(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Anali Cantu, who is a student at Texas State Technical College’s Harlingen campus, is pursuing an online associate degree in Education and Training. She is employed as a work-study with TSTC’s Advocacy and Resource Center and is committed to their “culture of caring” approach.
She, like other students at the technical college, is enthusiastic about gaining knowledge for better opportunities. However, pursuing a degree can also be financially challenging for some, and affording books and other resources can be difficult.
“Students who receive assistance through the Advocacy and Resource Center with programs like our lending library program persist to the next semester and reach degree completion at higher rates than students who do not receive assistance,” said Belinda Palomino, the center’s coordinator.
The library service allows students to feel grateful and supported in their technical college experience. This is what defines the center’s culture of caring.
Tiffany Martinez, who is pursuing an online associate degree in Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology, is thankful for the library’s program.
“The lending library has actually helped me a lot to be successful in my classes,” Martinez said.
Students who qualify for the program have benefited from borrowing free textbooks or tools each semester. The program requires students to maintain a 2.0 GPA and be enrolled for at least six credit hours per semester. This encourages students to pass their classes, successfully graduate from TSTC and transition to their new career.
“On average, we have around 40 students participate in our lending library program each semester,” said Lisa Garza, Advocacy and Resource Center coach. “Even if a student does not qualify for the program, our department finds additional resources to help them get what they need. Our goal is to continue to promote our services and assist even more students each year.”
The Advocacy and Resource Center offers various programs in addition to the lending library. These include helping with basic needs, child care and transportation, and maintaining a food pantry.
For more information, go to tstc.edu.