Returning students praise teachers, classes, welcoming atmosphere

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Vaughn construction workers excavate west of the nursing complex Aug. 23, where there will be a small parking lot after the campus revitalization project is complete in 2020. A video showing construction plans can be found at Andrea Moreno

Parking challenges detract from satisfaction with this college, students say.

Mortuary science sophomore Marion Menchaca said she choose to return to this college because she “realized that it was the only college that offered mortuary science with experienced teachers.”

Menchaca first enrolled at this college in fall 2018.

Menchaca said she likes the diversity of students but would like to see improved parking.

Business administration sophomore Linda Lujano originally enrolled at this college in fall 2004 but left because of life complications.

She enrolled at Northwest Vista college in 2008, then returned to this college in 2018.

She said this college offers housing and classes at lower prices than other institutions.

Theater sophomore Jacquelyn Escobodo has a passion for theater.

She believes this college has one of the best drama departments in Alamo Colleges, she said.

Escobodo feels connected to other students in the theater program as if they were family.

“I feel right at home,” she said.

An area of the college Escobodo would like to see improved is parking.

“We need more spaces. It would be nice if that new parking garage was made already,” she said.

Architecture sophomore Eric Riffle said with the help of this college, he’s able to start his career path.

“It’s just way more convenient for me. I live nearby, and they offer the classes I need,” Riffle said.

Riffle said this campus is lively and more welcoming than other campuses in Alamo Colleges.

“Compared to Lakeview (Northeast Lakeview College), SAC’s campus is nicer and you’ve got lots of activities going on,” he said.

An area of the college he wants to see improved is older buildings modernized.

“Some of these older buildings need a makeover to look more modern, be more comfortable, and give off inspiration toward students,” he said. “New paint, some art on the wall, quotes (on posters), even a fish tank would do the job,” he said.

Radio-television-broadcasting freshman Alec Romo said convenience, variety of choices and cheap tuition keep him coming back to this college.

Romo said creating a schedule that works best for him is simple and affordable.

“I prefer to take morning classes, and SAC makes it easy to create a schedule to fit my needs and at a good price,” he said.

Romo finds parking needs the most improvement.

“I hate parking garages. So I’d say that needs the most improvement, though getting to class on time is still up to each student’s own responsibility,” he said.

Nursing sophomore Aurora Muniz said cheap tuition, student services and close access to a freeway are incentives to keep returning to campus. Also, many aspects of the college have dramatically improved since she first transferred from Palo Alto College in fall 2013.

“SAC does a lot more for students now, such as the food pantry, which is a service available for students who are struggling to buy enough food,” she said.

Muniz said that in 2013 teachers could have done more to point out services available to students.

“Teachers now are way more helpful in promoting education success and types of student services that are available,” she said.

If she had to pick something that could be improved, Muniz said parking could use a little work.

“But SAC is already building a new parking lot so it’s not really that big of an issue. Problem solved,” she said.

Physics sophomore Megan Moczygemba plans to get a bachelor’s degree in physics at UTSA after she completes her classes here.

Moczygemba lives closer to this college than her previous school, Palo Alto College. She also likes the options for classes here that work better with her schedule.

She has been in and out of classes since fall 2011 because of scheduling and taking care of her mom.

“My mother had been fired; she was in a car crash and has had a multitude of financial problems.”

She said this college has instructors who are extremely knowledgeable and able to communicate with students.

Industrial technology sophomore Abraham Ibarra started here in 2016 and wants to finish school to have a better job to give his family something they didn’t have, he said.

He said this college is helpful by offering students food and clothing.

 “It feels safe here,” he said.

He believes parking can improve.

“Parking has always been a major issue morning and afternoon.”

Nursing and biology sophomore Sabrina Afedorick started as a full-time student at this college in fall 2018 and plans to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin or the UT Health Science Center after graduation.

She was attracted to this college by its convenient location and affordability. Afedorick said she has had good teachers.

“I am very happy here,” she said. “Everything is perfect except for the slow elevators in the nursing and allied health complex.”

Photography sophomore Marcia Taylor started here in the fall.  She plans to use what she learns here “to tell stories with my camera.”

Taylor found this college was close to her home and has a good journalism-photography program. 

One change Taylor would like to see is lowering prices in the cafeteria in Loftin Student Center

“The college should find a cheaper alternative for students trying to stay within a budget.”

Court reporting sophomore Felise Garcia returned to college after 15 years to make a career change as a court reporter.

Garcia has years of sales experience and was making a living off of nutrition, organic and retail sales.

“It feels so weird being back; so much has changed,” she said. She said online shopping “monsters” like Amazon and other huge corporations have made it more difficult for direct sales.

“Not many people go out and shop as much as they used to. Everything is bought online now,” she said.

She said she returned because she was familiar with the college, but she would have chosen this college anyway because of the good things she has heard.

 “There are many things to love about this college. For one, it’s central. There are so many places and things to do nearby,” she said.

Garcia loves the smaller classes and the opportunity for students to have one-on-one, in-depth conversations with professors.

“The resources are another thing to love. Access is super easy to the computer labs, books and library,” she said.

Although there was plenty to love for Garcia,  she would like the college website to become more user friendly. 

“If you don’t have any guidance at first, you really do have to go the extra mile to outsource your own materials,” she said.

Nursing sophomore Zachary De La Rosa went to Northwest Vista College for pre-nursing but transferred here after his freshman year.

“After doing some research on the program at this college, I just felt like it was a change I needed to do,” he said. “I don’t even live anywhere near here.”

One of the things that attracted De La Rosa to this college was the welcoming atmosphere.

“Everybody is just so kind and helpful; it’s very welcoming,” he said.

He said parking is a problem.

“I have a good drive each day that I come to class and when I go home. I now have to leave even earlier that what I would like just to get through traffic and hopefully find parking in time before my classes get started,” he said.

Business marketing sophomore Jacquelyn Wingo said her career goal is to transfer to UTSA and get a bachelor’s degree.

This is her second time to attend this college.

“Now I’m financially stable,” she said.

Wingo said this college is convenient.

What she likes the most is the way teachers teach and how “great” classes are. She thinks they are better than any other college in San Antonio.

“What I would like to see improved is the advising; it’s hard to get in contact with anyone,” she said.

Radio-television-broadcasting sophomore Perla Amaya said her career goal is to get a bachelor’s degree and work for Univision or Telemundo.

A high school teacher recommended this college.

What she likes the most is that teachers are flexible.

Amaya would like to see parking improved.

She said she could not find a space open that day.

Asia Andrews, Andrew Casas, Aaron H. Martinez, Jon Hernandez, Linda Owens, Orlando Torres and Francia Rivera contributed to this story.


1 Comment

  1. Please write future articles properly…using paragraphs. This kind of single sentence writing makes the author seem like an uneducated idiot.

    Editor’s note: Using one-sentence paragraphs is a standard practice for journalistic writing. Journalists write in AP (Associated Press) style, not MLA (Modern Language Association), a style commonly used in English and Literature essays.

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