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Zarate, University Center Moving Forward in 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013
By Eladio Jaimez

Stephen Zarate As Texas State Technical College and the University Center continue to grow, UC director Stephen Zarate is staying busy these days.

Open since the fall of 2011, Zarate’s only been the University Center director since April 2012. He’s been with TSTC for two and a half years, previously serving as the Director of Adult Education.

Today, Zarate is in charge of the University Center which essentially houses eight universities from across the state that offer students from the Rio Grande Valley an opportunity to obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees from the various reputable universities.

The eight universities available to students at the UC are the University of Texas-Pan American, the University of Texas at Brownsville, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, the University of Houston, Our Lady of the Lake University, Wayland Baptist University and LeTourneau University.

Zarate said five of the eight universities are currently active and offering classes and programs of study. The other three universities have yet to began offering classes but Zarate said that’s about to change in the near future.

Zarate’s been working diligently in the past few weeks to get all eight universities up and running at the University Center and create more opportunities for local students.

“I want to create pathways for TSTC students in the different programs,” Zarate said. “I want to create an understanding or agreement between the universities and TSTC to allow students to filter their courses into the universities.”

Zarate said the Business Management Technology program at TSTC and the University of Houston have an agreement that facilitates the transfer of courses to Houston.

In August, Wayland Baptist also signed an agreement that would align 42 TSTC programs to filter into the university. Zarate said similar agreements are in the works with Texas A&M-Kingsville and LeTourneau.

“The major goal is to help TSTC students make a seamless transition into a university as they pursue a bachelor’s degree,” Zarate said. “I’m proud of the opportunities the University Center is creating for students down here. And universities from across the state are eager to come down here and introduce their programs to our students.”

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