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MCALLEN, RGV – South Texas College and Baylor University have announced a new partnership with the Baylor Bound transfer agreement to help students from the community college transfer to the university.

The Baylor Bound transfer agreement lets students begin their secondary education at one of the ten participating institutions. During the student’s first year at a community college, the student must complete courses under the Major Academic Planners (MAPs) that will ensure all credits are transferrable to the university. Upon completing the student’s first year, the student is eligible to transfer to Baylor University.

Shirley Reed, president of South Texas College (STC), said the agreement ushers in a beneficial working relationship to meet the education needs of the students of the Valley.

“This agreement with Baylor creates a seamless pathway that will allow South Texas College students to move from an Associate Degree to a Bachelor’s degree as efficiently as possible,” Reed said.”

David Garland, Baylor’s interim president, said it is through strong Baylor Bound collaborations such as STC that the university is able to expand education opportunities for students in Texas.

“South Texas College Baylor Bound students will have access to Baylor’s outstanding academic programs and impressive faculty and opportunities for leadership and service at Baylor,” Garland said. “We place a great deal of emphasis on placement so that over 90 percent of our students will be placed in a job or another graduate school upon their graduation.”

Ali Esmaeili, dean for Math, Science and Bachelor Programs, said higher education universities in other regions, such as Baylor, are reaching out to STC.

“They know that this is the place to have a relationship with, that the growth of this institution, the quality of instruction, the leadership of our institution and the pathway that we create for other institutions to complete the degree have attracted other higher level education institutions,” Esmaeili said. “We welcome them to our institution because it creates opportunity for us.

One goal of STC is to create educational opportunities to allow their students to have attend a university of their choice. Through the Baylor Bound transfer agreement, STC students have another option to choose from to pursue their bachelor’s degree.

“We are after the interest of our own students and we are looking for every opportunity that exists around us,” Esmaeili said. “After that, we bring those institutions here and sign an agreement with them and they sort of market that university among our students that have a choice to travel or go wherever they’d like to go. They deserve the best universities.”

Baylor University is limiting their transfers to about 450 students a year. According to the university’s website, accepted students are eligible for transfer academic scholarships ranging up to $11,000 per academic year. Those students will also be considered for a Baylor Bound scholarship of about $2,000 to $3,000 per academic year. Other benefits include students’ ability to apply to the Transfer Year Experience Living-Learning Center (TYE-LLC)–a community of students going through the same transition.

McAllen Mayor Jim Darling had hoped to speak at the news conference but had a prior engagement. Darling is a Baylor alumnus.