(Jan. 20, 2010)--The UTSA Graduation Initiative's Late Intervention program recently was honored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) with a 2009 Star Award. The program was one of six honored from a pool of 51 nominations and 13 finalists.
Conceived and implemented by the UTSA Graduation Initiative, the Late Intervention program targets students who have exceeded four years in working toward graduation. The initiative will help these students resolve financial barriers to earning a bachelor's degree within five to six years. The program supports university and state "Closing the Gap" goals, aimed at improving the overall graduation rate of Texas undergraduates.
Through the program, UTSA targets students who are near graduation after four years of study. To help those students graduate, the initiative provides them with one or more $2,000 scholarships to help facilitate their graduations.
"At UTSA, we want our students to succeed. We want them to graduate and transition into the profession of their choice," said Clinton Rodenfels, director of the UTSA Graduation Initiative. "That's why we've developed a number of programs to facilitate graduation and retention. Now that our Late Intervention program has been in place for a number of years, we're finding that all it takes is a little push to help many of our students complete the requirements necessary to earn their degrees and change their lives."
Both Maime Witt and Emiliano Morales credit the Late Intervention program with supporting them in the completion of their bachelor's degrees.
"I received an e-mail saying, 'You've been selected to participate in this program,' and they offered me $2,000 per semester if I could complete my degree before summer 2010," said Witt. "I still had to attend field camp -- a requirement for all geology majors -- and the first scholarship that I received helped fund my travel expenses."
In December, she crossed the graduation stage and relocated to Houston, where she is looking for a job in petroleum exploration. She plans to attend graduate school next fall.
Likewise, the Late Intervention program helped speed up graduation for Emiliano Morales, who earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering last month.
"I worked during my first four years at UTSA and during my fifth, I held a work-study job in the admissions office, which was much more flexible," Morales said. "When UTSA gave me two $2,000 scholarships -- one for the summer 2009 semester and one for the fall 2009 semester -- it allowed me to register for summer classes and finish up my degree in the fall. Now, I'm enrolled in the electrical engineering master's degree program at UTSA."
Since the program began in early 2007, participation has increased each year and participants have consistently graduated at a higher rate than non-participating students. More than 73 percent of the Late Intervention students from the 2001 cohort graduated within six years, compared to 30 percent of similar, non-participating peers. In 2002, more than 86 percent of Late Intervention students graduated within six years, compared to 40.1 percent of similar non-participating peers.
The Texas Higher Education Star Award was established by the THECB in 2001 to recognize institutions of higher education, school districts, schools, organizations and individuals who have made exceptional contributions to one or more of the goals of Closing the Gaps by 2015; the plan aims to increase the number of students participating, student success, academic excellence and research in Texas.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Aspiring doctor hopes to change medical attitudes toward obesity-related ailments
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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