TSC board unanimously approves comprehensive care package

A view of Texas Southmost College on a recent afternoon. By Miguel Roberts, The Brownsville Herald

The Texas Southmost College Board of Trustees unanimously approved a comprehensive care package during Thursday night’s meeting, which includes six free semester credit hours during the summer for all in-district Texas residents.

Trustees gathered for the special meeting to review initiatives TSC designed to provide assistance for students, adjunct faculty, dual enrollment students and school districts during the COVID-19 crisis.

This local package complements the $400 per student grants announced Thursday, which qualifying active TSC students will receive from federal funds designated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

TSC Board of Trustees Chair Adela Garza said during this global pandemic the financial situations of many have changed and many are facing disruptions that could put their education at risk. We want our students to move forward with their education and be able to join the workforce as the Texas economy reopens. Thus it is important for TSC students to know their TSC Family is here to help.

“ We will always help our students in any way we can,” she said. “The initiatives passed last night are designed to help our students get through this difficult time. It’s important for our students to know that we, as a college and board of trustees, are here for them and they are not alone.”

Take 6 On Us, is an initiative that waives a portion of tuition and fees during the summer. Texas residents within the college’s taxing district will have their tuition and fees waived for up to six semester credit hours during the Summer 2020 semesters.

For Texas residents outside of TSC’s taxing district, TSC will waive 50% of tuition and fees for up to six semester credit hours during the summer semesters.

“ Because of TSC Board of Trustees exceptional stewardship of resources, we are in a position to provide some financial relief for students who are facing severe disruptions while delivering quality education that will help them stay on track to graduate,” said TSC President Jesus Roberto Rodriguez. “Even though we are experiencing an 18% increase in enrollment for the summer semester over last year, we do not want our students to put their education on hold. We want to ensure students maintain momentum and are ready to enter the workforce.”

In addition to free or discounted tuition and fees, eligible students will still receive their full financial aid disbursement to help with educational materials or other necessities.

The TSC Board passed another initiative to increase adjunct faculty pay through a Summer 2020 stipend.

Salaries were increased by $150 per work unit, meaning adjunct faculty teaching a three-hour lecture course will now earn $3,000.