State Senator visits EPCC

September 17, 2014

Coutesy EPCC Marketing

Senator Leticia Van de Putte and EPCC President William Serrata at the Transmountain campus.



Tamara Harmanson


On Aug. 27, Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte visited the El Paso Community College Transmountain campus. Van de Putte is the democratic nominee in the Texas lieutenant governor race and current Texas democratic senate member representing the 26th district for San Antonio, Texas.


EPCC President, William Serrata welcomed Van de Putte.


“It was wonderful to meet Van de Putte and hear what her vision is for the state,” Serrata said.


EPCC staff members and students had a chance to chat with the state senator one-on-one about her personal experiences and current political views for the state of Texas.


Through her proposed Texas Promise scholarship grant program, the senator wants accessibility for every eligible high school student graduate in Texas to have an opportunity of receiving a community college associate’s degree or a two-year program certification.


“55 percent of the jobs in our state in 2020 will require post high school learning,” Van de Putte said.


Van De Putte was led around the campus by Maria Alvarez, director of the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement program (R.I.S.E.) and Early College High School (ECHS) students that are members of the R.I.S.E. program.


The R.I.S.E. program is designed for full-time students who want to work in a biomedical study laboratory and follow a biomedical research career.


“It was amazing getting to sit right next to the senator. I’ve never had a chance to be a part of a process of developing a grant,” said Jonathan Jackson, former R.I.S.E. student and current program facilitator.


Van de Putte discussed how it is important to prepare students for college as early as elementary school and how she supports the ECHS programs that EPCC offers to high school students. 


“An EPCC student told me he is no longer just looking through the window of higher education, but is in the door,” Van de Putte said.


Sentator Van de Putte will be running in the Nov. 4 Texas general elections.



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