EDINBURG, RGV – Despite the recent news announcing the probation of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley due to accreditation problems, the university and South Texas College signed an articulation agreement allowing students from the community college to transfer smoothly into UTRGV.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) put UTRGV on probation for a year. Havidan Rodriguez, UTRGV provost, said the University is waiting for written documentation from SACSCOC that will be forthcoming mid-January for a clear understanding of how the University got to this point.
The University remains fully accredited by SACSCOC. Rodriguez said the academic credentials of UTRGV have not been challenged and as a strong institution, are building excellent undergraduate and graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral level. The probation has no impact over UTRGV students, academic credentials or degrees, he said.
“More importantly, we need to figure out how to address the issues and concerns that SACSCOC has and continue to move forward,” Rodriguez told the Rio Grande Guardian. “This does not stop–by any way, shape or form–the growth and development of UTRGV and its administrative and academic programs.”
Despite being on probation, UTRGV signed a 2+2 articulation agreement with South Texas College (STC). Shirley Reed, president of STC, said she believes the probation issue regarding UTRGV will be resolved and that it does not affect STC’s decision on partnering with the University.
“Unless you’re intimately involved with the accreditation process, it sounds really scary and it is cause for concern However, there is a very systematic, methodical process for addressing all of those concerns and we have just every confidence that it will all get resolved,” Reed told the Rio Grande Guardian. “It’s going to take some attention and it’s going to take some hard work.”
The articulation agreement, 2+2, will allow students to begin their higher education at STC for two years and smoothly transition to UTRGV for the remaining two years to earn their baccalaureate degree. There are a total of 26 articulation agreements for degrees in the areas of nursing, business, liberal arts and social sciences as well as science, technology, engineering and math.
STC had about 50 different articulation agreements with UTRGV’s two legacy institutions–the University of Texas Pan American and the University of Texas at Brownsville. The 2+2 articulation agreement is a first for UTRGV–statistics show that about 75 percent of UTRGV’s last graduating class attended STC at some point.
“In June 2015, STC made the commitment to develop articulation agreements program by program,” Reed said in a news release from STC. “Our concern was the students don’t take the wrong courses, don’t waste time or money; and unless you have been directly involved in developing these agreements, you don’t realize the type of dedication and hard work that went to putting in these agreements together.”