STC Receives Military Friendly ‘Gold’ Award for Exceptional Support to Veterans


Now eight years running, South Texas College has once again received a Military Friendly Gold designation as well as Military School Spouse award for its dedication to ensuring active military, veterans and their spouses and dependents achieve success at the college. STC Image
Now eight years running, South Texas College has once again received a Military Friendly Gold designation as well as Military School Spouse award for its dedication to ensuring active military, veterans and their spouses and dependents achieve success at the college. STC Image
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By Joey Gomez

MCALLEN, TEXAS – South Texas College has become one of only six institutions across Texas to receive a Military Friendly School Gold Award and Military Friendly Spouse School recognition for the 2023-2024 school year. 

STC has been recognized for its commitment, effort and success in creating opportunities for the military community on all its campuses, and was recognized recently by VIQTORY, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business, which publishes the annual Military Friendly rating for schools nationwide. 

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“What this designation and award really means is that if you are a veteran and you want to get your education started, STC is only one of a few institutions in the state that will provide a superior standard when it comes to attentiveness and the quality of education you can receive,” said Javier Cardenas, Veterans Affairs outreach and certifying official at STC. “I think it speaks to the level of outreach that we try to do as a veterans service office here. We are always asking ‘What more can we do or how much more can we provide’ and we are really setting the bar for what a veterans office should be on campus.”    

STC earned the “Gold” distinction for exceeding in areas such as academic policies and compliance, admissions and orientation, culture and commitment, financial aid and assistance, graduation and career and military student support and retention, according to the Military Friendly rating.

The Gold and Military Friendly Spouse Awards expand across STC’s Pecan, Mid-Valley and Starr County campuses, each with a Student Veterans Affairs Office to service the more than 800 veterans, veteran spouses and dependents attending STC.

STC’s Office of Student Veterans Affairs employees are certified by the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department, to assist veteran students and their families in completing the documents necessary to receive benefits such as the GI Bill and Hazlewood Act.

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“This is a testament to the commitment of STC to our veterans that we provide the best services possible and that we are centralized place for services because not all schools have that,” said Juan Miguel Galvan, director of Student Financial Services and who oversees the Office of Student Veterans Affairs. “STC is proud of its role, providing the assistance veterans need so that we can certify their educational benefits and they can continue their education. We have a whole department dedicated to veterans and their dependents. This should give them the confidence to understand that we will do our best to help them get the educational benefits that they deserve.”  

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Nestor Rios is currently an active-duty service member as well as an STC student studying Business Administration who says the Veterans Affairs Office at South Texas College has streamlined and supported his opportunity to maximize Veteran specific courses

“Their staff navigated the complexities of accessing and processing educational benefits which allowed me to solely focus on my academics,” Rios said. “I encourage every veteran to take advantage of their personalized assistance and guidance.”

In addition to benefits and enrollment assistance, STC’s Veterans Affairs also offers safe havens known as the “Foxhole,” a room dedicated to veterans, spouses and their dependents, that is equipped with comfortable seating, computers, televisions and printers.

There is a “Foxhole” available at the Pecan, Mid-Valley and Starr County campuses.

For more information about STC’s Office of Student Veterans Affairs and the resources offered, visit www.southtexascollege.edu/veterans/.

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