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SAC Payback…

San Antonio College finds former students who earned degrees but left before receiving their diplomas
SAC Payback one

SAC Payback

It was a sight that may have turned a few heads. Dr. Robert Vela, president of San Antonio College, and members of the College Executive Team descended the front steps of the Fletcher Administration Center with balloons, gifts, and, most importantly, a framed diploma.

The items were for Frederick Perez, who arrived at SAC a few minutes earlier with many members of his family in tow. Dr. Vela met with Perez to present him with a degree he earned back in 2012 but was unaware he was able to receive it when he left SAC.

This past summer, a committee composed of administrators, faculty, and staff combed through the academic records of students who attended SAC during the last four years. The goal was to find former students who had earned certificates or degrees but who left before they officially received their due.
The committee’s efforts paid off uncovering hundreds of students who had completed the requirements to earn a degree or certificate. 

Perez started at SAC in 2010 and also took some classes at Palo Alto and St. Philips. While in college, he began working as a health insurance agent and in 2012, left college to work full time. He now works in the HVAC industry.

He said he was surprised and happy when SAC called him with the news that he had earned an associate degree in liberal arts and that the college wanted to award him with a diploma.

Receiving the news may also play a role in Perez’ future.
  “I thought about coming back to school again. It really got me motivated to start up again and finish (getting a degree),” he said.

Dr. Vela and the College Executive Team were not finished yet. The group visited the offices of Texas Burn Survivors to award a diploma Janelle Bazar, a former SAC student who is the business manager for the organization.

Bazar had attended SAC for several years before leaving in 2012. She said she was aware she had enough hours to graduate but she didn’t complete the paperwork to graduate.

“I was very thankful that someone from SAC found me and contacted me that I could receive my degree,” she said, while holding her associate in liberal arts degree. “The one thing it did was step SAC up a notch for me. That they would be willing to make the effort to reach out to me.”

She also offered advice to current students working toward a degree. “Hang in there. Persevere and stay with it. When you think you can’t do something, step up and do it because you can.”

To see a video of the presentations, visit .


SAC payback 2

Former SAC student Janelle Bazar receives her associate in liberal arts degree from Dr. Robert Vela, president of San Antonio College.

At top, Frederick Perez is awarded his associate in liberal arts degree from Dr. Vela. (photos by Leonard Ziegler).