The Socorro Independent School District, in partnership with El Paso Community College and the University of Texas at El Paso, kicked off its second annual Operation College Bound (OCB) enrollment services for seniors this spring at all six comprehensive high schools in the district.

Team SISD seniors were able to finalize the enrollment process to attend EPCC and register for new student orientation for UTEP at their own high schools on March 26 and April 1 through 5.

Last year was the first time the successful OCB process was conducted in any school district in the region. It showcases the endless opportunities provided by Team SISD to ensure students are prepared for success in college, careers and life.

“This was an exciting time for seniors, for their parents and an exciting time obviously for our school district,” said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D. “I cannot thank the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College enough for the partnership that we have and for allowing this to happen for our students.”

The OCB event gave SISD seniors the ease and convenience to enroll in college in a familiar environment with assistance from representatives from the college and university. SISD seniors attended an enrollment day at their school. They were led through the process, which was set up in the gyms, classrooms and computer labs at the schools. EPCC and UTEP staff guided the students and answered questions. SISD high school administrators and counselors also assisted.

EPCC President Dr. William Serrata was excited to have the community college participate for a second year.

“We want to instill a college going culture in our community. This program helps students enroll and receive the information they need to make a successful transition from high school to higher education,” Serrata said.

UTEP President Dr. Diana Natalicio noted that the program is innovative not just in El Paso, but the country.

“The remarkable thing about El Paso, and what we are known for all across the country, is we have the three pieces of the academic ladder working together, happily, smoothly, friendly and cooperative,” Natalicio said. “We know the role our institutions must play to ensure that high school is not the stopping point.”

Arianna Estrada, a senior at Socorro High School, attended the event at her school. She wanted to make sure she was enrolled at UTEP.

“It’s helpful because it really pushes the student to think,” Estrada said. “It hits us all with reality. There also were no long lines, no waiting for hours or going from building to building. It was all done here. I’m ready to go.”

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