Island University and Del Mar Partner to Create Pipeline for STEM Success

Published: November 03, 2017

Island University and Del Mar Partner to Create Pipeline for STEM Success

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Del Mar College (DMC), two of the Coastal Bend’s educational leaders, celebrated a long-standing partnership on Nov. 1 with the ceremonial signing of a new Articulation Agreement. The agreement was created to streamline the path to earning a bachelor’s degree for DMC biotechnology students who wish to transfer to A&M-Corpus Christi.

“Our faculty and I are excited to have the opportunity to expand our collaboration and relationship with Del Mar College through this agreement,” said Dr. Kelly Quintanilla, President and CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “Today is so important because the reason we are signing this agreement is to increase student success.”

Quintanilla joined Dr. Beth Lewis, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at DMC in signing the agreement. As Quintanilla explained, after acquiring an associate’s degree at DMC interested students will have three clear degree plans that show which credits transfer and what classes they can choose from to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Students will be able to pursue the following degrees:

  • A Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology;
  • A Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences on the pre-professional track;
  • Or a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in University Studies.

“A majority of Del Mar’s biology students continue their studies at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi,” said Lewis. “Interaction is happening all the time between our two institutions and this articulation agreement is another step forward.”

During the ceremony, two student researchers who are already seeing a benefit from the agreement were present and shared their success stories. Danial Nasr Azadani, who is a biotechnology major at DMC and a current biomedical student at A&M-Corpus Christi, originally planned to transfer back home to Canada but decided to continue his education in Corpus Christi because of the opportunities presented through his research here.

“Dr. Daisy Zhang, Dr. Robert Hatherill and Dr. Jeffrey Turner sat me down and really expanded my view on what I could accomplish if I continued my degree,” said Azadani. “These professors are so focused on their students’ success.”

Lorie Leyva, a DMC alumna and a senior in the biology program at A&M-Corpus Christi, says that she is now considering a pursuing a master’s degree, something she didn’t initially plan to accomplish.

“My original plan was just to get an associate’s degree so that I could get a good job,” said Leyva. “Now my professors have pushed me to want to continue with my education and finish my bachelor’s degree and maybe even get a master’s degree.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of STEM jobs is projected to increase 62 percent by the year 2020. Thanks to the new partnership between A&M-Corpus Christi and DMC, the pathway to making an impact on the community will be easier to follow for the Coastal Bend’s future scientists, researchers and innovators.