VIP Partnership Unites Islanders and Vikings to Increase Student Success

Published: May 02, 2018

 VIP Partnership Unites Islanders and Vikings to Increase Student Success

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Eligible students can now have all of their “Dreams Delivered” while making an “Islander Impact” thanks to the Viking Islander Program (VIP). The new collaborative co-enrollment partnership between Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Del Mar College will provide students with additional tools and support to succeed during their first two semesters of college. Leadership from both campuses met today, May 2, at the Island University campus to ceremoniously sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) outlining the terms of the joint enrollment program.

“It’s important that A&M-Corpus Christi and Del Mar see each other as partners in the pursuit of education,” said Oscar Reyna, executive director of Recruitment & Admissions at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “It’s not a competition; we’re both here to provide students a stellar education. Whether someone starts at Del Mar and eventually transfers to A&M-Corpus Christi, it’s our responsibility to work together to ensure they get the most out of their experience.”

Reyna, who has worked in higher education for more than 20 years, says that student success was the uniting idea behind the new program. Prospective students must first be selected by the Office of Recruitment and Admissions and meet specific program criteria to gain enrollment in the program.

Program Criteria and Requirements Include:

  • An ACT score of 17-18 or SAT score of 900-960;
  • Enrollment in a minimum of 15 total semester credit hours each fall and spring semester with no more than seven semester credit hours at A&M-Corpus Christi and the remainder at Del Mar College;
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 at both campuses; and
  • Take a maximum of seven summer I and summer II session semester credit hours at Del Mar College and seven at A&M-Corpus Christi.

Program Benefits Include:

  • Automatic admission to A&M-Corpus Christi after program completion;
  • Access to Island University on-campus housing;
  • Access to sports events, student activities and student services at both campuses;
  • Academic advisors, faculty and staff at both institutions who will facilitate VIP student successes; and
  • Reverse transfer of credits and exchange of academic records leading to an associate’s degree from Del Mar College.

Although VIP students will take the majority of their classes at Del Mar for the first two semesters, A&M-Corpus Christi will serve as the “parent institution” and provide financial aid based on the cost to attend both schools.

“Dr. Escamilla and I are certain that by working together with a focus on student success there will be a great benefit to both of our institutions and the entire Coastal Bend,” said Dr. Kelly M. Quintanilla, president and CEO of A&M-Corpus Christi. “We are both working together to make sure we can meet local workforce needs and provide our students with the opportunities that will allow them to achieve their dreams and make an impact on the world.”

Effectively providing students the best of both worlds, the VIP partnership still has plenty of room to grow. Future additions to the program could include a dedicated bus route and a streamlined process for the transmission of records between campuses.

“The Viking Islander Program demonstrates another partnership that the College and University share to ensure students succeed during their higher education here in the Coastal Bend,” said Dr. Mark Escamilla, president and CEO of Del Mar College and two-time A&M-Corpus Christi alumnus. “Providing the opportunity to access a quality education and earn credits at both institutions at the same time is a winning combination that continues our focus on student success.”

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