HCC signs articulation agreement to create pipeline of transfer students to UST Rising Stars Internship Program

Aug 29, 2023

UST President Richard Ludwick (left) and Chancellor Cesar Maldonado shake on the deal.

University of St. Thomas-Houston (UST) and Houston Community College (HCC) have teamed up to offer students an opportunity to start their college career at HCC and smoothly transfer to UST’s Rising Stars Internship Program. UST President Richard Ludwick and HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado formalized the articulation agreement on UST’s campus during a signing ceremony on Monday, Aug. 28.

“The alliance is a natural extension of the relationship built between these two institutions,” Ludwick said. “We are happy the University of St. Thomas and Houston Community College System have this special opportunity to serve students and educate a talented workforce for Houston and beyond.”

“We are excited about this partnership with the University of St. Thomas,” said HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., P.E. “This collaboration offers not just a transfer of credits, but a transfer of dreams for many of our community college students. Through this partnership, internships opportunities will enrich our students’ preparation for todays’ workforce and will launch futures that our students envision.”

Rising Stars Internship Program

Rising Stars is a unique and successful program dedicated to supporting first-generation and low-income college students. The program allows students to earn funds to offset their tuition through real-world work experience in their fields of study in partnership with Houston corporations.

As the Rising Stars Internship Program gains popularity with Houston’s corporate community, the demand for a robust pipeline of future leaders in the workplace has increased exponentially. Initially, the agreement focused on developing a partnership that helped to address the national shortage of accountants. However, all parties agreed the partnership over time will expand to other academic disciplines to meet future occupational workforce opportunities.

“What may be a need for accounting transfer students today might become demands for marketing or digital media in the future,” said UST Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Community Alliances Arthur Ortiz. “Expanding the agreement beyond accounting allows for flexibility and positions our institutions for increased collaboration in the future.” 

Ortiz continued, “Now graduating HCC students can apply and gain admittance into a new version of Rising Stars for transfer students. These HCC graduates will conclude their undergraduate education at UST as Rising Stars fellows, whose internship is supported by corporate sponsorships. We believe this alignment further benefits Greater Houston by providing a workforce of experienced college graduates who can hit the ground running. Because more than 80% of UST graduates stay in the Houston-area to build their careers, investments in the Rising Stars program are investments in Houston’s future.”

In Attendance at the Signing Ceremony

Joining Dr. Ludwick, Curtis Huff, former UST Board Chair, and Arthur Ortiz at the signing were additional UST representatives: Dr. Chris Evans, VP for Academic Affairs; Gita Bolt, UST legal counsel; Dawn Koenning, UST’s Vice President for University Advancement; Mallory Peterson, UST’s Corporate Relations director; Dan Garcia, director of the Rising Stars Program; and Sara Johnson, director of Admissions.

HCC representatives included Dr. Frances Villagran-Glover, Interim Vice Chancellor, Student Services and President, Southeast College; Dr. Martin Perez, Dean of Student Services, Southeast College; Dr. Connie Porter, Dean of the HCC Business and Logistics Center of Excellence; and others.


See more event photos below.

2023 HCC & University of St. Thomas MOU Signing

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