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Support Services Programs

Special Populations

A Non-Traditional student is defined as "a student who is enrolled in a program of study in which either gender comprises less than 25 percent of the current enrollment."

Click here to view Non-Traditional Programs offered at TSTC Harlingen.

A Non-Traditional Student must provide the following verifying documentation:

  • Registration Statement for the current semester;
  • Letter from the Department Chair verifying enrollment status in a Non-Traditional program of study at Texas State Technical College Harlingen.

A Single Parent is defined as "an individual, male or female who is unmarried, not considered married by common law, legally separated or divorced from a spouse and who is the custodial parent of a child or children under the age of 18".

A Single Parent must provide verifying documentation from one of the following sources:

  • Verification letter from the Office of the Attorney General
  • Legal separation documents
  • If divorced, a copy of the divorce decree
  • Letter from the Department Chair verifying enrollment status in a program of study at Texas State Technical College Harlingen.

A Displaced Homemaker is defined as "an adult individual, male or female who has worked primarily without pay to care for home, family, and children and for this reason has diminished skills for enter the labor force".

A Displaced Homemaker must provide the following verifying documentation:

  • Tax returns for the past 3 - 5 years. Tax returns must identify individual as a housewife and/or house-husband for the last three (3) consecutive years.
  • Letter from the Department Chair verifying enrollment status in a program of study at Texas State Technical College Harlingen.

A Single Expectant Mother is defined as "a female who is pregnant, unmarried, or legally separated or divorced from a spouse". (Qualifying students need to meet with the Gender Equity Advocate for further program specifications and required documentation.)

Services for Qualified Students

Textbook Assistance

Support Services assists qualifying Single Parents, Displaced Homemakers and Non Traditional students with Textbook Assistance. This service is funded through the Carl D. Perkins Vocational & Applied Technology Act and is contingent upon the availability of funds during the pertinent semester, and adherence to program policies. Textbook Assistance is provided on a first come first serve basis.

Lending Library

Support Services maintains a Lending Library that is comprised of many commonly used textbooks which current registered TSTC students are allowed to use on a semester basis. The Lending Library is available for use after the first week of classes TO STUDENTS WHO DO NOT QUALIFY for the Special Populations Program. All textbooks borrowed will be the responsibility of the student for the duration of the semester and must be returned at the end of the semester.

Child Care Services

Support Services provides students at Texas State Technical College Harlingen with child care referrals. Referrals are made to the following providers:

  1. TSTC Early Childhood Center (0 - 3 years)
  2. TSTC NINO'S Head Start (3 - 5 years, child must be 3 yrs. prior to Sept. 1st)
  3. Cameron County Childcare Management Services (Cameron County residents)
  4. Workforce Solutions Child Care Services (Hidalgo & Willacy County residents)

TSTC Harlingen Support Services also assists a limited number of qualifying Single Parent, Displaced Homemaker, Single Expectant Mothers, and Non Traditional students pursuing a non-traditional program of study with subsidized child care. A student must complete an application at the Support Services Office every semester and selections are made on the basis of need.

These services are funded through the Carl D. Perkins Vocational & Applied Technology Education Act and are contingent upon the availability of funds and adherence to program policies.

How to Qualify

Eligible students must meet the following criteria to receive services offered through the Special Populations Program:

  1. Be enrolled full time in a program of study that can be completed at Texas State Technical College Harlingen;
  2. Be enrolled in at least 1 technical course towards a program of study. (Course must be noted in the program of study degree plan)
  3. Maintain at least a 2.0 GPA;
  4. Complete an application for the Non Traditional Services program at the Support Services Office located in the Auxiliary Services Building; and,
  5. Meet with the Gender Equity Advocate in order to learn about textbook assistance agreement guidelines and policy. (Please call the Support Services Office at ext. 4520 for dates and times the Gender Equity Advocate will be available to meet.)

*Part time students will be considered on a case by case basis by the Gender Equity Advocate.

Disabilities Program

It is the policy of TSTC to adhere to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Federal law defines a disability as an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; has a record of such an impairment; or is being regarded as having such an impairment. (definition as amended by the ADA Act of 2008)

Services for Qualified Students with Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations are provided on a case by case basis to qualified students. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

  • extended test time
  • alternate testing sites
  • scribes
  • interpreters
  • notetakers
  • tape recording of lectures
  • short breaks

TSTC Support Services has assistive/adaptive equipment available to students with disabilities or impairments. They are located in the Support Service Office and the Learning Resource Center. This may include, but are not limited to:

  • Extreme Reader
  • Zoom Text
  • Lookey
  • JAWS
  • CCTV
  • TTY
  • Sorenson Videophone
  • Hearing Device
  • Accessible tables and chairs

TSTC and Support Services assumes no responsibility for personal attendants necessary for independent living nor specialized medical care.

Support Services serves as a liaison with instructors, staff, and appropriate federal and state agencies to ensure that reasonable accommodations are provided.

Students are encouraged to contact Support Services in a timely manner for each semester they will be requiring accommodations to allow sufficient time for coordinating reasonable accommodation requests.

How to qualify

Support Services has outlined a process for students seeking accommodations. The student is responsible for meeting the following guidelines:

First Phase, Student Must:

  1. Self disclose their disability and needed accomodations with Support Services if student requires equal access to a program, classroom, or activity.
  2. Schedule an appointment to meet with the Disability Accommodation Specialist to discuss request for reasonable accommodations and supportive documentation needed to be submitted by the student. An appointment can be scheduled by calling 956.364.4520/voice; 956.364.4526/TDD; or by visiting the Support Services Office located in the Auxiliary Building.
  3. The Disability Accommodation Specialist will review the supportive documentation submitted. Student will need to follow up with Support Services Office within two(2) business days of submission of documentation to inquire if request has been approved or if additional information is needed.

Second Phase, Student must:

  1. Provide Support Services with a copy of his/her Registration Statement.
  2. Obtain a "Course Accommodations" form for each class for which an accommodation is needed.

Third Phase,Student must:

  1. Meet individually with each instructor to discuss the accommodations approved by the Support Services Office and obtain signature for the Course Accommodation Form.
  2. Return the appropriate signed copy to the Support Services Office. Student will also keep a copy for their records.
  3. Inform the Support Services Office of any concerns or changes needed regarding the approved accommodations.

Accommodations do not transfer from semester to semester. Student is responsible for requesting accommodations in a timely manner prior to each semester enrolled. Student may be required to provide updated supportive documentation, if student has not received services for more than two semesters consecutively. Questions and concerns regarding an instructor's implementation of accommodations, should be directed to the Disability Accommodation Specialist immediately.

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Affirmative Action Statement: Every opportunity shall be afforded for admission, employment, or educational services regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age or disability.

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