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Schreiner Opening Learning Communities in Valley, El Paso

Learning Community Valley

If you can’t come to Schreiner University, Schreiner University will come to you.

That’s what the university is telling potential college students in Brownsville, Mission and El Paso. Next August, 20 to 25 freshmen in each of those Texas border cities will start college without leaving home.

Called Learning Communities, these regional extensions of Schreiner University will offer enrollees a full year of higher education.  They will take full course loads of 15 hours per semester, six hours of which will be taught by a member of the Schreiner faculty, also serving as site coordinator. The other nine hours will be delivered via online instruction from Kerrville.

After the freshman year, the students will attend classes in Kerrville.

University officials have noted that Schreiner’s brand is strong in the Rio Grande Valley, with many students making inquiries, but less applying for enrollment. “There are real and perceived reasons for that,” says President Dr. Charlie McCormick. “Some feel that Kerrville is too far from home and others think they can’t afford Schreiner.”

Those are two problems the university can solve. “By opening learning communities in their hometowns or nearby, we can go where they are,” says Dr. McCormick. “By bringing the cost down, we make it affordable.”

“The goal is to help students--who otherwise didn’t see one--find a pathway to attend college.”

The cost will be approximately $8,000 for the full year. Most of those enrolling will be eligible for grants that will reduce the out-of-pocket cost to about $2,000, says Dr. Larry Cantu, vice president for Enrollment Services.

For that cost, they will receive much more than just classroom time. University staff will visit the learning communities and work with the students and their families.

“We want to help alleviate parents’ stresses about their son/daughter’s transition to the Kerrville campus,” says Dr. Cantu. “We will offer financial literacy classes to help parents gain a better perspective for handling the financial commitments, including how to finance a college education, and the impact that selection of a major has on time it takes to pay back loans.”

The students will also have prepared a four-year degree plan.

Sites for the learning communities have been selected in all three cities, and the process of hiring a coordinator/instructor for each is underway. These will be persons from those communities who understand the challenges and opportunities facing the students and their families, says Dr. McCormick.

Learning Community

Twice each semester the students will be transported—at no extra cost--to Kerrville for special events: Opening Convocation and pre-registration in the fall, and the Academic Showcase and one other event in the spring.

The students will also be included in the Schreiner Experience. There will be opportunities for internships and job shadowing (Meaningful Work), for community volunteer service (Purposeful Lives) and contact with international visitors and cultural celebrations (Changing Global Society).

Representatives from Schreiner’s career development, financial aid, and technology offices will visit the learning centers to share their knowledge.

“Although they will be studying away from the campus, the students will know us, and we will know them quite well,” says Dr. McCormick. “When they come to Kerrville, they should have zero debt due to college education, 30 hours of course credit, and made a start to earning certifications for the Schreiner Experience.”

At Schreiner’s request, counselors and school officials in the three locations are helping identify students who need this type of program. The process of application and approval is being accelerated for these applicants and the university hopes to have enrollment set by March 1 for the year that starts next fall.

For more information about the learning communities in Mission, Brownsville and El Paso, contact the Admissions and Enrollment Office at 800-343-4919 or email

Mission, Texas
Center for Education & Economic Development
801 N. Bryan Road
Mission, TX  78572

Brownsville, Texas
Sabal Palms Sanctuary
8435 Sabal Palm Rd
Brownsville, TX 78521

El Paso, Texas
10801 Gateway West, Suite 400
El Paso, TX 79935