On Monday, February 12, 2024, at 11 AM, the Texas Southmost College (TSC) and Texas A&M University Kingsville (TAMUK) convened at TSC’s Performing Arts Center for a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony. The event solidified their collaboration and aimed at enhancing opportunities for students in the local community.

“Our students believe in themselves as much as we believe in them, and that belief is a shared value between TSC and Texas A&M Kingsville,” said TSC President Dr. Jesus Rodríguez as he addressed the crowd gathered for the ceremony. “Together, we have forged a new pathway for economic mobility to move our communities forward.”

The MOU signing will officially expand the established partnership between the two organizations. One key element of the expansion is the addition of more articulation agreements, allowing for even more 2+2 academic programs between the institutions to be built. These programs can provide students with a more seamless avenue to transfer to Texas A&M Kingsville after completing their first two years at TSC.

Additionally, TSC students will be eligible for the Javelina Promise Program, an award that covers remaining student tuition after the Pell Grant, Texas Grant, or scholarship funds have been applied toward their tuition balance.

“I want to highlight how important both TSC and Texas A&M Kingsville have been to both of our communities, to our histories, how they’ve impacted South Texas, generation after generation,” said Texas State Senator Morgan LaMantia.  “I can’t think of two other schools that are more meant to partner together to help our students propel even further. To ensure our students know there is a pathway for them to continue their education. Our leadership at TSC and the leadership at A&M Kingsville will ensure they succeed in what they do.”

A driving force behind these two expanded features is a desire to give students more options in their educational pursuits without the strain of a heavy financial burden. “TSC is the most affordable institution of higher education, and now, students can complete their associate degree at TSC and then transfer to Kingsville, confident that their credits have maximum transferability. They’re earning time and money,” said Dr. Rodríguez.  

The expanded partnership will also foster greater collaboration between the two colleges in raising awareness of new educational opportunities for potential students and organizing student recruitment and community events.

“There’s a spirit of family here that just feels right to us,” said Texas A&M Kingsville President Dr. Robert H. Vela Jr. “We want to be a part of that because we know the tradition that we have in this community is powerful.”

By creating more educational pathways, there is hope that it can open more doors for students in Texas who are seeking out opportunities in higher education, putting them on a pathway to both success and economic prosperity.

“There are kids in our backyard who are incredibly talented and always dreaming of something bigger. If we can show them they’re capable of excellence, they will succeed,” said Dr. Vela. “We will work tirelessly for our students and communities because we believe they deserve the best.”