DMC and TAMU-CC Leaders Sign MOUs Focused on Student Success
New College Connection Program encourages students to complete associate’s degree prior to earning bachelor’s degree while transferability agreement renewal ensures credits earned count toward degrees at both institutions
Article by Melinda Eddleman
Student success is the priority for both Del Mar College (DMC) and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC). On June 27, signing at the university of two Memorandums of Understanding by both institution’s leadership reaffirms that commitment and the long-standing partnership the college and university have held to ensure Coastal Bend students receive a higher education leading to their success.
DMC President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Escamilla, Ph.D., and TAMU-CC President and CEO Dr. Kelly Miller “sealed the deals” by renewing a transferability agreement and initiating the new College Connection Program (CCP) that guarantees selected students’ admission to the university after completing program requirements, including earning an associate’s degree from the college.
The CCP agreement also allows participants to use appropriate TAMU-CC course credits toward completion of a DMC associate’s degree.
One of the things I find most rewarding about working in higher education in the Coastal Bend is that we’re focused on student success. It's not about where a student goes to college. It’s about getting students in college, getting more students at the university and getting more students on the path to their success.
She noted how the pandemic affected the number of students pursuing a college-level education and that the region has “incredible kids coming out of local districts who don’t necessarily go on for an advanced degree.”
“But, working together, we can do everything possible to help these students understand the opportunities available to them and get them back on the path that they might have had for themselves pre-COVID,” Dr. Miller said of the collaboration, adding: “I’m very happy for partnerships such as this and opportunities to make students’ journey seamless. We’re moving forward in a way that not only becomes successful for our students but is also a model for the state and beyond to show what it’s like to work as partners and put students first to help them reach their dreams and become successful.”
As an alumnus of both institutions and having transferred course credits from DMC to the university when working toward his own bachelor’s degree, Dr. Escamilla noted, “This is what we’re talking about here––improving that connection and making sure that our students for generations to come continue to be served to the maximum.”
He added, “Maximum quality. There’s no question. Efficiency is our challenge, and that is what we will continue to work on so that every penny invested and every minute invested of our students’ time is done for their benefit as we continue to advance our relationship between both schools.”
Some terms/conditions of the new College Connection Program agreement are:
· Only students selected by TAMU-CC from among applicants to the university will be invited to participate in the CCP.
· Students admitted into the CCP must identify an intended degree program at DMC prior to registration for their first academic term in the program.
· CCP students will be encouraged to complete their associate’s degree from the college prior to transferring to TAMU-CC.
· After earning 24 transferrable semester credit hours, CCP students may apply to a degree-granting major using the TAMU-CC Change of Major form if they have maintained a minimum 2.0 GPA at DMC, achieved the minimum TAMU-CC GPA required by the major and completed all other entry requirements for that major.
· CCP students will be permitted to transfer course credits from TAMU-CC to DMC in accordance with the college’s policies. The use and application of these credits at DMC shall be determined by students’ associate’s degree programs.
· CCP students must meet the following enrollment requirements:
o must enroll in a minimum of 12 total semester credit hours each Fall and Spring semester at DMC.
o maximum semester credit hour enrollment for Summer I and II sessions is 7 at DMC.
o maximum combined enrollment limit for CCP students in summer school is 14 semester credit hours.
Overall, the DMC and TAMU-CC collaboration will greatly serve Coastal Bend students through the two institutions’ joint admissions and partnership agreement and articulation and reverse transferability agreement to allow students to earn both their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees between the two institutions.
Dr. Escamilla concluded his announcement remarks by mentioning the state’s new community college funding system that will provide DMC with the resources to open access to more Coastal Bend students.
The system will help build our student population and bring more Coastal Bend residents to the college in all aspects of study, including our Continuing Education workforce training programs. We’ll have the opportunity to spark their imaginations, bring them over to the credit side from Continuing Education and give them a foothold into higher education.
That’s a winning proposition for the entire Coastal Bend.
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.