Credential planning grant awarded to STC levels up computer IT students’ skills 

Photo above: STC’s Computer Science and Computer and Information Technology programs were recently awarded an Accelerating Credentials Planning Grant by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). 

Amanda Sotelo, South Texas College

To enhance student skills and to continue producing marketable graduates in the fields of computer science and computer information technologies, South Texas College has been awarded an Accelerating Credentials Planning Grant by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

This grant, in the amount of $45,273, is the first of its kind for the college and will provide STC’s Computer Science and Bachelor’s of Applied Technology in Computer and Information Technology faculty and personnel the opportunity to gain professional development, curriculum development and instructional design in two industry-recognized Google Career Micro-Credentials, or short-term certificates. 

Menghung Wu, STC Computer Science instructor, is one of the instructors who will receive training through this grant. He said learning is always part of the job and he is looking forward to what this grant will provide. 

“No one should ever stop learning, so to have this chance is refreshing,” said Wu. “This allows us to improve our skills and knowledge, to better serve our students. I’m so grateful.” 

Saeed Molki, STC associate professor of Computer Science, said he is also excited about this opportunity presented to him, his colleagues and his students. 

“This was really a nice surprise…we’re so happy,” he said. “A degree is not enough anymore for students, they need certifications like these to set them apart, but to train them, we need to be trained too. The fact that this grant will allow us to do both, is amazing.” 

In addition to faculty training, the grant will also give students enrolled in Computer Science and Computer and Information Technology, the chance to earn micro-credentials in Google IT Automation with Python, a computer coding language, and Google Data Analytics, website reporting. 

STC Dean for Math, Science and Bachelor Programs Ali Esmaeili, Ph.D., said this grant aligns with the goals set forth by STC President Ricardo J. Solis and that it is ensuring that students remain marketable, employable and competitive in the industry; and to do that micro-credentialing is critical to this success. 

“This is value added to their (students’) degrees,” said Esmaeili. “We’re embedding credentials into our curriculum that are going to allow our students to excel and gain a head start over other job candidates once they graduate. This grant couldn’t have come at a better time.” 

Through this grant, faculty will receive training year-round, with the possibility of attending a workshop in Las Vegas. 

Students are able to complete each training in as little as five weeks to earn a certification. 

Esmaeili said the grant will also afford students the opportunity to hear from professionals in the industry through speaking engagements hosted on campus. 

“This is very beneficial to everyone involved,” he said. “This is changing the outlook for our industry and for our students. There are big things ahead and they’re a win-win all around.” 

For more information on STC’s Computer and Information Technology programs, visit 

Fall classes begin August 22.