Del Mar College’s Sinton AEL Center opens with pep rally-style celebration
Article by: Michael Bratten
A drumline, cheerleaders and the Sinton High School Pirate welcomed Del Mar College (DMC) today at the grand opening of DMC’s Sinton Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Center. The festivities were followed by comments from DMC and local officials and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Del Mar College is here to help residents of Sinton and San Patricio County realize their educational dreams. There is a tremendous amount of economic growth happening in this area. We want this center to be a pipeline for adult students to enter the workforce, pursue a certification or associate’s degree, or perhaps all three.
Guests at the grand opening included Pari Whitten, superintendent of Sinton Independent School District, Lesly Sence, executive director of the Sinton Chamber of Commerce and chamber members.
The Sinton AEL Center is possible due to a $2 million Adult Education and Literacy grant awarded to Del Mar College in 2014 by the Texas Workforce Commission. With the grant, DMC is expanding needed educational programs in an 11-county region of the Coastal Bend, including San Patricio County. Sinton is the College’s 11th off-campus satellite site.
The programs – General Education Development (GED), English as a Second Language (ESL) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs – are offered free of charge to adults of any age.
Registration for these programs is currently underway; orientation for students will be March 19. To register, call 361-698-1748.
The programs are an answer to the White House’s challenge to community colleges, called the 21st Century Initiative Challenge. That challenge, from former President Barack Obama, stated that by 2020, community colleges would educate an additional five million students with degrees, certificates and other credentials.
“In terms of economic development in San Patricio County, the need for an educated workforce – from high school diploma or equivalent to college certificates and degrees – is no longer just preferred, it’s a requirement,” said Dr. Leonard Rivera, DMC dean of Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs. “This facility is a key resource in not only increasing access for the Sinton community and San Patricio County residents at large, but also increasing educational attainment for all.”
In the future, Del Mar plans to also offer Career Pathways, continuing education and credit courses at the Sinton AEL Center that lead to degrees and certifications sought by Coastal Bend employers, including those in the petrochemical, healthcare and business fields, Rivera added.
About Del Mar College
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.