don’t give up; anything is possible.” Dr. Anna Alaniz told the panel “You’ve already walked that path. We want you to tell our students how to be successful. That’s why we invited you here.” 

Yazmin Soto said she wanted to say thank you to her STC instructors and the Ascender program. “You helped me mature, be responsible and be a better student. You gave me a strong foundation. This program makes us more than we are and shows us that we can dream.”

During the wrap up session, STC Ascender instructors shared their stories and offered advice.

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