Alamo Colleges, San Antonio, TX
Offsite Coordinator, Brackenridge Education & Training Center
Maria del Carmen De Luna-Jones is the district-wide point of contact in serving immigrant students for the Alamo Colleges. She has served with the Alamo Colleges for over 25 years in various student support and workforce development positions, including developing and directing the Harlandale (Southside) Community Education Center and currently managing a team of skilled professionals who help prospective students with enrollment processing and advisement services at the Brackenridge (Eastside) Education Center. Both these centers have become workforce training development centers and were established in partnership with the Harlandale Independent School District and the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church to assist academically and economically disadvantaged students within the community, including FTIC students, returning adult learners, foster youth, homeless, HB1403 (immigrant) students, and ABE/GED/ESL students. Recently, she has partnered with the Alamo Colleges’ I-BEST Team to provide integrated basic education skills training path options to the students served by the centers. Under Carmen’s leadership, the centers’ successful delivery of student services has been recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Comptroller’s Office for aiding in the State’s “Closing the Gap” initiatives. The Brackenridge Center was cited in the 2010 publication, “Closing the Completion Gap; A Guide for the Faith Community,” compiled by Civic Enterprises, Washington, D.C. Commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this report commended the Center for its thriving community partnership with St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on whose property the Eastside Center is located. She was also recognized in 2013 by the Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) as a top Star Educator. Carmen is the proud daughter of immigrant parents from Zaragoza, Coahuila, México. Even though Carmen’s parents had only a 3rd grade and 6th grade education, they knew the importance of getting a good education and encouraged their children to do well in school. Consequently, Carmen achieved the distinction of being the first in her family to graduate from college, earning an Associate Degree in Business Technology at San Antonio College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish at the University of Texas at San Antonio.