(Oct. 18, 2010)--Officials at The University of Texas at San Antonio announced Oct. 14 the receipt of a $160,000 gift from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation to support the continued operation of the Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program (TexPREP), an academically intense program that engages youths in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The gift brings the foundation's total support of TexPREP to $1,369,000.
"For more than 20 years, the Richardson Foundation has supported studies and programs designed to strengthen our public schools in providing high-level education for all students from all backgrounds," said Val Wilkie, executive vice president of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation. "Recently, as we have focused on math and science, the TexPREP program has been one of the most successful programs in carrying out that mission at the high school level."
Founded in 1979 at UTSA by Manuel Berriozabal, UTSA professor of mathematics, TexPREP prepares middle and high school students, especially minorities and females, for careers in science and engineering by teaching engineering and related principles, abstract reasoning and problem-solving skills. The academically intense curriculum is delivered over four summers.
Additionally, high school students who have completed PREP III and are sophomores or juniors may take University PREP for college credit. Since the program was first offered 32 years ago, TexPREP has grown from serving 44 students at one venue to serving approximately 4,000 TexPREP students in other cities across Texas in 2010.
"The Sid W. Richardson Foundation has supported TexPREP since 1994 and has grown to become one of the program's most strategic benefactors," said Rudy Reyna, PREP executive director. "With the foundation's support, TexPREP has been able to reach tens of thousands of youths and engage them in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, demonstrating that careers in those areas are fun and accessible. Many of the students who have participated in the program have since gone on to become successful engineers and scientists working in government, corporations and other industry sectors. That success would not have been possible without the support of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation."
Established in 1947, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation provides grants to Texas nonprofit organizations specializing in education, health care, human services and the arts.
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
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