(L to R) ASU President Brian J. May and SAC President Robert Vela(L to R) ASU President Brian J. May and SAC President Robert VelaSan Antonio College (SAC) and Angelo State University (ASU) in San Angelo want to help students who want to help others. On Friday, Aug. 30, administrators at the two institutions met at SAC to sign a memorandum of understanding to create the Social Work Direct Path program, which will make it easier and more affordable for SAC students studying social work to pursue a bachelor’s degree at ASU.

Currently, SAC offers an associate of arts degree in social work and a new associate of applied science in social work. With the new program, SAC graduates will be able to transfer to ASU and earn a Bachelor of Social Work through an online program. In addition, the students will take one ASU course on the SAC campus.

Dr. Robert Vela, president of SAC, said the agreement opens the door to a new academic opportunity. “We need to ensure that students have options, once they graduate from SAC, to continue their journey and to reach as high as they can,” he said.

Vela added the collaboration with ASU came very naturally. “I think what makes this partnership so special is that we share a lot of the same values. We care about our students,” he said.

Dr. Brian J. May, president of ASU, said that both institutions also share student demographics in common. “We both work really hard with first-generation college students and try to take the extra step to make them successful,” he said.

(L to R) SAC student Amanda Fierro, ASU President Brian J. May, SAC student Shiquera Shannon, SAC...(L to R) SAC student Amanda Fierro, ASU President Brian J. May, SAC student Shiquera Shannon, SAC President Robert VelaPart of that commitment was for ASU to help students graduate with as little or no debt as possible. To that end, ASU will award Carr Transfer Scholarships to students with a 2.5 GPA to help pay for their tuition.

Shiquera Shannon graduated from SAC in 2018, but had difficulty finding a college to pursue a bachelor’s in social work. When she learned about the Social Work Direct Path program, she enrolled. “I wanted something that was simple and affordable and ASU offered that combination. I think it is an awesome opportunity and it was an easy transition,” she said.

When she graduates, Shannon wants to work in the geriatric field, calling it an area that has a great need. “I like making an impact and a difference in someone’s life,” she said.

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