Three students from Pabellón de Arteaga, Aguascalientes, Mexico are attending Lone Star College-Montgomery as part of a pioneer educational experience thanks to a collaboration between the city of Pabellón, the Institute of Technology of Pabellón de Arteaga, Banco Santander, Lone Star College-Montgomery, La Fuerza Hispana de Conroe, and the Greater Conroe Latino Chamber of Commerce. Future goals with this partnership are to open doors of opportunity for other students from Mexico to come to LSC-Montgomery to pursue an education.
Pabellón de Arteaga, a city in the Mexican state of Aguascalientes, to Montgomery County to attend Lone Star College-Montgomery as part of a pioneer educational experience with the intent to return home and enter a competitive job market where they will implement their knowledge in the industries of Aguascalientes.
Enrolled in credit courses, they are working hard to improve their English skills through ESOL classes, and mastering management, business and leadership skills in their information and project management course. They are also learning about the American culture, food, music and more.
“We are honored to host these students from Pabellón,” said Dr. Rebecca Riley, president of LSC-Montgomery. “Our international students contribute so much to our community and strengthen our students’ learning experience, as well as broaden our international awareness on campus.”
This program is a collaboration between the city of Pabellón, the Institute of Technology of Pabellón de Arteaga, Banco Santander, Lone Star College-Montgomery, La Fuerza Hispana de Conroe, and the Greater Conroe Latino Chamber of Commerce.
The Conroe Hispanic Task Force, an affiliate of the City of Conroe, is assisting in the students’ living expenses, including the coordination of housing with local residents, and local transportation for the fall semester.
Banco Santander in Pabellón has donated a scholarship to each of the three students to cover tuition, fees and books for the semester.
Dr. Romana Cortese, chair of the foreign languages and ESOL departments and Renee LaRue, professor of ESOL, worked closely with the other partners to help make the initiative a reality. They, along with several other LSC-Montgomery instructors, have devoted extra time bringing the students up to speed on the content and homework, as well as getting them connected with tutorial opportunities available.
“Our growing ESOL department, though small, is a powerful group of professionals who work together for the good of each student,” said Dr. Brandy Harvey, academic dean of the behavioral sciences, English, languages and speech (BELS) division at LSC-Montgomery. “They have pulled together to accommodate the students from Mexico and work beyond the classroom to ensure that they are getting the instruction and support they need. The group from Mexico is certainly benefitting from their dedication.”
Jaasiel-Alvarado Estrada, Alan Emmanuel Escalera Jaramillo and Antonio Chagoya Colunga are all engineering students at the Institute of Technology in Pabellón. They were selected for this opportunity based on their advanced academic gifts and talents.
Expecting this experience to be a challenge with a radical change in social, personal and academic life, Estrada feels it has been a rather pleasant transition.
“I am so thankful for the kindness displayed by the people of Conroe and Lone Star College,” Estrada said. “The people I have met make me feel like part of their family. And Lone Star College has been a great experience, and is the springboard to my success.”
Jaramillo knows that no matter how much he misses his country, family and friends, what he is experiencing now is important to his development both academically and personally.
“I will do my best to get the most out of this great opportunity that I been given,” Jaramillo said.
Colunga has found himself noting extreme culture differences, on- as well as off-campus, between that of Mexico and the United States, and has experienced an atmosphere of friendship, security, freedom and confidence that he is not used to in his country.
“People have given me their unconditional support without much time to know me, which surprised me because in our country, distrust of strangers is very common,” Colunga said.
Rachelle Colburn, professor of business at LSC-Montgomery, has gained a personal admiration for these young men as they have progressed and are doing well in her class.
“They took on a great personal challenge to move so far from home and immediately immerse themselves in demanding college courses,” Colburn said. “They are currently working on a team project which is of personal and academic significance to them and they are doing just fine.”
“The experience of these students has been a great one,” said Marlen Tejada, director of the Conroe Hispanic Task Force. “It highlights the international appeal and renowned courses for which students from other countries will travel to Montgomery County.”
Future goals with this partnership, according to Tejada, are to bridge the global educational gap and open doors of opportunity for other students from Mexico to come to LSC-Montgomery to pursue an education.
“This sort of collaboration between so many different entities has built strong relationships, providing much needed support to students and communities in need,” said Martha Neely, Accelerate Lone Star program director at LSC-Conroe Center. “We hope that a collaboration of this nature will replicate and allow for future opportunities to other students and universities in other cities in Mexico.”
For more information about Lone Star College-Montgomery or its courses and programs offered, visit www.Lonestaredu.
LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call (936) 273-7000, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/montgomery.
Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for more than 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with almost 83,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 95,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community college systems in the nation. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., is the chancellor of LSC, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, seven centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.